ViewPoint Art Gallery is proud to represent over 70 artists and artisans from the Kootenay Region as well as select guest artists from within BC. These are a few of the talented artists that are featured in the Gallery.
Kim Freeman’s paintings come from exploring and connecting with her new home of Nelson, BC and the surrounding Kootenay area. The references are varied; landscape, figurative and architectural that become vehicles to express an interplay of idea and actuality. Her goal is for the work to have intrigue with sumptuous colour and hints of the recognizable through space, object or symbol that will communicate experience of the locale and perhaps produce some connections for the viewer.
Sam Millard (Kimberly) was born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to Canada in 2008. She likes to think she possesses the best of both worlds; English humour, sarcasm and tolerance for inclement weather as well as Canadian kindness, sense of adventure and a mild obsession of maple syrup. Millard’s experiences of the UK and Canada are often reflected in her work; her artistic style began developing in her birth country and ‘Kootenay Passion’ shows her love for her adopted country. She studied art at Long Road College in Cambridge, UK, and has obtained further knowledge through life experience. At Long Road, she discovered magic of colour and shape in the work of Franz Marc. Cubism and futurism have been a big influence on her complex artistic style development. While her work can be quite abstract, she always maintains a familiar form for the viewer to connect and identify with.
Darlene Purnell (Cranbrook) is an Alcohol Ink and Fibre artist whose roots are deeply intertwined in the Rocky Mountains. The mountains, wildlife and flowers of the Kootenay area continue to challenge and inspire her. She has taught locally and has enjoyed the challenge of creating commission work. Her work can be found in private collections in Canada, USA, Australia and Europe.
Diane Walters (Nelson) 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 pottery line ‘Emergence’ is currently exploring liminal spaces, capturing the line between the vast space of light and warmth resulting in the emergence of life.
Dayna Larson (Nelson) feels her art is an extension of herself – a helping hand during trying times. Painting has been a form of therapy for herself, and she hopes to bring positive light to whomever lays their eyes on her paintings. Her goal as an artist is to bring the viewer to a place of beauty or an escape from reality.
Patt Scrivenerhas honed her creative skills on a daily basis her entire adult life through her work as a floral and interior stylist. In 1984 she started painting in watercolour and on silk. Her art education has been acquired through self-directed independent study. She facilitates workshops and a mentorship program in her Parksville Studio. Patt is a signature (AFCA) member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and a member of the DeCosmos Fine Arts Society. Her work has been in juried Exhibitions in BC and has received numerous awards. Patt works in several mediums – acrylic, cold wax and oil and encaustic. Her style is mainly representational abstract. Her techniques are scraping, layering, incising and much of her work is done without the use of a brush. Favorite subject matters include figurative, landscapes and non objective work. Patt’s palette consists of bright rich colours with her signature colours of teal, red and orange.
Jean Aubin Gardiner (Nelson) finds that the alchemy of earth (clay) keeps her singing about life and its wonders. Jeans pottery is RAKU, which is a traditional Japanese process. The ware is transferred from a 1400 F kiln and quickly smothered into beds of paper or woodchips then plunged into water. The smoky carbon effects left on the pottery are soft and have vivid contrasting colouration. The most important element of the character of RAKU is this softness of surface between the clay and glazes. Jean is a graduate of UBC, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Lyon France and she apprenticed at H. Billard, Poterie de Laas, France and A. Gutman, Poterie d’Oingt, France. Her work is in collections in North America, France and England.
Renée Harper is an artist, writer and college professor who resides in the mountains of the West Kootenays. Renée studied painting, mixed media art and creative writing at Kootenay School of the Arts before earning a BA from the University of Toronto and an MA in literature from York University. Renée was a member of the Jasper Artist Guild and has shown her work and published her work in various venues and platforms over the years. Renée is a professor at Selkirk College, a board member on the Kootenay Literary Society, and a faculty advisor at the Black Bear Review, Selkirk Colleges Literary and Arts Magazine.
