ViewPoint Art Gallery is proud to represent 38 artists from the Kootenay Region. These are a few of the talented artists that are featured in the Gallery.

Finding SerentityKaren Thatcher (quilts)

Karen Thatcher, accomplished master art quilter from Rossland joins the Gallery. Twenty years ago Karen was a paramedic and while working in the back of a BC Ambulance during the transfer of a patient over the Paulson Summit from Grand Forks to Trail aviolent head-on collision occurred. Karen suffered a brain injury, which altered her life dramatically. She had severe problems concentrating, forming short-term memories and organizing thoughts. To help with her rehabilitation process her family encouraged her to take up quilting. Due to her brain injury she couldn’t grasp the repetitive designs, be precise or follow someone else’s patterns so she created her own style, which evolved into innovative techniques. As Karen began piecing her life back together she began to create the most beautiful exquisite quilts; creating scenes from memories, or piecing together pictures of her favourite places resulting in quilts like no other. Her quilts have won numerous awards nationally and internationally, have been in many publications and are hung everywhere from government buildings, hospitals to private collections. Karen has donated many of her quilts, in order to fundraise for many causes including one that is currently at ViewPoint Art Gallery (in a raffle) in efforts to raise money for the Red Cross Wildfires with 100% of the funds going to victims of wildfires in the Kootenay region. 

Karen says that “The challenge was to build quilts that include the non-tangible, important things of life: finding serenity, finding peace, finding space, finding perspective. Those are all things that we look for in life but are hard to place in a two-dimensional quilt.” The beauty of her quilts is no matter your age, or background you can look at her work and be drawn into a place that reminds you of somewhere you have been or takes you to a place of serenity. As Karen says, “everyone needs a place to go to find peace.”

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Rib Bowl, Sarah Lawless

Sarah Lawless is a ceramic artist based in Kaslo, BC, and a graduate of Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College. Her line of porcelain pottery has a sculptural emphasis on form, with soft matte glazes that feel like skin, fired in an electric kiln. Her earthenware pieces are fired in a sawdust kiln to create smoked surfaces. They are sealed with terra sigilatta (fine-particled clay) or burnished & sealed with beeswax, with glazed interiors making them functional for food and liquid. Sarah has worked as assistant to world-renowned ceramic artist Wayne Ngan, and received several awards, including 2008 BC Creative Achievement Award. In 2012, she was nominated for the national RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Her work is shown and collected across Canada, the USA, and overseas. Sarah taught kindergarten in Bangkok, Thailand, and has been an occasional instructor at Kootenay School of the Arts, as well as giving workshops for adults, children, and youth.

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Sova (Bronze), Daniel Kloc

Daniel Kloc (Castlegar) After a four-year study in mixed media at Kootenay School of the Arts, Daniel went on to work at Pyramid Bronze in Kelowna. Upon his return to the Kootenay’s, he has been involved in the Castlegar Sculpture walk, has exhibited his bronze sculptures in outdoor exhibitions locally, as well as Euclaire, Wisconsin and Sioux Falls, North Dakota. In 2011 he won best in show in the Castlegar Sculpture walk. Klac’s work is in private collections as well as on permanent display in downtown Castlegar.

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Pottery, Heather Lippert

Heather Lippert(Nelson) loves clay for its transformational properties. Coming from the earth clay is delicate, supple, responsive to touch then to create something with it to become strong and enduring. With stoneware she creates beautiful handmade objects for daily use. Using the form to define function often with a whimsical touch. Heather wants everyday objects to reflect the beauty in life. She incorporates texture, pattern and surface decoration with colour and form to make utilitarian objects come alive. Like many artists she is deeply influenced by the natural environment around her, but also by architecture, machinery, and the myriad ways we inhabit our world.

