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Art marks equinox

LUNA Harvest Art Fest celebrates fall equinox with art, music and performance

By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Harvest Art Fest

When: Thursday, Sept. 21, 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Where: Fountain Courtyard behind Holiday Inn

Admission: By donation

Organizers Magda Kwaterska and Sonja Cameron excitedly flip through images of artists who will showcase their work at the Harvest Art Fest, a magical celebration of fine art, music and friends, celebrating the autumn equinox Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Fountain Courtyard behind the Holiday Inn.

Under moonlight, eight artists, working in media from photography and paintings to jewelry and etchings, will share their creative vision in an outdoor setting enriched with décor paying tribute to the solstice. Sultry jazz/blues music from guitarist Shealagh King and saxophonist Anisha Gysi will accompany the show.

“We’ve never seen an outdoor art show in Whistler yet,” Kwaterska said. “We wanted it to have this outdoor European feel to it where you might be taking a walk down the stroll and come upon this beautiful evening of art and music.”

The artists are the stars of the night. Locals may recognize many of them, however, they may not recognize their art on a canvas medium.

Justin Ormiston usually uses the human body as his canvas. The tattoo artist for Black Ohm Tattoo expands from ink to acrylic inks on canvas for the showing. He will also be painting at the celebration, giving guests an opportunity to watch the creative process from start to finish.

Daniel Poisson also brings art off the wall and into action with a live presentation of his large works layered with acrylic, spray paint, metallic paints and ink stencils. His African-warrior-inspired painting was an unforgettable piece created on the Village Stroll at the Whistler Music and Arts Festival.

Evan Biswanger’s art is a recognizable brush stroke around town. The illustrator’s artwork graces countless covers of Pique Newsmagazine. Biswanger has created new works for the exhibit, expanding his repertoire of multi-media, portrait-driven works.

Mark Richards’s artwork is a regular stopping point at the Whistler Farmer’s Market as passersby try to figure out whether his works are photographs or paintings. Richards and his father (former senior division chief of the National Gallery of Canada) developed a unique printmaking technique where the pigments of photographed images come to life glowing and rich beyond the scope of film.

While these artists’ works are familiar to the public eye, the Art Fest also brings new creative forces out of the Whistler woodwork, including Kasia Jasnowski, who is currently studying her craft at the Art Institute of Vancouver; Kym Terrill, who doesn’t shy from colour in her oil paintings; and Emma Gunderson, whose creative lifestyle paints itself on canvas.

The festival will also showcase one-of-a-kind jewelers, including Caroline Miller who creates body decorations, ranging from bronze bustiers to warbling silver bangles. Miller won the 2004 Vancouver Arts and Development Award. Jeweler Michelle Klaui’s bold artworks of large semi-precious stones wrapped in silver for the neck and dainty dangling crystals for the ears will also be exhibited.

“We got an overwhelming response from everyone,” Cameron said. “The artists are amazing. I didn’t expect the works to be as phenomenal as they are. Everyone is so different, so talented. We want to recognize our artists and contribute to building the appreciation of art in Whistler.”

The evening soiree is part of the 2005-06 LUNA season, which wraps up this month. Look for new events starting mid-October.

Welcome fall with the fruits of summer harvested for a creative adventure from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Admission is by donation.