By Natelle Fitzgerald
“Evening shadows on Balsam Lake. Everything is quiet, the tourists have gone home,” artist Wendy Mould wrote in her journal as she settled into Balsam Lake Cabin at the summit of Mount Revelstoke for the night. Mould, along with eight other artists, spent time at the cabin and nearby studio this summer to reflect, create and be inspired.
After spending time on the mountain, each artist created three works to celebrate Mount Revelstoke National Park’s 100 Year Anniversary. Their works, which include paintings, drawings, silks and ceramics, capture the Park’s stunning colors, textures, seasonal changes and wildlife. Combined, they make up Art in the Park 2014: Celebrating 100 Years of Mount Revelstoke National Park, an exhibit which opens at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre (RVAC) this Friday.
The opening will also feature a photography exhibit by local youth from the Glacier Adventure Stewardship Program (GASP) and local artist Jo C. Willems’ show Journey.
Art in the Park 2014 grew out of a partnership between the Revelstoke Visual Arts Society (RVAS) and Parks Canada. Artists were allowed to stay overnight at the Balsam Lake Cabin and to use the studio in order to create work commemorating the Park’s centennial. “It’s a great way to celebrate what we have on our doorstep; a way to remind people what a beautiful place we live in,” says Jackie Pendergast, director of RVAS. “It gives artists an opportunity to work in the field.”
The exhibit includes work by Revelstoke artists Mas Matsushita, Tanis Rebbetoy, Eve Fisher, Susan Lind and Jo C. Willems, as well as Caroline Scagel from Mayne Island, Valerie Rogers from Salmon Arm and Wendy Mould from Surrey.
Also on display will be a view of Glacier National Park through the eyes of Revelstoke youth. The many striking photographs taken by participants in the Glacier Adventure Stewardship Program (GASP), feature thoughtful close-ups of mushrooms and lichen, vibrant images of rushing water and varied perspectives on the natural world. The young photographers spent three days in Glacier National Park where expert volunteers Kip Wiley and Keri Knapp shared their photography skills. GASP is a Parks Canada youth program that offers photography, music, backcountry and hiking experiences.
Jo C. Willems’ show Journey takes the viewer on a visual trip through mountains and forests in a variety of moods. Willems is an avid mountain biker and many of the large 20’ x 30’ paintings feature trails that lead the eye forward, making you wonder what’s around the next corner. Willems uses gouache, a water-based paint which is heavier than traditional water colours. The results are incredibly detailed, intricate landscapes with great depth.
The opening runs from 6 pm to 9 pm this Friday, with an official opening ceremoney at 7 pm. The exhibits will be on display until December 5.
Here are some of the images you’ll see at this show: