This Friday: Incredible ceramics, touching art stories and a Full Metal Basket of sculpture

By David F. Rooney

As many people in town know: I’m biased. I’m not saying I’m prejudiced, mind you, but I love art, whether it’s creating, viewing or buying it. I can’t seem to get enough of art most of the time, however, I must say that the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre’s three new exhibitions — Full Metal Basket, Emerging from the Fire and the Members’ Choice show — are almost enough to sate my artistic appetite.

The three shows open Friday at 6 pm and provide patrons with not just a visual feast, but some insight into how and why artists themselves collect certain pieces.

Full Metal Basket by Nakusp’s Kate Tupper once again demonstrates that she is a young woman who knows how to exploit the power of metal to impress and intimidate. Most of the impressive, even monumental, works in this one-woman show, which fills the main gallery, are created using industrial strapping. However, she also has two other works that, though they are also constructed using metal, are much lighter hearted (indeed, almost whimsical) than the others.

Emerging from the Fire features new ceramics by Nancy Geismar, David Walker and Cat Mather. Nancy is a well-known potter, who taught in Calgary and is one of the founding members of the Revelstoke Potters Guild. Her works are always a visual treat and she has many fine examples of her work on display in this show. David and Cat have both been exploring pottery for the last few years and their power over that medium has been growing rapidly.

The Members’ Choice show offers a glimpse inside the private collections of Visual Arts Society members, most of them artists. Not only have they generously loaned some of their works but they also explained what it was that drew them to those particular works. Some of the stories are quite interesting and some are event touching.

But don;t take my word for it. Come to the three-hour opening on Friday evening at 6! In the meantime, here are some images from the three shows that should whet your appetite:

Sculptress Kate Tupper has a series of interesting steel works on display at the Visual Arts Centre. Her show, Full Metal Basket, is impressive. David F. Rooney photo
This sculpture by Kate Tupper is a little different from others she has shown here. David F. Rooney photo
This raku work by David Walker is entitled, simply, Decorative Vessel, and is part of the very impressive Emerging from the Fire exhibition of works by Walker, Nancy Geismar and Cat Mather. David F. Rooney photo


Nancy Geismar's Salmon Urn, is a masterful piece and is very nicely set off by David Walker's imaginative Plate. David F. Rooney photo
Cat Mather's Big Devil needs no explanation and is one of a series of Devil's Club-themed works. David F. Rooney photo.
This work, called Mountain Vase, is by David Walker. David F. Rooney photo
Nancy Geismar has produced two sets of decorative hangings for the show. This one incorporates Chinese calligraphy; the other, the traditional elements. David F. Rooney photo
This lovely piece, entitled Chair Patterns, is by Cat Mather and has a distinctly 1930s quality. David F. Rooney photo
This carving by Elmer Gunderson from cottonwood bark is one of several privately collected works owned by local Visual Arts Society members, in this case by Ken Sakamoto. Of this piece, Ken said: "Elmer's art was featured in Wood Carving Magazine and I made contact by mail offering him a gift of carving gouges. He accepted and sent me this carving of cottonwood bark." David F. Rooney photo
This glass wheat sheaf comes from the collection of Carol Palladino who says of it: "My piece is a bundle of glass wheat by Saskatchewan artist Jacqueline Berting. In the early '90s I had seen news coverage on TV about an art installation titled The Glass Wheat Field, a 400-square-foot base containing 14,000 sheaves of glass wheat that was a salute to the Canadian farmer during difficult economic times and I thought, 'How amazing and how beautiful!' of the light scintillating across the glass field. A couple of years later my mother and niece came out to visit and on our way home to Revelstoke from Calgary we stopped in at a gallery in Banff that sold separate piece of glass wheat by this artist and they also had one bundle left. It was the most money I had ever spent on artwork and my mom threw in a few dollars as well. I love glass and I also love the symbolism of wheat and this small sculpture still pleases me greatly and is also a lovely memory of my mother." David F. Rooney photo
This painting owned by Sherrin Davis has a lovely story attached to it: "This painting has crossed the Canadian/U.S. border several times. While living in Fauquier, we became friends with Niilo and Roberta. After several years living in Canada, they made the decision to return to their original home in Wilamina, Oregon. A few years passed when we had the opportunity to visit them in Oregon. Roberta had recently participated in some oil painting lessons. She showed me several of her works and asked me which one I liked best. I pointed to this one and she said that was the one she won a blue ribbon for at the county fair. The following morning we were packing up the car to leave, when I noticed propped up on the back seat was this painting! She wanted me to have it and I was thrilled to accept. Several years passed. We received word that Niilo and Roberta’s house had burned. They had lost everything. I carefully packaged this painting and shipped it to them. This way they could at least have a little something of the past. More years passed. The news this time was Roberta had passed away. I mentioned to my husband that I would like to ask Niilo if I could have the painting back. I immediately felt ashamed of having such thoughts. More years had passed and now we lived in Revelstoke. An unexpected knock at the door was Niilo. He introduced us to his new lady friend They spent the night and we enjoyed their company. In the morning, Niilo went out to his vehicle and came in with the painting for me. We had a few tears and exchanged hugs. I treasure this painting." David F. Rooney photo