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Arts Whistler workshops bring art to the lake

The Alta Lake Station House hosts an array of unique weekend sessions this summer
Art on the Lake workshops take place all summer at the Alta Lake Station House. Photo by Kim Eijdenberg

For many creative Whistlerites, artistic pursuits fall by the wayside once summer hits.

After all, who wants to be indoors when the weather is hot and the daylight stretches through the evening?

That's where Arts Whistler's Art on the Lake workshop series comes in. Offering two-day workshops that tackle a range of mediums, they all take place at the picturesque Alta Lake Station House, which means participants create art while enjoy the lake too.

"It's a really inspiring space," says Imogen Osborne, programs and events manager with Arts Whistler. "It's on the southern end of Alta Lake looking north ... It's got big windows all across the front of it and a patio, so when it's nice out you can do art on the patio."

The unique series kicked off at the end of May with a tie-dye workshop before hosting sessions on painting, textile design, lavender art, and even pyrography.

"We're just over halfway through," Osborne says. "It's a really broad demographic; we go right from beginner all the way to intermediate and advanced. We try and offer a range in each category as well ... I'm really excited about the ones coming up."

That includes Illuminated II—Creating Compelling Light in your Paintings, running on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21, with instructor Gaye Adams. As the name suggests, participants will learn how to render the effects of light in their paintings.

Another popular session is digital photography Aug. 3 and 4 hosted by Jeff Boyce, followed by a trio of outside-the-box workshops. One, running Aug. 24 and Aug. 25, is called Travel Sketching and Watercolours and will teach painters how to quickly sketch and paint on site—wherever that may be (sadly, this one is sold out). "Two of the [workshops] we've never done before in the series are Half Life Sized Portraiture with James Stewart ... The jewelry [workshop] is also a little outside the box. They'll be doing some silver casting, a semi-precious, gem-embellished ring," Osborne says.

During the James Stewart workshop, set for Aug. 10 and 11, students will make a portrait sculpture of a head and learn basics of proportional sculpting with oil-based clay.

The silver jewelry workshop, meanwhile, will teach participants about "how to prep crucibles, melt silver, and create watercastings, then work on piecing them together to form beautiful, one-of-a-kind pendants, earrings and rings," the description reads.

Those words might sound foreign, but, in short, students will leave the session with a piece of jewelry they made on their own—with the tools to do it again.

Arts Whistler has been working with instructor Kelly Allanson for some time to launch the workshop, Osborne says.

"She reached out to us in 2017 at the end of the year, and we've been in contact with her since figuring out how we can bring it to Art on the Lake," she says. "It's all very self-contained. She brings in everything that's needed to run the workshop. Each workshop has a list of supplies for participants. We're in contact with the participants once they register with us to let them know what the artists ask they bring."

Each session has a different price and items to bring. To find out more, or to register, visit