Susanne Morris recently said that she feels that she’s the epitome of what they say about a true Gemini…driven by curiosity, soaking up knowledge like a sponge and full of ideas. Susanne is a self-taught jewellery artist that is hugely influenced by her surroundings, living on a piece of land nestled amongst the beautiful mountains surrounding Nelson. Mixed metals and gemstones (of course!) are her passion and Susanne has, over the years, immersed herself in gaining the skills and knowledge that allow her to bring her ideas to life via this art form. Where do the ideas come from? Sometimes she says that it’s pretty hard to have a good sleep because she’ll need to run down to her studio to sketch out a new design or idea….all the while trying not to wake her husband and 3 dogs at 2 a.m.! Susanne has an affinity and love of colour, texture, shape and form, which she incorporates into each and every piece that she creates. Susanne is sanctioned to do her work as a jeweller by our hosting Indigenous nation, the Sinixt. Susanne descends from Cree, Irish and European heritage
John Richardswas born and raised in Regina Saskatchewan. He earned a B.ED from the University of Regina and taughtjunior and senior high school students for 12 years at Frontier Collegiate in northern Manitoba. John provided instruction in a number of areas including: pottery, drawing, stone carving, calligraphy, painting and art history. The school had a residence and approximately 70% of the students were from indigenous communities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. John retired from teaching and moved to the Kootenays in 1988 to pursue personal art interests while doing so he worked as a homecare worker in the Nelson area for over twenty years before retiring in 2015. John’s time spent working as an art instructor with indigenous peoples has been a significant influence on his work as an artist.
“Every piece of the local chlorite from the Duncan Valley that I work with contains a unique form, my job as a carver is to remove the excess and reveal it”
Ray Brock was born and raised in Nelson. After Ray’s 36 years of teaching an adult special education program at Selkirk College he decided to “rewire” instead of retire by further developing artistic talents he had explored over the years. Working with wood had always been of interest, and now he had time to dedicate to developing the skills needed to match his visions. Ray is primarily self-taught as a sculptor, although his father, Rolfe Brock, who was an accomplished artist, proved to be a wonderful advisor and mentor. Ray’s first public show was a joint father/son offering in Nelson Art Walk. His latest show was at the Hive Gallery in Canmore Alberta. Ray finds the creative process a sensual joy: the interplay of light and shadow as the pieces takes shape, the sounds of the tools interacting with the wood, the individual scent of each different wood. He particularly loves the tactile experience of running his hands over a sculpture that he is working on. For Ray, a piece is only complete when it both looks and feels “just right”.
Lindsay Dew (Nelson) 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.
Irma Coumantarakis is a fibre artist who enjoys spending time between her home in Edmonton and her cabin on Kootenay Lake, BC. Her inspiration is the beauty in nature from walks in the river valley in Edmonton and the dense woods around Kootenay Lake. Botanical printing is a process of discovery that is part mystery and magic. Leaves such as eucalyptus, maple, sumac and smokebush are gathered, placed on the natural fibres, bundled and then steamed. Fabrics that are used for this unique art form are organic cottons, vintage linens and habotai silks. Natural dyes are sometimes added to accentuate the colors produced from the botanicals. The result is a mosaic of colour and texture formed by organic alchemy and artistic creation.
Born to two artists, one an abstract painter and the other a weaver, Sienna Estes developed a love for the arts as a child. This love continued to expand and evolve as she grew up in the midst of the vibrant arts community of the West Kootenays. Through her early years of experimenting with many different media, Sienna recognised an undeniable passion for creating jewelry and a desire to learn the skills of silver-smithing. These propelled her forward from her at-home hobby to the learning environment of Kootenay Studio Arts, Selkirk College. There she honed her skills and developed her personal creative process, while earning a diploma in Jewelry. Sienna’s recent work includes a series which is an exploration of shapes and patterns inspired by the culture and architecture of Japan. These have been translated into sterling silver jewelry with the use of a one-of-a-kind handmade stamp and a unique bail. The designs of Sienna’s other pieces focus on shape and texture with a finish that invites the wearer to enjoy their tactile aspect. “I am so blessed to be able to spend my days in my home studio here in beautiful Nelson BC, designing, creating and exploring a medium that I love.”
Kathryn Newsom is a potter and mental health nurse living in Nelson, BC. She specializes in the creation of barrel-fired pottery, a technique that paints the surface of her pots with coloured smoke. Kathryn’s pieces evoke a sensual and emotional response through their enticing tactile qualities and captivating surface decorations. Each piece is unique and invites the viewer to search for personal meaning in its smoke-painted images. Kathryn combines classic forms with bold, elemental colours to produce her “contemplation pots”. There is no glaze used on these pots, so there is no separation between the hand and the clay. She throws her pots on a potter’s wheel and generally uses porcelain-bodied clays. The pot surfaces are often enhanced by rubbing them with smooth glass, to produce shine and a silky smoothness. Other pots are hammered, stamped or carved and then painted with a fine clay slip that is polished to a shine. Kathryn’s pots are fired into porous ceramic in an electric kiln. They are then placed in a large steel drum with a variety of powdered oxides, salt and organic materials. Many of the organic materials are sourced from the local forests. A wood fire is built on top of the pots and allowed to burn down through the drum. While there is a certain level of control, the results are always unpredictable and unique. It is this element of surprise that keeps Kathryn devoted to this alternative pottery technique.
