Recent History – 2001
Feb. 12, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
A chance to get a sneak preview of some of the work that will be on display at the B.C. Festival of the Arts is currently available at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery.
The gallery is host to this year’s Peace Liard Regional Juried Art Exhibition. In all, 117 pieces were entered, and after many hours of deliberating, adjudicators Carmen Haakstad and Kinichi Shigeno chose eight work that will move onto the festival.
And while they did not know where the artists live, they ended up choosing works from four Dawson Creek artists for the show. As well, seven of the 11 honourable mentions went to Dawson Creek artists.
Pairing down the entries to the final eight was a long process according to Haakstad, who was the curator of the Prairie Gallery in Grande Prairie for seven years.
After five hours of review, he and Shigeno narrowed the list down to 37. Then it got difficult.
“As I tell artists who don’t make it, sometimes it’s just the judges. It is a bit subjective too. Different judges will see different things,” Haakstad said.
The exhibition, which runs until March 3, was opened Saturday night.
Here’s a look at which works won:
“The Chair” by Emily Mattson (Dawson Creek): Mattson works with a variety of materials, but this is the first time she’s used a placenta from a cow. The result is a rotting chair, which Mattson said represents a seat of authority, “the dignity of one who presides,” and maternalism in a state of decay.
“Storm Over Rolla” by Edna McPhail (Dawson Creek): A landscape painting that, as the title suggests, depicts a storm over the fields of Rolla.
“The skies in this part of the world are big and beautiful,” McPhail said in her artist’s statement. “We experience everything from beautiful sunrises to dramatic northern lights. The light and shadows appear magnified, especially on stormy days.”
“Elevation” by Calvin Kruk (Dawson Creek): Using his distinctive style of bold, clean and powerful lines, Kruk depicts the northern lights.
“Lunar Illuminance by Heidi Skin (Dawson Creek): A painting in black, white, and shades of grey, portraying her husband in the moonlight. “Moonlight for me has always had the ability to create an atmosphere of romance and mystery,” she said in her artist’s statement. “By the light of the moon the incredible becomes real and the real, ethereal. That is what loving and being loved seems to do to you, so when contemplating a portrait of my husband, nothing seemed so fitting a light-source as that of the moon.”
“Children of the Holocaust” by Catherine Ortynksi (Fort St. John): An installation consisting of ceramic tiles, polished and primitive wood fired. The little trees imprinted onto the tiles are dedicated to the children killed in the Holocaust. (Photo above).
“Emma #1” by Angelique Prince (Chetwynd): The image of a woman facing away from the view is carved out of a large piece of driftwood. “Emma is a spirit living in the forest. She had many friends there and adventure,” Prince said in her artist’s statement. “I first met her in a piece of natural trash as I carved away at the wood.”
“Morroccan Blue” by Kelly Albin (Chetwynd): The painting represents the architecture of the Middle East. Using shades of blue, Albin captures an element of illusion: “I love the mystery in this painting and often pictured what I would find through that door,” said Albin in an artist’s statement.
“For The Moment” by Brenda Wakely (Fort St. John): Carved out of antler, Wakely said this is the final piece in a series of three titled “Journey,” the piece depicts several figures and images:
“At any time the creature in flight could turn. The mystery of the partially hidden face, the hunger of the protruding ribs, and the ability to suck out life with its tentacles all seem dangerous and yet ‘he’ appears graceful, cradling the female figure checking on her with a backward glance and puzzled brow.
“The female figure appears relaxed and calm wrapped in the soft warmth of the ‘tongue.’ She is aware of the danger. ‘She’ could become frightened and struggle. ‘He’ could become angry and dash her to the ground, but for the moment, each is trusting the other and enjoying the ride.”
The works that earned honourable mentions are: “Ka Kat” by Joyce Benson (Dawson Creek); “Evolution, Revolution…” by Laraine Guidry (Dawson Creek); “Demurral” by Julian Skin (Dawson Creek); “Fire Over Water” by Ed Hanlon (Fort St. John); “Purple Onions” by Ramona Myram (Fort St. John); “Yep You’re Pregnant” by Shirley Ravelli (Dawson Creek); “Foot Platter” by Leanna Carlson (Fort St. John); “Mountain Lake” by Hilde Bittman (Dawson Creek); “Dad and the Boys” by Blanche Guay (Dawson Creek); “Greetings” by Sue Brocke (Dawson Creek); “Rory Boy” by Quentin Whitford (Fort St. John).
The exhibition of all 117 entries will remain at the gallery until March 3. The top eight will be part of the artWORKS visual arts component of the B.C. Festival of the Arts, May 24-June 3, in Fort St. John.