A story about two artists living in the prairies.
As Teanna Church smoothly drags her paintbrush through vibrant colours and transfers them onto century-old brick in Medicine Hat’s Historic Downtown, her husband Kyle Church strums an acoustic guitar inside those brick walls with his symphonious sounds echoing throughout the room, while guests sip their preferred hot beverage and indulge in a fresh-out-of-the-oven treat.
In between their artistic sessions, they explore the paved city trails, where tall trees blossom with colour, innocent wildlife quietly roams, and large coulees bring comfort.
“Every time you go on the trails, you see something new and it always feels exciting. No matter which side of the river you’re on, there’s always something beautiful to see,” says Teanna. “The wildlife and the trails make you feel you’ve escaped the city even though you’re in the heart of it.”
Since she was young, Teanna has viewed the world through an artistic lens, and her art is found and enjoyed from the north to the south side of the city. She participated in Medicine Hat Mural Fest, painting her “No Rain, No Flowers” floral mural in 2020, and since then has illustrated custom murals from nurseries to at home businesses. These are Teanna’s biggest emotional investments — she spends time in someone’s space and leaves something for them to enjoy every single day.
“I feel so involved — to be able to put my hands on the wall and watch my vision come to life is so beautiful, and usually during the process, the person I’m painting for stops in. To see their face light up as the wall comes to life is a really beautiful thing,” she says.
Kyle can easily relate to this feeling, as he performs his songs that speak about collective experiences those in Medicine Hat have. As he pictures the green landscape, bright blue skies, and effervescent sunshine that graces Medicine Hat, words slowly flow in order until sentences are formed to finish a song.
“I feel most inspired when I’m walking, biking or driving, and living in a city where you can breathe and enjoy the scenery in front of you has influenced my writing for the better,” says Kyle. “Songwriting has always been about serving people and sharing authentically and honestly my experiences to help the audience find language for their own journeys.”
The coffee shops and smaller rooms he chooses to play in create an intimate setting, and are also places he’s visited over a handful of times to write music. When he’s on stage, those moments are full circle because, months and years previously, he sat at the familiar tables writing music inside the exact same four walls.
Kyle and Teanna live in a character home and are often found outside. “There is so much nature in Medicine Hat, with so many green spaces. No matter where you live, there’s always somewhere to walk. That’s always been inspiring — having empty space to think and dream and be inspired,” says Teanna.
“It’s amazing how you can go from Kin Coulee Park, ride the trail all the way along the river to Strathcona Island Park, and then come back around to City Hall. You cover so much ground on the trails. We also love to hike in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and love that it’s such a nice and close getaway.”