Chasch Ray is originally from the outskirts of Montreal and was first introduced to ceramics as a teenager. Following a pottery apprenticeship in southern France she moved to British Columbia. Her appreciation and love of pottery was always there, surfacing when time permitted as she worked as an Environmental Health Officer in Nelson for 20 years. In 2014, Chasch attended the KSA ceramics program and has been following her passion potting full-time at her beautiful home studio in Harrop. Working mainly with mid-range stoneware she strives to give her work depth by layering several glazes, using an electric kiln programmed with a slow cool cycle. She produces a wide variety of functional wares both on the wheel and hand-built. Always striving to discover new and wonderful glaze combinations Chasch’s work is an ever-evolving playful discovery of the endless possibilities of pottery.
Razza Curos (Salmo) is a self-taught artist, who grew up off-grid in rock creek. She works in acrylic paint, often on recycled material painting landscapes, animals, and portraits as well as colourful fantasy.
Karen Guilbaultcame to Nelson in 1991. She began her painting career in watercolour and gouache painting women with animals and other mythological themes. Now she uses acrylic and mixed media to create richly textured trees, birds and landscapes inspired by her outdoor life – paddling and camping. She includes printmaking, college and poured acrylics in her work. Karen also creates coiled pine needle baskets with delicately decorated stones at the centre. In the fall, she collects Ponderosa pine needles for the following season.
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 domestic (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.
Glenn McCallum (Nelson) is a retired tradesman, having worked with his hands all his life. He has always taken his many skills into the arts, first as hobbies and now as a more serious artist. Glenn has worked with metal art and blacksmithing, acrylics, watercolours, wood carving and most recently, wood turning. His current passion is turning hollow-forms from local salvaged wood, otherwise destined for the fire pit! He is experimenting with a collaboration of wood with metal and epoxy accents. Glenn’s love of form and process is evident in his pieces.
Shayna Stonehouse (Nelson) was born with the love of nature and working with her hands. While working as an apprentice welder her interest in using metal for art was sparked. She pursued this interest through the Kootenay Studio Metal Sculpture program. Creating beauty in her favourite mediums of steel and bronze she launches onto the scene with a variety of work ranging from a stunning “Mardi Gras Mystique” bronze cast mask to everyday home décor such metal “branch“ shelf brackets, cast bronze doorknocker and bronze wall decor.
Damian John (Ymir) is a Tl’azt’en artist who loves to explore big colours, bold characters, and story. He incorporates the visual styles of native artists that were so prominent in his childhood, having some of the sensibilities of those artists show up in his work, but in a distinct style that is his own. His goal is always working towards art that expresses the beauty he sees in the world, to engage in fun and joy and whimsy and portray that to those who see his work. His work is in private and corporate collections across Canada, the First Peoples Cultural Council and has recently been commissioned for a 20’ x 10’ back-lit digital piece for in front of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.
Joanne Sideriusis a wildlife biologist, an educator and an avid naturalist. Dr. Siderius is a Kootenay resident whose photographs reflect her passion for conservation, ecology and nature. She is the senior naturalist at Kokanee Creek Nature Centre and has been part of many research teams investigating the behaviour of birds and animals in British Columbia and Ontario. She is also an amateur musician, a recreational hockey player and the busy owner of a very busy young Australian Shepherd.
Laurie Crawford (Kimberly) was raised in central Ontario on Lake Manitouwabing near Parry Sound. Her appreciation of rock and water was enhanced by her professional work with the Canadian Coast Guard. A change in career paths brought her west to the East Kootenays, which satisfied Laurie’s passion for both geology and water. Art has always been a part of her life in some shape or form. Laurie’s professional education was first in architecture then environmental sciences. Both have given her an appreciation of spacial awareness, structure and the natural environment. Laurie originally designed in fibre arts, however has since developed a passion for oil painting. As with all artists, Laurie’s work is a further extension and reflection of her inner soul. Her current work is in Galleries in BC and in private collections in Ontario, Alberta and BC.
Sarah Barr (Trail) After spending 10 years in Montreal, where she received her MFA in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University and worked at Atelier Make Ceramic Studio, Sarah Barr recently returned to the Kootenays to raise her two young boys. She works at VISAC Art Gallery in Trail, teaches art classes to children and adults, and runs her own ceramic studio, Centre Star Ceramics. Barr is drawn to clay for its submersive and playful qualities and her work is known for its simple, sensitive design. Through meditative work on the wheel and delicate pinch pot techniques, Barr finds joy in both the process of making as well as sharing these pieces and experiences with others.
