Jacqueline Palmer was one of five local artists who spent four days at A.O. Wheeler Hut in the Roger Pass area of Glacier National Park for the annual Art in the Park initiative. (Peter Hoang)

Inspired by nature: Artists explore Glacier National Park for annual Art in the Park residency

Last week artists explored the stunning landscapes and rich history of the Rogers Pass area of Glacier National Park.

Revelstoke artists, Arleigh Garratt, Claudia Bambi, Jacqueline Palmer, Jessica Leahey and Karen Millard as well as six other artists from across the country spent four days gathering inspiration in the area.

Their works created during the residency will be displayed in Revelstoke in November and will travel to other venues in Western Canada in 2019.

Jacqueline Palmer dug clay from cliffs and creek beds while growing up in Wollongong, Australia. Upon returning to Canada Palmer mainly pursued oils and watercolours but returned to pottery in 1999 through the Trail Pottery Guild. She now lives in Revelstoke and has her own pottery studio. She paints her pottery freehand and her signature glaze is made using recycled ash.

“The best thing was being thrown together with a bunch of avid artists out in the wild or maybe I should say it was fun being out there with the wild and wonderful artist,” said Palmer in an email. “Being immersed in the setting has got to inspire awe. Glacier National park is an amazing place. It’s a privilege to be part of a team of artists showcasing this spectacular wilderness on our doorstep… But part of me would rather keep this incredible place a secret!”

In the upcoming exhibit Palmer said she hopes to contribute an impressionistic watercolour journal that she created during the tour as well as some pots and wall murals using a freestyle mosaic technique that she is developing.

Jessica Leahey is inspired by deep powder, flowy mountain bike trails, good coffee and love. Her ink illustrations reflect her love for an outdoor culture that has kept her in the mountains of Western Canada for the last 13 years. Leahey is a lifelong doodler and she hopes her art will either trigger a fond memory, inspire somebody to get out and do something cool or remind the viewer of all the things that make our natural world awesome.

“From the start of my career I have been hearing about Art in the Park, and it always sounded sounded like a really fun trip!” said Leahey in an email. “I love hiking, art, camping, and most people with those same interests. I always thought it would be a great fit for me. I was so excited when I got accepted.”

Leahey said that every time she participates in an artist residency she comes back a better artist.

“There is so much more to being an artist than creation and context, although it is a huge component. Residency’s are the artist equivalent to a business conference. We talk shop, strategy, technique, marketing, network…. Try stuff. Try other peoples stuff. Learn about products. So kind of like a business conference, but much, much more fun. Especially Art in the Park… Its camping, in a cozy cabin, with like minded strangers, making awesome food, going awesome places, seeing gorgeous things. Its the most enjoyable way, in my opinion, in disconnect and immerse yourself in your craft.”

Leahey said that her head is bursting with inspiration and she is planning on continuing her recent dive into painting and mixed media to create something for the upcoming show.

Arleigh Garratt is a jeweller based in Revelstoke. Originally from Vancouver, Garratt relocated to Revelstoke 10 years ago to start a family and enjoy an active and creative life in the mountains. Two dogs, two children, a jewellery design business and a downtown boutique dedicated to Canadian handmade artisans means that life is far from slowing down.

Claudia Bambi is as familiar with traditional methods as she is with the digital world. Her artist moniker, Turbo Bambi, represents a dark and bold aesthetic combined with an affinity for cute and colourful imagery. She is a photography, illustrator and graphic designer, but experiments with all mediums.

Art is a constant evolution for artist Karen Millard. Watercolour is her main focus but she also works with acrylic and leaded glass. Millard is a teacher at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre and she says she learns as much from her students as they do from her.

The artists explored the stunning landscapes and rich history of the area, photographing, sketching, sharing techniques, and getting inspiration for their final works of art.

Parks Canada, the Revelstoke Visual Arts Society and the Alpine Club of Canada hosted the program at the rustic A.O. Wheeler Hut.


 

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(Parks Canada) Camille Sleeman and Claudia Bambi settle in with sketch pads on Abbott Ridge during Art in the Park.

(Parks Canada) Jessica Leahey and Tal Marsolais explore and photograph the unique landscapes in Glacier National Park during Art in the Park.

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