On April 23 and 24, emerging artists in the Central Interior of Northern BC had the opportunity to participate in a juried regional art show put on by CIRAC, the Central Interior Regional Arts Council. Arts Fest is an annual event, supporting and recognizing emerging central interior artists.
This year's show took place in Prince George and was beautifully organized by Wendy Young, Executive Director of Studio 2880. The Prince George Tourism Centre was the venue for this year's event and all pieces will remain on display there until May 2nd. Ten pieces were chosen by the judges to travel to communities throughout the North Central Interior for the next month.
Improv by Crystalynn Tarr. Acrylic. 12x36". This piece was selected as one of ten pieces that will travel. Crystalynn Tarr was also chosen by the judges as the recipient of the Toni Onley Artist's Project scholarship based on this piece and her potential as an emerging artist.
"Improv seeks to bring a tangible expression to the intangible flow and emotion of a blues/jazz composition. While the pianist's fingers rest on certain notes longer than others they soon move on, hungry to find the next note on which to pause. Back and forth across the keyboard, her movements are not rigid but flowing from one bar to the next, evoking a sort of meditation on the melodies. The emotion of the composer put onto paper intertwined with the interpretation of the performer recreates history in a relevant and personal way for the audience. Improv is my tangible interpretation of playing that piano."
Untitled by Tom Dean. Acrylic. 40x20". This painting by Burns Lake artist, Tom Dean, was also one of the ten pieces chosen for the travelling show and it is my personal favourite from this show. One didn't need to read the artist's statement to feel this piece.
"Urban settings can defy explanation. This painting is an attempted representation of all the misery and distress I sometimes feel when I visit urban centres."
Dream'n on the South Side by Sue Chretien. Collage. 18x14". Sue Chretien took a papermaking workshop from me several years ago and has been using handmade papers in her artwork since then. Although this collage was not selected to travel, I was very impressed by Sue's creative use of materials in this piece. It provides some wonderful inspiration for other artists who enjoy working in handmade paper.
"I have been making paper with local fibre for a few years now and I am exploring its use in my art. This piece started with the mask and so many ideas came to me while working on it that I went with the ideas of the ideas. So many ideas and only two hands. The braids, shells and beads are the explosion of ideas that seem impossible to contain."
Artists attending the workshop also had the opportunity to participate in two educational sessions. The first one, "Copyright for Visual Artists", presented by lawyer, Martha Rans, for CARFAC (Canadian Artists Representation/Le Front Des Artistes Canadiens), was an educational and entertaining presentation on Canadian Copyright Law, including some wonderful examples. Ms Rans created the Artists' Legal Outreach program, a volunteer organization ensuring access to legal information and advice for artists and arts organizations. This organization depends on donations and I encourage Canadian artists to consider supporting this valuable program.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the second presentation, "Photographing your artwork for exhibition or sale."