Valerie Speer and Tina Lindegaard at the gallery before the exhibition. Jennifer Hedge was unable to attend the opening of the exhibit. (Contributed)

Valerie Speer and Tina Lindegaard at the gallery before the exhibition. Jennifer Hedge was unable to attend the opening of the exhibit. (Contributed)

A coming together of landscapes: Three long-time friends showing their work at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre

See scenes from the Prairies, mountains and coast

Three Voices from the Land has been more than 20 years in the making.

The exhibit, on display at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre until Oct. 29, features landscapes by Tina Lindegaard who lives in Revelstoke, Valerie Speer who lives in Alberta and Jennifer Hedge who lives on Vancouver Island.

The trio met at art school “a long time ago,” as they put it and have stayed in touch all these years.

While Lindegaard and Speer continued their education – Lindegaard in marketing, management and accounting and Speer in video production and photography – Hedge went into theatre, painting sets and backdrops in Kelowna, Vancouver, Banff and now on Vancouver Island.

Jennifer Hedge, Tina Lindegaard and Valerie Speer met at art school in Kelowna. (Contributed)

Jennifer Hedge, Tina Lindegaard and Valerie Speer met at art school in Kelowna. (Contributed)

So far the highlight of her 36-year long career had been working with artist Darren Waterston on Ballet BC’s Faerie Queen in 2008.

Hedge described her job as very disciplined. She gets a painting with a grid that she has to produce on a 60-foot scale. When she paints at home, she does what she wants – her own subject, own colours and own style.

However, even at home she finds herself painting with her canvas flat on the ground, layering acrylics and throwing on water, techniques, she said, that are different from other painters.

Many of the coastal pieces in the show are done by her.

Lindegaard is the trio’s connection to Revelstoke.

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She returned to the art world after raising kids.

She went back to school to finish her degree and immersed herself in sculpture and photography.

She wrestled with her first mountain painting, only considering it because of the mountain show, which used to be an annual event at the gallery.

The director at the time said ‘go and paint a mountain.’

“I remember thinking, ‘I can’t think of anything more lame,’” Lindegaard said with a laugh.

But it hit the mark.

The artwork caused a friend to burst into tears upon seeing it and the painting has been used all around town ever since.

“As long as you can connect somehow with a viewer, it doesn’t matter how,” she said. “Whatever their life experiences is going to be brought into that moment and that is what success is, when that magic happens.”

Both she and Speer started hiking and exploring the outdoors together later in life, as they explained it.

For Speer it felt like coming home.

And she tried to capture that feeling with her photography. It wasn’t until she saw painting by Lawren Harris that she realized she might be using the wrong medium.

“My first thought was ‘you brat,’” she recalled with a laugh.

“I have been trying to capture that feeling in my photography for two years and you just whipped it off in a painting like that.”

Her return to art painting was in the form of a sunflower that she gifted to a friend who was getting married. From there, she has been exploring places she loves and trying to capture that feeling of belonging and care that she has found in the wilderness.

Many of the Prairies scenes in the show are done by her, though she also has ocean and mountain landscapes as well.

See the show until Oct. 29. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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