A tip for newcomers to the Revelstoke visual arts scene: Art in the Park is an annual event hosted by Parks Canada that takes groups of artists into remote locales in the parks to study and create works of art. They then produce the work and curate it into a show, which opens this Saturday. It is always the most crowded and energetic Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre show opening of the fall season – a great place to socialize and have a glass of wine or two. Doors at 6 this Saturday, Nov. 12. 320 Wilson Street (near the train track underpass on Victoria Road).
Here’s information on this year’s show provided by organizers Parks Canada, and note the artists bios at the end:
“Art in the Park is about creating that sense of place and sharing an emotional response to that place through art.”
Jackie Pendergast, Revelstoke Visual Arts Society and Art in the Park artist
Since 2008, the Art in the Park program based out of Revelstoke. provides visual artists with special access to explore one of Canada’s national parks and then to share the experience through art. Artwork is created to inspire an emotional connection and deeper understanding of Canada’s national parks.
This year, the Art in the Park program celebrated Glacier and Yoho national parks 125th anniversaries. “We had an excellent response to the call for entry which made it difficult to select artists this year,” said coordinator Jackie Pendergast of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Society, “There were 57 high-calibre applicants from across the province and it was very challenging to select only a few.”
Artists were chosen through a rigorous selection process designed to encourage a balance of artistic mediums and experience. Participants worked closely together over a period of days sharing vision and techniques before creating a number of unique pieces of art. The finished artwork is then shared with the public at various venues in the province and samples of the work displayed on-line.
Successful artists this year spent several days in a remote setting in Glacier National Park in late July and an additional group of artists from previous Art in the Park Programs visited neighbouring Yoho National Park for several days in late August.
The artists spent time out-of-doors, taking in the incredible landscapes of these national parks. From the sub-alpine meadows on Mount Fidelity in Glacier National Park to Yoho’s thunderous Takkaka Falls, they took time to understand the landscape, drafting sketches, taking notes and photos and sharing art techniques. When their time was over, they returned to their studios to complete their work. Here, artistic visions become reality and the final art will be exhibited at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre November 12 to December 3, with an opening gala on the 12th.
Parks Canada’s goal is to build a broader awareness among Canadians of Canada’s national parks. By creating artwork from their experiences in the park, artists reveal meanings and relationships that complement the scientific and educational perspectives presented by park staff. Through artists’ participation, Parks Canada hopes to expand the way the park is seen by local residents, staff, visitors and audiences beyond park boundaries.
While the program has regularly been based out of Glacier National Park, over the past few years former Art in the Park participants explored other national parks including Pacific Rim and Yoho national parks with Mount Revelstoke and Waterton Lakes national parks being considered for future. Each national park offers new experiences and opportunities for creative artistic expression.
The Art in the Park program is a partnership between Parks Canada and the Revelstoke Visual Arts Society (RVAS) and the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier. More information on the Art in the Park program and this year’s artists is available at: revelstokevisualarts.com or friendsrevglacier.com or pc.gc.ca/glacier-events
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ARTISTS 2011
“The location is amazing … knowing that you are painting where no one else has painted.” Glacier “Art in the Park” artist.
Medium: Acrylic, Oil
In Penticton, Glenn organises an annual plein-air ‘paint out’ with twenty or more professional artists from throughout British Columbia, in support of the Penticton Art Gallery. Glen feels that the Art in The Park 2011 project would allow him the opportunity to fully explore Glacier National Park outside the usual road restrictions, as well as give opportunity to engage with a variety of other artists in what is usually a lonely job.
Medium: Photography, Video
Yuichi Takasaka has been photographing the night sky in many of Canada’s Provincial and National Parks. He has been working with Jasper National Parks, Parks Canada, the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada and Canadian Geographic to promote night sky awareness.
Leanne Spanza was surrounded by mountains, forests and water growing up in North Vancouver. Later in life, her and her husband peddled their way through the Western United States and Central America on their touring bicycles. The anticipation of the scenery pushed her to complete the thousands of miles and continued to inspire her work after the trip was completed. This same feeling drew Leanne to want to participate and contribute to the Art in the Park 2011 project.
James R. Webb
James R. Webb is no stranger to the Columbia Valley. In his thirty-six years of work in western parks, he spent most weekends and holidays hiking, skiing and scrambling about in the Rockies and Selkirks with a camera and sketchbook in his pack. Initially a self taught watercolour painter, James later studied watercolour painting and printmaking at the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Natalie Harris’s experience as a forest fire fighter and tree planter has taught her how to respect the backcountry. Her goal is to showcase Glacier National Park in a unique way and attempt to shine a light to things that many people may not notice in our natural world. Natalie has always loved to play, work and live in the mountains.
Shelley L. Ross
Shelley L. Ross is a self-taught watercolour artist with an interest in subjects that come from nature. Recently, Shelley spent a year sketching and painting lichen’s of the West Kootenay Valley, from which she produced a body of twenty watercolours. This body of work was exhibited at the Langham Cultural Centre, Kaslo, B.C. in the summer of 2010. Shelley’s greatest joy in life is to be out in nature, sketching and painting.