Former local artist chosen by DU

Having held her first exhibit just last November, a Fort Frances native will be seeing one of her works being sold across Canada through Ducks Unlimited.
Kari-Ann Anderson, the 30-year-old daughter of Bill and Judy Anderson, officially was named Artist of the Year 2005 by the Manitoba branch of Ducks Unlimited at a ceremony Saturday in Winnipeg.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Anderson said Monday from Winnipeg. “A lot of people are going to see the piece [a painting of loons entitled ‘Family Excursion’].
“Many more than have seen any of my other work.”
Anderson said she first approached Ducks Unlimited in Winnipeg last year about donating some artwork to be auctioned off at one of their banquets.
When a DU rep saw her work, he suggested she enter an annual contest DU has where they pick one painting to reproduce and then sell through DU fundraisers within the province and elsewhere.
Last spring, Anderson submitted seven or eight works in total to Ducks Unlimited.
The works, along with those submitted by various other artists in Manitoba, were judged by select DU members over the course of the year.
Then in November, Anderson got a call that five of her submissions took the top five spots in the DU Manitoba Artist of the Year competition, including “Family Excursion,” which snared top honours.
“They’ve never had one artist take all five spots,” she remarked.
This news came only two days after her exhibit, “Natural and Fantastic Worlds,” opened at the Fort Frances Museum.
Anderson noted that, ironically, the one and only copy of “Family Excursion” was hanging at the museum here. And once a photo of the painting appeared in the Daily Bulletin, it started attracting a lot of attention from people here.
“I called Pam [Hawley] when I found out, and was frantically saying, ‘Please tell me the painting hasn’t sold!’ It was the opposite of what you normally hear an artist saying,” she laughed.
Anderson then had the painting shipped back to Winnipeg to be turned over to DU for reproduction.
As winner of the Artist of the Year for DU Manitoba, Anderson’s painting has been made into 1,100 prints—the first of which was unveiled, framed, and stamped with the DU seal at ceremony Saturday at the Holiday Inn Airport West in Winnipeg.
Anderson’s received 100 “artist’s proof” prints, and can do with them as she pleases, while the other 1,000 will be sold by DU at its fundraisers in Manitoba.
They also likely will be exchanged with other provincial branches of DU to be auctioned off elsewhere.
“This is very important to me as an artist. Thank goodness for Ducks Unlimited,” Anderson remarked. “They have a wide base, and very supportive of artists.”
As a tribute to her hometown, Anderson said a print of “Family Excursion” might just be auctioned off at the next local DU banquet coming up later this year.
Looking further down the road, Anderson noted she’s going to take a shot at the Canadian DU Artist of the Year prize later this year. “I now have a better idea of what they want in the nationals,” she said.
Anderson, born and raised in Fort Frances, is a self-taught artist who prefers to work with acrylic paints, with works focusing on both wildlife and fantasy subjects.
She’s had her work on display both here in Fort Frances and in Winnipeg, has donated some paintings to charity, and has done some work in the music and television industry.
She has plans to become involved in the growing Winnipeg film industry.