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Hand-Made End cut Cutting Boards, AMC Naturals

Aidan McLaren-Caux (Nakusp) owner of AMC naturals makes beautiful End-Grain cutting boards. All of the boards are unique and handmade in Nakusp using premium, kiln-dried local, domestic and exotic wood. The vertical orientation of the grain keeps your knives sharper for longer and the board itself is essentially self-healing from knife marks as the grains naturally close back up after each use.

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Wheel thrown vessels with handmade candles, Candace Green

Candace Green (Rossland) is a potter and ceramicist who is well known for her minimalist, functional ceramics. Working with organic sustainable materials and wheel thrown clay, she creates each piece with unique glazing techniques, passion and patience.

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Lamps (Rice Paper & wood), Carley Warmen

At a very young age Carley Warman developed a keen appreciation for how lighting can affect not only the ambience within a room, but how an individual feels both physically and emotionally. Initiated by the realization that florescent lighting is a trigger for migraine headaches, an unfortunate finding soon led to a passion for using lighting to produce the opposite effects felt by florescent tubes. This early found passion led Carley to SAIT where she studied electricity and worked in the electrical field, which would couple with her lifelong pursuit of the arts and allow her to take her lighting projects from an image in her mind’s eye to a completed project. She has been producing lamps right here in the Kootenays for over a decade. Although her lamps in the past have been produced from a variety of materials, she very much enjoys working with natural materials like wood and rice paper, as there is a grounding component to these materials that she feels further adds to the mood produced by her lamps. Carley designs and builds each lamp on an individual basis, each one being an artistic release, and a one of a kind creation.

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Three Hot Dots (oil), Jennifer Hagel

Jennifer Hagel (Nelson) received a diploma of Fine Arts at Langara College (2010) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2012). She believes that these two institutions provided a well-rounded art education as a result of Langara’s primary focus on the technical fundamentals of art and design in contrast to Emily Carr’s more conceptual approach to art-making. Jennifer’s studio’ practice focuses on translating aspects of her outdoor experiences into the visual language of abstract and landscape painting. By exploring these two registers of representation to convey the same subject, she gets to explore multiple facets of that experience. As a result, the paintings in her collection are reflexive investigations, which oscillate between abstraction and representation. The colours, lighting, and patterns of her landscapes are often reflective of her intuitive abstractions. Through these paintings, she seeks to recreate an experience, rather than replicate the mere visual aspects of one. However, due to their ambiguous nature, these works are intended to leave space for the viewer’s own interpretation.

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Nathan Smith, (Metalworker)

Nathan Smith (Nelson) started working with metal in 2003, and in 2006, launched his own business Sunsmith Design. His works are diverse ranging from custom commissions in the Nelson Area, to large-scale public art installations throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Known for his sculptural sundials, he was commissioned by the Calgary Zoo and the City of Summerland to create one a of a kind public art armillary style sundials. His sculptures have featured four years running in Castlegar Sculpture Walk. His piece V Formation was awarded 1st place for the Artistic Merit Award and 2nd place for The People’s Choice in 2015. He has recently completed a contract with the City of Nelson to create a 80 ft. artistic railing called Mountains and Clouds located along the waterfront. Smith is inspired by nature and beautiful design, blending modern metalwork with curves and flair. He finds joy in the creative process of designing and fabricating original art.

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Brandon Cator, (Woodcarver)

At almost 3000 ft. above sea level, off grid, surrounded by wilderness, Brandon Cator says he lives in a universe that consists of six months of winter and six months of not winter. His days consist of chopping wood, hauling drinking water from a near by creek, melting snow on the wood stove, wandering around in the mountains and carving wood. Brandon’s inspiration comes from observing the world around him and living a simple undistracted life style. His materials come from beaches, his land, the woods and logging burn piles. “I love shopping in the woods” he says. As the snow melts and spring emerges so does of all the creative woodwork that Brandon has spent the winter carving and creating. From beautifully crafted wood tables to unique hand-carved wood bowls and sculptural pieces. 

