One of Emily Beaudoin’s paintings in her show The Wilds has slugs on mushrooms.
It’s part of a series exploring symbiosis and another features bears and blueberries.
“I think it’s cool that as an artist I can take things that I am really passionate about that may not be super beautiful, like slugs or beetles, and using art, make them look appealing enough to people that it draws them in and we can hopefully learn a few things about them,” she said.
Beaudoin’s work is one of four currently exhibited at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. The show runs until June 25.
The centre is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When you walk into the gallery a wolf stares at you from the other side of the room. Beaudoin said she intended for it to look curious and intelligent but not necessarily approachable.
Though all of her work is done with ink and watercolour, there are clear series and different styles around the room.
Beaudoin said she painted all 26 pieces in two months.
It may have been easier to fill the room with 10 large paintings, but smaller pieces are more accessible and reasonable purchases for people.
“I think art should be for everyone, it shouldn’t just be for rich collectors and museums.”
Beaudoin’s one year anniversary in Revelstoke just so happened to be the same day that the exhibition opened – June 3.
She moved here from Canmore during the pandemic, after she lost her job. She has been working as a full-time artist, for the first time, since then.
“It has just been a really huge silver lining to COVID,” she said. “It was the inspiration I needed to take the jump.”
Beaudoin grew up surrounded by scientists and artists, which seems to have influenced her work.
She went to university to study theatre, but switched to outdoor education partway through her degree.
Though she has dabbled with portraits and figure drawing, the mountains are her muses.
“When I see alpenglow on a peak or a moose crossing a river, my heart just beats faster,” she said.
“I feel way more excited to capture those things than cities or humans.”
Beaudoin’s goal is to create a connection between her audience and her inspiration.
“Because if people don’t feel connected to a place why on earth would they try to protect it?”
Feathers and Flowers, one of the exhibits in the side galleries this month, features watercolours of flowers and birds.
Murray said she likes to paint what she sees or photographs.
“For me it is really about slowing down, getting out in nature, taking a look around, seeing things with a different eye.”
Murray has lived in Revelstoke for 30 years, but only started painting in the last five.
A friend convinced her to go to a beginner watercolour class at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre.
There she met a great group of women and together they went on to take a second class, then getting together on Saturdays to continue painting.
Murray said she stuck with it because she wanted to a hobby she could continue as she got older, and with her three sons grown and gone, she has lots of time to paint.
“I never, ever thought I would do a show,” she said.
However, with the encouragement from friends and family she applied, and now she gets to check it off her bucket list.
The series titled The Beekeeper is more than just about bees.
Nahanni McKay, who lives in Banff, wanted to make a collection about COVID, but her art is never literal. The subject of her photos is her father-in-law Mark Nigro, who is a surgeon in Vancouver as well as a beekeeper.
“He’s like, ‘I just want to save the world,’” McKay said.
“It was such a superhero thing to say.”
Though she is still trying to understand why she did this project, the show is about highlighting a healthcare worker, helping the environment and raising awareness, but not in an obvious way.
McKay rediscovered photography in her first year at Emily Carr University. She learned from her grandfather when she was a child, he owned a small camera store on Banff Avenue from 1970 to 1993, but had never considered it as a career.
Her photographs have been featured in the Exposure Photography Festival in Calgary as well as others and she is currently fundraising to attend the Personal Structures Exhibition in Venice.
Much of her work is inspired by Banff, the gritty side rather than the picturesque photos that are on Instagram.
In 2016, after Parks Canada killed a wolf, McKay channeled her anger into a body of work about the Bow Valley wolf pack.
“Banff has a lot of problems and I just want to express that in my art work.”
At first Jack Sutter wanted his entire exhibition to be a series of aerospace replica sculptures. He had two helicopters already completed, however, decided to explore more abstract pieces as well.
Shapes in Metal is a collection of the first art pieces Sutter created since a “welding for art” class in college.
When he first moved to Revelstoke three years ago, he was working for a heliskiing operating and building trails in the summer. He got back into the shop after meeting Kyle Thornley, a blacksmith in town and was inspired by Thornley’s work.
“Once I got in the shop the hunger for art was pretty high, I wanted to get after it,” Sutter said.
He discovered his love of working with metal in high school shop class and learned from his neighbour, who was a blacksmith.
With art influences from his mother, Sutter said he won best sculpture in a student art show for a project he made while at college.
Sutter currently work for Thornley and spend his free time creating in his small shop. At the moment he is trying to figure out what small products he could make a lot of without getting bored.
He plans to eventually make custom bike frames.