Whistler painters join new art fair 

Art! Vancouver pulls together artists and galleries from B.C., Canada and around the world

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Time to paint Artist Julia Curphey is showing her work at Art! Vancouver, a new air fair.
  • Photo BY Cathryn Atkinson
  • Time to paint Artist Julia Curphey is showing her work at Art! Vancouver, a new air fair.

Whistler is spending the weekend in Vancouver.

Wait? What?

Art! Vancouver is a new exhibition to showcase B.C., Canadian and international art and connect the international fine arts community. Around 120 artists are exhibiting.

Whistler will be represented at the show, in the form of the Adele Campbell Gallery and Whistler artist Julia Curphey.

The show takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre from Thursday, May 21 to Sunday, May 24.

Art! Vancouver founder Lisa Wolfin says starting the exhibition stemmed from seeing art fairs in other big cities and wondering why Vancouver was missing this opportunity.

"You'd never be able to travel to all these places and find all these artists where they live. With an art fair, they come to us and people can come to one place to see them and purchase their art," Wolfin says.

All sorts of artists are taking part, she adds, and prospective buyers need not be priced out.

"There are different ranges of artworks, high and low," she says. "Something for everyone."

Curphey is taking part with her gallery, The Yeats Studio Gallery, which is located in West Vancouver, preparing six new acrylics for Art! Vancouver.

"I've sold a lot lately. It's a nice place to be at but it's a lot of work to prepare now for something new," she says.

Curphey says she and her work will be taking part in an artists' runway show on the opening night, which she describes as "scary."

Her work, she says, has a lot of reflective quality.

"I like playing with light," she adds.

"When there's different lighting on it, it looks totally different because of the use of iridescents and silvers. It's very soft and gentle, flowing."

She describes one of her triptychs.

"Some people see veils and other see icebergs," she says.

"The other side that I do has to do with water. I'm very interested in how the light plays on water and metal. How it dances across things."

Because of this calming style, her work has sold to doctors and alternative therapists.

"For a while there, I also became the bedroom and bathroom girl. All the edgy stuff in the gallery went into the big room and the boardrooms and mine went into bathrooms and bedrooms," she laughs.

"My work is simple, calming and serene, I hope."

She has organized Yeats' display for herself and seven other artists from the gallery.

"We've got quite a big space but some of the work is quite large," Curphey says.

"I hope the show puts Vancouver on the map. Coming from Europe (Curphey's background is British), it seems like we're quite behind here."

Michelle Kirkegaard, co-founder of Whistler's Adele Campbell Gallery, is showcasing the gallery's artists at Art! Vancouver.

"I had been to several art fairs — the Hong Kong Art Fair, the Toronto Art Fair — and when I heard this could be happening I said we definitely interested in doing it," Kirkegaard says. "I think it's a great opportunity to continue to put a light on Vancouver, Whistler, and the Audain Gallery. Everything we are doing right now is showing that we are an art and cultural centre. It's exciting, definitely."

Kirkegaard says her artists and the gallery will get a lot out of the added exposure and deserve to be the centre of attention.

"We're not just a small-town gallery with resort artists. We have internationally acclaimed artists. Canadian artists in themselves are recognized and renowned. So I think we're staying on the forefront and making sure people know we deserve a place on any international playing field," she says.

She believes Art! Vancouver will give Western Canadian artists a needed bump in a world that generally focuses more on the Eastern Canadian Group of Seven tradition.

Kirkegaard also agreed to be a keynote speaker. She will talk about that all-important relationship between galleries and artists.

"The heart-to-art talk. How to support artists in the area of business. Art is a very tricky business," she says.

"(The talk) gives an idea of what a working gallery does and what they do for an artist, and how an artist can be a part of that. How we support them in becoming successful, taking that emerging artist to another level, which we have done.

"When Adele Campbell takes on an artist, we don't do it lightly. We're in it for a very long haul."

Tickets are $15 online/$20 at the door for adults. Youth tickets are $8/$10 respectively.

For more information visit www.artvancouver.net.



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