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Ocean Bead, Lori Steel (Jewelry)

Lori Steel(Slocan Valley) became intrigued with the world of art glass over 15 years ago after taking her first series of lessons in the art of stained glass. Several years later she began creating commissioned pieces and teaching stained glass to others. It was in 2004 that she was introduced to the world of soft glass and the art of lampworking. She attended The Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee learning techniques from the Master Lampwork instructors. Lori broadened her exploration of this medium by learning techniques from some of the most recognized lampwork artists on the west coast. Lori finds inspiration for her work in nature; the stones and waves on a beach, flowers in her garden and the endless variations of colour and texture in the mountain forest. She translates what she sees around her in nature into creating individual one-of-a-kind glass beads, which she fashions into stunning jewelry.

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Spring Perch (Acrylic), Lee Rawn

Lee Rawn (Nelson) completed a five year apprenticeship, with Silver Glade Pottery in Salmon Arm, attended Cariboo College’s Ceramics program and was a member of the Thompson Valley Potters Guild for fifteen years (and has been with the Thompson Valley Potters guild for fifteen years.) She is a self-taught painter. Her work has developed and grown with over forty years of dedicated practice and workshops. In 1996 she was presented the Marie Manson Award and grant and the Juror’s Choice Award, at the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts. Lee taught the CMHA painting group for sixteen years and ran an acrylic workshop for the Nelson Rotary Club which will continue yearly. Her work, both pottery and painting, has been exhibited at various venues throughout the province. Lee’s painting and pottery, focuses on the natural world, flowers, animals and landscapes. Moving between painting and pottery keeps her work fresh and allows her to draw on both disciplines with each enhancing the other.

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BlackbirdsBrenda Pirie (glass mosaic)

Brenda Pirie (Harrop) has been creating stained glass and mosaics for around 30 years. Inspired by colour and light she allows her imagination to guide her as she creates her own designs. Brenda collects handmade and antique glass from the ruins of historic architecture such as turn of the century houses and churches. She also incorporates antique chandelier crystals into her designs. By reclaiming materials there is a little bit of history that lives on through Brenda’s stained glass works of art.

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Bonsai, Bruce Burgener (wire sculpture)

Bruce Burgener (Nelson) has always had a passion for the art of Bonsai. After years of tending to his collection of Bonsai, he realized it was going to take decades to reach his styling efforts. Late at night he began experimenting with wire to create forms he visualized. Slowly wire bonsai started to appear all throughout his house and people would comment on the beauty of the sculptures. Fast-forward to today and he now creates one of a kind pieces of art for the tree lovers to admire all year round. 

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Kokanee (acrylic), Andrea Gardner

Andrea Gardner(Nelson) has been an artist since childhood, creating art in various forms, but has focussed on painting for the last twelve years. She works primarily in acrylics but also dabbles in oils and watercolours. Andrea is always exploring new subjects found in nature, trying to capture the joy, essence and recollection of the subject matter. Her paintings have a realistic feel to them because she has worked diligently in a loose and playful sort of way in order to recapture that first impression of experiencing nature first-hand.

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Seven Summits (inlaid wood panel)Russ Lafreniere

Russ Lafreniereis a self-taught wood worker who was born and raised in the West Kootenay. His art is created with recycled and local wood to replicate the scenery, which surrounds him on a daily basis. He is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hike and be with nature for inspiration. Russ resides in Montrose, BC.

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Bear Bath (Watercolour), Sandra Irvine

Sandra Irvine, grew up in Northern BC, She developed a strong attachment and appreciation for wild, remote places. Her subject matter often includes scenes that have impressed her with their power and mystery and she strives to communicate emotions through her work. She works in watercolour, and is drawn to the soft edges, transparency, and colour mixing qualities it provides. Most recently she has been studying the painting techniques and colour choices used by the Impressionists. She also enjoys painting with mixed media, acrylic and oil. Sandra is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and has participated in and won awards in juried FCA shows.

