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Jane and Jonah Waterous make art their family business

Longtime Whistler Contemporary Gallery artist and her son travel from Bahamas to Whistler for event on Feb. 19
Jane Waterous (whose painting is featured here) and her son Jonah will take part in a cocktail reception at the Whistler Contemporary Gallery on Feb. 19.

Jane and Jonah Waterous seem to have a pretty enviable mother-son relationship.

During the height of COVID lockdowns, the pair holed up in Jane’s studio in the Bahamas (the family is Canadian-born, but they’ve lived in the Caribbean country for many years) where they bounced ideas off each other, worked on their art, and dreamed up future collaborations.

“It’s been great, because it’s symbiotic,” Jane says. “He’ll come by and say, ‘That’s great. Have you thought about that?’ But he’s very independent.”

While he might have a clear vision for his art, Jonah says he’s certainly learned from his mother, whose 35-year art career has gained her international attention and places on the walls of royal families, Fortune 500 corporations and celebrities.

“It’s really pushed me forward as an artist to have my mother here helping me, especially during COVID when we shared a house and studio,” he says. “We’ve always pushed off of each other, but sitting there spending the time, you come up with more ideas.”

Jane agrees, adding that during lockdowns, “we didn’t cross our driveway for six months. It really dominated our time together. There were no distractions, the world had literally gone into a bubble. It was like this creative bubble.”

In some of their series, both Jane and Jonah use smaller images to create a bigger picture—Jane, most famously with her “Gatherings Series,” featuring three-dimensional figures, and Jonah, using what is called “dotilism” to create texture and movement in his images.

“It slows down and makes everything very detailed,” he says of that technique.

To that end, he has used it to hone in on tiny creatures—like ladybugs, bees, and beetles, and create large-scale pieces.

While Jonah has been painting with different mediums his “whole life,” he’s recently began exhibiting his work and found representation with the Whistler Contemporary Gallery, where Jane has been an artist for many years.

The pair will mark one of their first events together with a cocktail reception at the gallery (located in the Four Seasons Resort Whistler) on Feb. 19 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. They will both be showcasing new work.

“[I’ll be showing] a certain selection of pieces I’m known for and are very requested, which is great,” Jane says. “And a few larger pieces as well. I just shipped a number of new pieces—and hopefully that will arrive in time! It’s a broad selection.”

Jonah, meanwhile, has created two new pieces with Whistler in mind.

“One is a bear head,” he says. “A lot of my work is representative of nature and wildlife—bugs and flowers and graphic ways of representing these forms of wildlife. I figured with Whistler, it’d be great to do something from that neck of the woods. I’m going to do a wolf for them as well … There’s a few other pieces, as well, from a few collections. The toy soldiers series—you know those little plastic toy soldiers? I’ve blown them up following my theme of larger-than-life and mixed them with resin.”

The family has made it a tradition of sorts to travel to Whistler every year for Jane’s shows at the gallery. The pandemic might have upended that, but they’re happy to return for 2023—with extended family in tow.

“Now that I have representation with Whistler Contemporary, I’m very fortunate and happy that I could do this with her,” Jonah says. “I think it’s going to be fun, most of all—and a great showcase for the two of us.”

For more on Feb. 19’s reception and the artists, visit