The Rat Pack coming through the art ranks 

WHO: Artists on Show

WHAT: ARTrageous 2003

WHERE: Chateau Whistler

WHEN: Saturday, July 5

Meet Whistler’s very own "Rat Pack": Dave Petko, Scott Johnston, David Currie, and Chili Thom – four young locals who are on the tips of everyone’s tongue in Sea to Sky art circles. They may not be doing the rounds of Vegas casino lounges like cocky Frank Sinatra’s and Dean Martin’s, but they are the fresh blood rising through the ranks of the local art scene to an appreciative audience of all ages.

Word has it these guys are destined for big things thanks to their youth, their confidence and their natural gifts with a paintbrush.

Whether it’s on canvas, on nightclub walls, at parties or even on skateboard decks, wherever they choose to work, they are certainly making the right moves.

And Petko, Johnston, Currie and Thom are starting to garner worldwide acclaim for their unusual, bold and daring collections. At home, they have everyone wondering just how far they’ll go.

"This young crop of artists is really exciting," said Whistler Arts Council executive director, Doti Niedermayer.

"Whistler has always attracted creative people but it’s rare we tap into a group so young and yet so eager and talented. I believe all four of these guys have the ability to go all the way if they make art their career choice. They are all doing things we’ve never seen before. It’s fresh and exciting."

Petko is perhaps the most buzzed about name in the group. His abstract paintings and colourful skate decks demand a second look. You may have seen his stuff on the walls of the Amsterdam Café recently and he’s definitely one to watch. "Dave doesn’t follow the rules. His work is so different and so vibrant," said Niedermayer.

Johnston is making jaws drop with his myriad of colour and lines in acrylic and oil. "Scott’s work is intelligent and unusual. He often puts comments about the world today or the environment in his work which really makes you think," said Niedermayer. His work is housed in several Japanese galleries, including the Niigata Kaede Gallery, Eya Gallery, and Immigrants Gallery Tokyo. His latest project is Amoeba, his design company, where he paints on canvas, skateboard decks and mugs.

David Currie is a local Whistler artist whose paintings mix West Coast

landscapes with Pacific themes. His paintings are full of colour and are

painted in a mosaic style that will brighten any room. "David is setting new trends when it comes to painting landscapes. Very unusual and eye-catching work," said Niedermayer.

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