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Kootenay Henge,Kate Bridger (Fabric Art)

Kate Bridger, trained as a landscape architect and experienced as a graphic designer and publisher, Kate began stitching her way into small craft shows and, soon after, art galleries over 30 years ago while living in a small town in northern Ontario. Kate has since won awards for her meticulously detailed renderings of everything from rusty trucks to magnificent landscapes, street scenes to fruit bowls, abstracts to domestica (yes, even the kitchen sink!). Kate is also an experienced picture framer and workshop instructor. She has lived in Nelson for twenty-five years, published four books, raised two sons, owned a downtown gallery, offered interior design consultations and even worked in real estate. Today, she works full time at her art, exhibiting locally as well as abroad. Her most recent project, Made On Monday, has attracted participants from around the globe and continues to inspire others.

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Settlement (Mixed Media)Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith, holds a BA hons. in Fine Art Printmaking and has been a practicing visual artist for over 20 years. Natasha’s personal and physical environment inspires her most recent work, which combines printmaking, collage, assemblage and painting. Natasha is a self-defined teaching artist who works from her studio in Krestova, in the West Kootenays B.C. teaches locally through Oxygen Art Centre and in the summer teaches at Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts and Red Deer’s Summer Series.

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Feather Necklace, Jenn Sabean (jewelry)

Jenn Sabean, from Nelson, BC, creates her chic line of jewelry, Tubes of a Feather from up-cycled bicycle tubes that were otherwise destined for the dump. A range of hand cut shapes including feathers, leaves, and strands from black bike tubes are made into earrings & necklaces, paired with sterling silver & brass chain and fixtures. Materials are sourced from local bike shops and her fellow riders; often after an unexpected adventure from a popped tube while in ‘flight’. She also donates a portion of her annual sales to World Bicycle Relief. 

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Macbeth Icefield (Acrylic), Abby Wilson

Abby Wilson, an emerging artist from Nelson, BC. Spending her summers hiking in the West Kootenay she strives to capture her love of the local mountains with bright, colourful acrylic landscapes. Working from photographs as well as pencil, ink, and watercolour sketches made along the trail she works to develop paintings that focus on the majestic mountain landscapes. She uses colour and shape to push the structure of the mountains towards the surreal, striving to capture the feelings of other worldly bliss and awe that come with exploring the wilderness. Mostly self-taught with a few workshops and community classes over the years she also spends time studying other Canadian landscape artists and draws inspiration from the Group of Seven, particularly the work of Lawren S. Harris. 

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Patchwork Chicks Frolicking In The Daisies(Mixed Media), Laura Leeder

Laura Leeder, lives in Creston Valley, she is an avid flower gardener and loves to spend time outdoors, walking, fishing, boating and bird watching. Her paintings are inspired by nature as can be seen in her latest series. Her work has been exhibited in Alberta, BC, the United States, and can be found in private collections throughout Canada, the UK, France, Japan and the United States. Recently, her work has been featured in the US publication Tea Time magazine, and various on-line business blogs, including feature articles in local Kootenay newspapers. Laura’s new mixed media series opens the heart to the delight resulting from an intimate connection with the outdoors. Gardens, birds, and surrounding landscape are created through collage and techniques reminiscent of art deco and stained glass. Her stylized paintings sparkle with lighthearted and expressive celebrations of nature, and often include a touch of whimsy. 

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Painting of grizzlies in acrylic on galena slate, Barb Butchart

Barb Butchart Don’t be surprised if you find her on the edge of a mountain road photographing wildlife, whether it’s grizzlies or bighorn sheep. With camera in hand, she is always on the lookout for opportunities to photograph material and inspiration for her paintings. While Barb pursues many creative outlets, acrylic painting, pet portraits, and photography have become her focus. Pyrography (burning into veneer and artist conks with a heated pen) has become her latest addition. She is continually building her body of work, trying new techniques and subjects. She experiments with surfaces as well; her paintings of wildlife on galena slate are a beautiful addition to any collection. She supports local wildlife charities, donates artwork to the Nelson SPCA for their fundraisers and volunteers at the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre during the summers, drawing with children & youth and sharing her love of art and nature. She was recently a finalist for her painting of bighorn sheep in the BC Wildlife Federation Artist of the Year 2017. Barb lives in Nelson, where she was born and raised.

