Bright, bold, beautiful images on exhibit starting Friday

By David F. Rooney

If I had to choose three words to describe the three new shows — Highway 23N by Nicola McGarry, the Best of Banff 2010 Photographic Exhibition and Nature’s Gifts by Cecilia Lea — at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, I’d pick three Bs — bright, bold and beautiful.

Highway 23N features brand-new acrylics, and a small collection of charcoal sketches, by the ever-prolific McGarry. Her images of the peaks and shorelines along the stretch of highway from Revelstoke to Mica are striking.

This is an area that the artist knows well and that knowledge, as well as her love, of the landscape is very apparent. Her images are large and breathtaking.

The images that comprise Cecilia Lea’s show, Nature’s Gift, are by no means as large or as brightly coloured as Nicola’s but they, too, celebrate the land. An oil painter who has been wielding a brush for more than 20 years, Cecilia’s renditions of Gunsight Peak and Misty Creek near Lake O’Hara are particularly good. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Gunsight Creek may be the best painting she has produced. It’s certainly the best one of hers that I’ve seen during the past decade.

The third exhibition is the 2010 touring exhibition of the Best of the Banff Mountain Photography Competition. This annual show brings to town some of the best mountain photography around. While all of the 17 images in this exhibition are technically excellent, the best ones (to my mind, at least) were those that won Special Mention, largely because they featured people. But that’s me. Professional photographers like Rob Buchanan, Kip Wiley and Dusty Veideman may well hold a completely different opinion.

But no matter. These three exhibitions will be on display at the opening reception from 6 pm until 9 pm this Friday. If you appreciate images that are bright, bold and beautiful you’ll be there.

The Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre is located at 320 Wilson Street behind the Days Inn. For more information please go to www.revelstokevisualarts or call 250-814-0261.

Visual Arts Centre Executive Director Jackie Pendergast gazes at the image La Paz, Bolivia by Polish photographer Patryk Rózecki, Poland. His image — winner in the Mountain Culture category at the prestigious Banff Mountain Photography Competition — is one 17 award winning photos that will be on display at The Centre when the annual film competition's touring show opens on Friday. David F. Rooney photo
Monks’ River, Dharamsala, India by Brazilian photographer João Paulo Barbosa won a Special Mention Award. Photo courtesy of The Banff Centre
Asulkan Pass, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada by Canadian Tayu Yamanouchi Hayward won a Special Mention Award. Photo courtesy of The Banff Centre
Desert Tribe, Indian Creek, Utah, USA by American Celin Serbo won a Special Mention Award. Photo courtesy of The Banff Centre
This is Van Horne by Nicola McGarry, whose exhibition opens on Friday at the Visual Arts Centre at 6 pm. David F. Rooney photo.
Downie Peak by Nicola McGarry. David F. Rooney photo
Besides the bold and colourful works we expect from Nicola McGarry she has a small number of charcoal sketches on view, as well. These are Through the Curves (top) and Under the Bridge (bottom). David F. Rooney photo
Jackie Pendergast and Nicola McGarry hang McGarry's diptych, Frenchman's Cap on a wall at the Visual Arts Centre
Oil painter Cecilia Lea is showing 12 of her latest paintings, including this one, Gunsight Peak. David F. Rooney photo
Misty Creek by Cecilia Lea. David F. Rooney photo
Painter Cecilia Lea leans this triptyich against the wall in the gallery. David F. Rooney photo