Metal artist nominated for Niche Award for third year 

Arts news: Artisan market opens; Squamish visuals at WAC gallery

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Metal marvel Fran Solar with the woven vessel that won the Squamish artist her first Niche Award in 2014.
  • File Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • Metal marvel Fran Solar with the woven vessel that won the Squamish artist her first Niche Award in 2014.

For the third year running, Squamish metal artist Fran Solar has been named a finalist in the prestigious Niche Awards competition in the U.S.

Solar won her category — Professional, Metal Fabricated of Forged — twice, in 2014 and 2015.

Sponsored by Niche magazine, the awards celebrate American and Canadian fine craft. Around 2,000 entries are received each year.

"I was stunned really, I submitted three images: a vessel, a scrapyard wall quilt and one of my new wall sculptures that I call 'Rumpled,' for want of a better name," says Solar.

Both the wall pieces are finalists for the 2016 Niche Awards.

"Rumpled" is made of multi-coloured copper wires woven together like a tapestry on a floor loom, while the quilt is a metal patchwork wired together.

Winners will be announced mid-January in Washington at the American Made Show.

Solar is represented in Whistler by Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Her work can be seen on her website at

Artisan market opens Dec. 19

The Made in Whistler Winter Artisan Market, which sells handcrafted products made by local craftspeople, opens on Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Westin Resort & Spa, and is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Returning vendors will include Melonhead Knitwear, Sugar Momma Pastries, Linda Davies Glass Beads, Re:creation, Voisin's Maple Products, Roxanne Chappel Tarot & Palmistry Readings, Raven Timberworks, and House of Commune.

Two new clothing vendors, Nibz Bandanas and HalaBay Design, will be added to the mix this year, as well as two new food vendors, The Freed Food Society and Canadian Arctic Morels.

Special days are being added for Christmas, Wednesday, Dec. 23 and Thursday, Dec. 24. The market will run each Saturday until April 2.

Squamish VISUALS art show at WAC Gallery

Sky's the Limit is a collection of paintings, sculptures, weavings, photography and jewelry by Squamish's artists collective VISUALS.

Sarah Saunders of VISUALS says that the theme and name of the show stem from the collection's debut exhibit at the Squamish Wind Festival this past July.

The show is taking place until Jan. 4 at the Maury Young Arts Centre (formerly Millennium Place).

Holiday craft stations to be set up

The Whistler Arts Council is setting up holiday craft stations for four days during the Christmas period.

Crafters will be on hand to help children make snowmen, reindeer, penguins and other winter creatures out of everyday items at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

The stations take place on Sunday, Dec. 20 and Sunday, Dec. 27, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Wednesday, Dec. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The stations are suitable for families with children aged two and over. Admission is by donation.



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