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Mt. Nelson, in sterling silver and Labradorite stone, Emma Harvey 

Emma Harvey Growing up in a small town in the South-East of England, Emma was encouraged to draw and paint from a young age, yet never really progressed beyond sketchbook scribbling! After graduating university in 2006, travelling became the driving force in her life and the next ten years saw her scuba diving, trekking and road tripping around several continents. Eventually, on a dirty Greyhound bus west of Calgary, Emma was embraced by the Rockies for the first time and instantly felt a sense of belonging like never before. A few years later she inherited a ring once owned by her great-grandmother; a talented singer for the BBC World Service during World War Two, and, as a singer herself, this piece carried enormous emotional and sentimental value. The idea of being able to craft something that has deep personal significance for it’s owner – perhaps even being passed down through generations – compelled her to explore this further and she enrolled in the Jewelry Program at the Kootenay School of the Arts just a few months later. Her work is a celebration of the fabulous lifestyles and environments, which we are lucky enough to enjoy every day in the Kootenays. She finds nature to be the ultimate source of ideas, always changing, always surprising and always inspiring in its relentless beauty.

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Highline Travelers (Watercolour), Terri Austin-Beech

Terri Austin-Beech works for the most part in water-media, but also uses coloured pencil, drawing media and pastels. Terri has been a full-time, professional artist since 1995, born in the United States, and currently living and working in Glade, British Columbia, Canada. Before following ‘the oil patch’ to Canada, Terri exhibited her paintings in over fifty US regional, national and international juried exhibitions from 1997-2004. She is fascinated with modern science, and often finds inspiration in her presentation through the Quantum physics concept that “some particles only appear when you look for them.” She is currently working from her Hobby farm in Glade. 

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First Full Moon Owl (Acrylic), Christina Bykowa

Chrystyna Bykowa (Nelson, BC) Inspiration comes to Chrystyna through nature and she intuitively forms her compositions with shapes, colours and creatures. Her art is like candy, colourful, happy and sweet and her process involves a lot of layering in each piece. From a distance each painting comes alive and closer up the viewers can lose themselves in the detail. She combines abstract backgrounds with a hint of realism giving her work a whimsical feel to tickle imaginations.

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Pottery by Nicole Tarasiuk

Nicole Tarasiuk (Nelson, BC) Born from a long line of artists, Nicole has always loved art and making, the sparklier, the messier the better. Her training includes Fine Arts on the West Coast of Canada, a Master’s Level diploma at the Kutenai Art therapy Institute in Nelson BC, a diploma in Ceramics through KSA at Selkirk College, and certification as a Clay Field Therapist, through Cornelia Elbrecht, international trainer, clinician and Art Therapist. This combination of art and therapy has irrevocably altered her relationship with art, understanding process and identity as a human being. Currently Nicole is collaborating with the alive material of clay. In keeping with the notion of Bread & Roses, which holds both practicality and beauty as necessary in life, she finds herself making pieces that are both beautiful and functional, process born and successful products.

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Wildfire Sunset (Oil), Tia Reyden

Tia Reyden (Salmo, BC) An avid drawer all her life, Tia started painting after the birth of her first child. Now a busy mom of three, she squeezes in time for art whenever possible. Tia studied art history at both Capilano College and Vancouver Island University; eventually earning a diploma in Interior Design from the latter. Since moving to the Kootenays in 2007 she has enjoyed exploring the region and illustrating her experience on canvas. She is inspired by the life cycles found in the changing seasons. She aims to capture and represent the ever-changing qualities of light. Her work embodies the ephemeral aspects of life. 

