ArtWalk 2015 has more artists and venues than ever 

Whistler's summer art exhibition shows and sells the work of over 60 painters, photographers, sculptors, carvers and ceramicists

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Making waves As part of this year's ArtWalk, painter Chili Thom's work is being displayed at West Coast Float. ArtWalk, which opens on June 27, runs until the end of August.
  • Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • Making waves As part of this year's ArtWalk, painter Chili Thom's work is being displayed at West Coast Float. ArtWalk, which opens on June 27, runs until the end of August.

Every summer, Whistler's artists and businesses combine to create ArtWalk, the resort's largest art festival, to sell and show their work, build connections and promote visual art.

This year, ArtWalk runs from Saturday, June 27, to the end of August. Opening night will have entertainment from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the Village Stroll.

Andrea Mueller, Whistler Arts Council's visual arts programmer, is excited about this year's innovations, including new participants and the pop-up studio in the WestIn.

"We have new people; we have returning people. And we have 40 venues, many of which have amazing wall space," she says.

All artwork on display is for sale, says Mueller, adding that this year there won't be an online gallery store.

"I'm really happy with the variety of work on display this year. It's really nice to see such professional looking display done really well," says Mueller."We have emerging artists all the way to established professionals. The artists take it seriously and it's nice to see art pop up everywhere and add colour to different businesses in town."

The ArtWalk guide is also back this year, with venues and artist information. Participants can collect seven stickers from participating host venues and add them to the guide, hand their guides into Millennium Place, and be entered into a draw for a grand prize of artwork. Discounts at the gift shop in Millennium Place are also available.

Red flags in the guide create the path from venue to venue. ArtWalk guides can be picked up at Millennium Place or at any ArtWalk venue.

The event's hashtag for Instagram and Twitter is #ArtWalk2015.

For more information, visit www.artswhistler.com/events/artwalk.

Here are five of the more than 60 artists taking part this year:

Doria Moodie

A founding member of Whistler's art collective, Out-of-Bounds Artists, Doria Moodie says she has been concentrating her painting for ArtWalk on one of her favourite subjects — bears.

"I will be mostly painting bear portraits, which is something people seem to enjoy. Tourists particularly do, especially Europeans, because they don't seem to have much wildlife left. They appreciate bears' majestic large faces," she says.

Moodie feels strongly about stopping the trophy hunt and is a bruin advocate through her art.

Her work is being displayed at Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, which has represented her work for just over two years. Three new paintings will join what is already on display there.

She will also be showing landscapes.

"There are many good landscape artists in Whistler, and people enjoy talking with me when I'm doing it," Moodie says.

She says it is hard to say how much of an impact ArtWalk has on her profile, but between the summer show and the farmers' market, her work can be seen by new audiences.

"Artwalk is fantastic. It's a wonderful event. It's inspiring because I get to see what other people are doing and it generates a bit more traffic," she says.

Chili Thom

ArtWalk veteran Chili Thom is a multi-year winner of Pique's "Best of Whistler" Best Artist Category.

The painter's work is being exhibited at West Coast Float and Thom thought it apropos to cover the walls with 11 paintings and giclées capturing ocean waves.

"I went with the water theme. There are a couple that are a little more trippy," he says.

"I really like this venue, it's welcoming and open with lots of window space."

Thom says ArtWalk has gone from strength to strength over the years, with organization of the event constantly improving.

"Every year the arts council is taking notes and they are very professional. There's more animation going on," he says.

"It's definitely an amazing opportunity for exposure. It's also a great way to partner with businesses as well, to get people to come in. It's a very strong tool for the community, to get involved."

Emily Tolmie

Squamish ceramicist Emily Tolmie will be showing her functional stoneware pieces at The Millennium Place gallery during ArtWalk.

Although she has been working with clay for 15 years, this is her first time at the summer show and sale.

Her plates, bowls and cups sell for between $15 and $65.

"I did Bizarre Bazaar for the first time (last Christmas)," she says. "I got connected with Whistler Arts Council and I found out about the ArtWalk and thought it sounded like a great thing. I'd never attended one."

"I want to get more connected with what Whistler has to offer. I grew up in Squamish and we had a cabin in Whistler. It's nice to be part of the art community in Sea to Sky country and I want to connect with people and see what is going on."

Dave Mossop

Whistler photographer (and co-founder of Sherpas Cinema) Dave Mossop is in Sweden on vacation. But he's ready for ArtWalk, where his large format photos can be seen at The Crystal Gallery.

"I am thrilled to be invited to participate, it is an honour to present work alongside such creative and visionary artists, and in the progressive artistic culture that Whistler has cultivated," Mossop said in an email.

Currently collaborating with digital camera company, PhaseOne, his work includes a braided river system in Iceland, a water-eroded canyon wall in Arizona, and a potash mine's evaporation pools in Utah.

Speaking of his work, he adds: "To me, large format photographs of abstract forms are a kind of truth communication. Most abstractions are created by an artist's hand, but what makes these images powerful is that they have come directly from reality, directly from Earth.

"A beautiful phrase of music can effect our emotions in indescribable ways, and similarly these shapes and colours communicate in the same way. However, in this case the human artist is just a messenger; the true artist is nature."

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