Whimsey and beauty at the heart of The Centre’s newest exhibitions

By David F. Rooney

Whimsey and beauty are key features of the three new exhibitions opening this Friday evening at the Visual Arts Centre.

The three women showing their work at The Centre are clearly productive and highly accomplished artists.

Keisha Treber, the young local artist who is rapidly making a name for herself (click here to see how Kamloops — the city where she has lived since she finished university — perceives her work and click here to view her website), has a raft of mostly large works in the main gallery, as well as pieces of jewellery and some brand-new and “completely different” acrylic paintings on glass.

Treber describes herself as a “romantic dreamer.” That label is well deserved but there is an underlying mystery to some of her images, in particular her new work entitled Darling. This acrylic painting hints at the depths within her that many of her near-monochromatic renderings of the female figure fail to do. Keisha’s take on the female form in all its glories is always sensual and technically well executed. It is instantly apparent that this show, Muse, is aptly titled for one of the goddesses is clearly with her.

A divine finger has also touched Calgary potter Darlene Swan. Her Bowls of Life exhibition is both gorgeous and humourous. This Calgary-based artist has been creating pottery for more than 30 years and her high levels of skill has been acknowledged by the Alberta Foundations for the Arts, which recently added one of her pieces to its permanent collection. (Click here to see more of her work)

The third woman with an opening at The Centre is Canal Flats painter Paula Cravens. A skilled portraitist, Cravens show, Figuratively Speaking, is aptly titled. With a keen eye for detail, particularly inner details, Cravens’ work is joyous and almost unrehearsed. I particularly liked her portrait of a young girl selling lemonade called Little Miss Sunshine. (Click here to see more of Paula Cravens’ work)

These three shows open with a public reception at the Visual Arts Centre at 320 Wilson Street beginning at 6 pm on Friday, July 8. You will not want to miss this!

In the meantime, you can see a selection of four representative works from each of these highly accomplished artists below:


Local artist Keisha Treber is a fast-rising star in the artistic firmament. This piece, Darling, is sensual and sophisticated. Her exhibition in the main gallery is entitled, Muse. Clearly, the muse is with her. David F. Rooney photo
Enchantment, by Keisha Treber. David F. Rooney photo
This work, Coral, is something completely different for Keisha Teber — layers of acrylic paint built up on glass. David F. Rooney photo
Essence, by Keisha Treber. David F. Rooney photo


Alberta potter Darlene Swan is showing her whimsical and oh-so-much-fun pottery at the Visual Arts Centre this month. The opening reception for her show, called Bowls of Life, is on Friday at 6 pm. This particular piece is entitled Mackenzie Avenue. David F. Rooney photo


Alberta ceramist Darlene Swan's Elephants Round the Rosie clearly captures her sense of whimsey. David F. Rooney photo


This gorgeous piece is entitled Poppy Chalice. David F. Rooney photo


This is Darlene Swan's Rocky and His Buddies Welcome Spring. David F. Rooney photo


Canal Flats painter Paula Cravens is a highly productive artist with a fine sense of style and whimsey. That comes through in this show, Figuratively Speaking, in general and this piece, Little Miss Sunshine, in particular. David F. Rooney photo


Lenore, by Paula Cravens, is clearly an homage to Edgar Allan Poe. David F. Rooney photo


An air of mystery clings to this portrait, Draped Model. David F. Rooney photo


Melancholy seems to say it all with this portrait. David F. Rooney photo