Barbara Kingsland’s love of colour, texture, design and pattern have been a constant all her life. Her childhood near Chicago had her in the midst of teachers and artisans. Hanging out with her maternal grandpa in his studio gave Barbara many enjoyable moments and offered her a lifetime of inspiration. As an adult, she found teaching in the Waldorf system to be a perfect fit for both the artistic and educational influences she naturally felt. After retiring from teaching, she had a resurgence of energy in the personal expression she enjoys through the use of cedar bark, lavender, waxed linen, alpaca fibre and wood. This fits well with her farm lifestyle in Harrop, BC where she is able to harvest the materials she uses. Although University provided her with a degree in education, psychology and art, she is mostly self-taught in the area of fibre art. Barbara has enjoyed small workshops from others as well as offered many classes of her own. Much inspiration comes from sharing skills and experience.
Dave Kurulok (Beaver Falls) is associated with and a member of the International Association of Pen Turners, who are one of the largest programs dealing with the turning of pens in the world. Eight years ago with retirement approaching and being very active person, he thought of what he would do to keep himself busy. After carefully looking at a lot of hobbies he remembered that in high school he truly enjoyed woodworking, especially working on a lathe. It was through the Internet that he found his interest in making pens. The pens eventually progressed into just about anything that can be turned on a lathe such as bowls, peppermills and various handles for utensils. Dave currently has four lathes from small to large and he enjoys getting out in the woods to find an old and broken stump or tree limb to bring home to dry and then see what he can do with it on a lathe. His pens still are his favourite turnings and are truly one of a kind with a 16 step sanding and polishing system that he works with pride to provide his customers a fine piece of art.
Rachel Abbeygrew up in the Kootenay’s surrounded and inspired by nature. She has experimented with many mediums but glass has become the dominant one in her artistic life. She finds that Kiln formed glass has unlimited possibilities as there are always new techniques to try. Rachel is self-taught, using books, online tutorials, and much experimentation. Her art is constantly changing, as she develops and applies new techniques to her glass making. She creates a wide range of glass pieces from bowls and platters to coasters, soap dishes, night-lites and sun-catchers.
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 a violent 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. 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.”
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. Kloc’s work is in private collections as well as on permanent display in downtown Castlegar.
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.
Aidan McLaren-Caux (Nakusp) owner of AMC naturals makes beautiful End-Grain cutting boards and serving platters. All of the boards are unique and handmade in Nakusp using premium, kiln-dried local, domestic and exotic wood. The cutting boards 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.
At a very young age Carley Payne developed a keen appreciation for how lighting can affect not only the ambiance 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.
Nathan Smith, Metalsmith
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.
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.
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.
Lee Rawn (Nelson) Lee Rawn 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. Her work has been exhibited at various venues throughout the province. Lee’s painting focuses on the natural world, flowers, animals and landscapes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Abby Wilson (Nelson) Enjoys 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. Abby is member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
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.
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.
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.
Nicole Tarasiuk (Nelson) 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.
Tia Reyden (Salmo) 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.
Michel Griffin Rain 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.
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, bronze, metalwork and some community teaching. Her greatest passion is welding bits of steel together to create – something. Inspiration far outruns her ability to keep up. Hunting around for materials is a large part of her creative process. She is largely self-taught, easily learning the language of new tools and materials. What feeds her soul is shape, colour and design. Rabia’s art can be found in public places, Dancing Myself and the Hall
Street Mosaic Project are 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.
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.
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.
John Northcott transforms the ordinary into something previously unimagined. His technique is to reuse materials in new ways. His interest is in creating art that is experimental, interactive, and thought provoking. John turns the old and grey into something fresh and new with his whimsical folk art.
Carolyn Beck (Nelson) owner of ViewPoint Art Gallery, graduated from the Alberta College of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Design Degree, majoring in Visual Communications. Carolyn went on to work for marketing and design agencies in Calgary. Seeking professional growth and opportunities she opened her own design firm, Beck Designs in 2005. Today, Carolyn’s has a diverse range of clients across Canada in a variety of industries. Her illustrations vary from realistic renderings to whimsical. Her design work was featured in Calgary’s Swerve Magazine; she’s won a People’s Choice Award, Eddie Award, as well as a Best of Design Award. She has lived in many different places but settled in Nelson 10 years ago as it just felt like home to her. Her love of the arts and her dream to open an art gallery came to fruition with the opening of ViewPoint Art Gallery on May 10th, 2019.