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Maury Young Arts Centre brings in new photographic exhibit

“Point of View: Altered Photographic Perspectives” features work by 18 local artists including Fredy Valencia, Dave Petko and Arne Gutmann

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Arts Whistler executive director Mo Douglas believes the pictures now on display at the Maury Young Arts Centre are worth far more than that. 

Point of View: Altered Photographic Perspectives is a unique exhibition featuring the work of 18 Sea to Sky artists as they’ve transformed original photos using various artistic and digital techniques. The result is a diverse array of images that stimulate the mind and highlight the creative potential of photographic art. 

“We've been talking about doing a photographic exhibition for a while, and trying to decide what theme we want to land on,” says Douglas. “How do we make it a little different from some of the sports photography we see, or backcountry or whatever it might be. 

“This idea of altered photos—whether they've been altered digitally, whether they've been hand-painted, whether someone's added textiles to them—this idea of shifting the perspective of the photo came up, and we thought: that's a cool one.” 

‘A more accessible medium’ 

Each artist involved with the show brings a divergent approach to the table. Some have a prominent element of collage and layering, while others skilfully arrange textiles in and around the original photograph. Others still used more digital methods to enhance, subvert or tweak aspects of their source material. 

Arts Whistler even had help from in-house. 

“Our graphic designer, Fredy Valencia, has taken these great scenic images of cobblestone streets and buildings in Europe, and added animated characters coming out of the windows now,” Douglas says. “They're so vibrant. You've got this really classic European shot with incredibly contemporary cartoon designs overlaid. It's really fun. The creativity that everybody has put into these is quite impressive.” 

Dave Petko, the versatile sculptor, painter and tattoo artist who showed off his own work weeks ago in Pemberton, got in on the action himself. This time, he linked up with old friend and partner-in-crime Arne Gutmann to produce a single piece. Gutmann, of course, is known and beloved for his photography, multimedia skills and decidedly cheeky demeanour (who can forget the time he pranked all of Arts Whistler in 2013?). 

Douglas doesn’t want to give away too much, but she’s excited that Gutmann—who moved to Powell River with his wife two years ago—dropped back in to work with Petko on an image that she feels is reflective of who they are as creators. 

Point of View has also helped unearth a few up-and-coming talents. 

“There’s one fellow in the show, David Eastwood, and he’s new to me,” Douglas recalls. “He's just started to really immerse himself more in art, and decided when he heard about the call for artists that [this exhibit] appealed to him. I thought, ‘where have you been? The quality [of his work] is not from somebody you might consider a new artist or an emerging artist. 

“There's one of the things that's interesting about working in a more accessible medium. We all have photographic images, especially now with cameras in our pockets. People can see that and think: ‘that might be something I can do. I have photos I really love. How can I transform those?’ It's a bit more tangible than looking at a blank canvas. I would not be surprised if this show inspires people to dig in more to what they have.” 

Point of View: Altered Photographic Perspectives is open to the public during the Maury Young Arts Centre’s regular opening hours until March 16. Learn more about the exhibition at