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Gold Lion (Acrylic & Ink), Lindsay Dew

Lindsay Dew (Nelson, BC) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD), majoring in Fine Arts. Lindsay also attended École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in Paris, France. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Lindsay Dew’s artwork aims to capture the emotional memory of a place rather than simply document it. Her artwork comments on our connection to land and our personal relationship to our surroundings. Lindsay grew up in a variety of landscapes yet was always drawn to the landscape of her roots, mountains. She was fascinated by the long history of countries she visited. Born in Canada, a relatively young country, Lindsay came to the realization that our deep-rooted Canadian history is recorded and celebrated in our natural environment. Lindsay views mountain ranges as holding and recording history of the land. Seasonal transitions reflect environmental climate changes, which can also be witnessed in these mountain ranges. In viewing these painted landscapes, the observer may recount personal memories and past experiences. The observer may feel drawn to a specific painting because it evokes a feeling which reminds them of a landscape they have experienced.

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Columbia Basins, Diane Walters (Pottery)

Diane Walters, (Nelson, BC) is a lifelong potter with extensive experience working with low, medium and high fire clays and glazes, handbuilding, sculpture and wheel techniques. Diane regularly participates in workshops for advanced potters, and attends the NCECA National Council of Ceramic Educators conference in the USA annually. Her work is in galleries in Alberta and BC. She is a member of the BC Potters Guild. Her fascination with the earth’s sedimentary layers and mountainous landscapes led her to explore this theme in her “Womanscape” basins and tectonic platters. These works depict geological form and movement using natural oxides and sculptural formations, which call out the message that the earth is alive, and she is holding us at the table.

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Sunset, Michel Griffin Rain (Photography)

Michel Griffin Rain (Griff) grew up in the beautiful Skagit Valley of Washington State. He began his photography studies in San Diego, California during high school and eventually returned to his beloved Pacific Northwest. Currently he resides in picturesque British Columbia where he continues practicing his love of photography. With a great desire to know the never-ending depths of his art form, Griff has worked in just about every aspect of photography. He has also owned and operated a gallery, professional photographic labs, managed a number of large-scale professional photographic labs in Seattle and San Diego. Griff began showing his artwork in galleries in 1979 and has been shown internationally for which he has received numerous awards for his fine art photography of Figure Studies and Digital Abstracts. Griff has been teaching photography since 1985.

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Sheepdog Trials, Rabi’a (Bronze)

Rabi’a was born in Holland, her family of ten immigrated to Canada in 1958 arriving on her 15th birthday. Rabi’a came to her calling as an artist, sculptor via many bends in the road and not until she was in her 60’s. Carving river rocks led to mosaics, to working with glass, ceramics, textiles and some community teaching. Her greatest passion is cobbling rusty bits of steel together to create -something. Inspiration far outruns her ability to keep up. Scrounging for materials is a large part of he creative process. She is largely self-taught, easily learning the language of new tools and materials. Her motto is “try it, what’s to loose?”and what feed’s her soul is shape, colour and design.Her art can be found in public places: Dancing Myself and the Hall Street Mosaic Project in Nelson and a variety of other sculptures in Castlegar, Penticton and Creston. Her work is also in private collections in England, Holland, Australia, Israel, Hawaii and at the Artful Lodger (her studio gardens) in Winlaw, BC.

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Julia Shalman, (Jewelry)

Julia Shalman is a longtime resident of Nelson. She attended the Jewelry Program at Kootenay School of the Arts and now enjoys designing and fabricating silver jewelry, incorporating gemstones and other metals. Inspired by nature, she develops her designs from elements she sees on her outdoor adventures.

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On the Forest Floor, Nicole Dickieson (Acrylic)

Nicole Dickieson was born in Abbotsford BC and has lived in the Nelson area most of her life. Nicole is mostly self taught has loved creating art for as long as she can remember. The beautiful scenery in the area inspires her. She mostly paints landscapes in acrylic but also loves to draw with charcoal and occasionally experiments with watercolour and other mediums. She does animal portraits and has recently started painting murals. As well as being an artist, Nicole is also a mother of three and a volunteer firefighter.