Brave Art-istic step for local 

Brave Art exhibition showcases raw street- and urban-inspired art in the mountains

By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Brave Art

When: April 13-20

Where: Telus Conference Centre

Admission: Free

To meet urban artist Stephan Thompson was one thing. But to hang next to him in last year’s Brave Art exhibit was a dream come true for local artist Lauren Javor who joins the Brave Art exhibition, part of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

“He is one of my favourite artists from Ottawa,” Javor said of Thompson. “He really inspired me when I was younger, before I started painting. I was really excited to meet and talk with him. He was a huge inspiration to me.”

Artists inspired others, but so too did the event itself, showcasing cutting-edge artwork from around North America from the streets of L.A. to the skyscrapers of New York.

“There were some amazing artists last year,” Javor said. “The show made me realize I could do more art. It encouraged me to keep working at it, which wasn’t part of my plan originally. I definitely got lots of support from the other artists. To hear positive feedback encouraged me to keep doing it.”

The festival has framed the then undiscovered talent into a featured artist this year, along with creative heavyweights Jesse Reno, Retna and Shepard Fairey.

Faces are at the forefront of Javor’s works.

“I think it’s interesting that if I take a pencil and start sketching, I can put a little dip and extend the corner of a mouth a little more and change the eyebrows, I can create an entirely different emotion. People have such a connection with faces.”

One of the faces that stares from a Javor canvas is a blue-eyed, raven-haired woman cloaked in a mask in front of floating ships and European buildings. Right after Brave Art last year, the Whistler resident set sail on a 130 foot sailboat to cruise the coastline of Spain, France and Italy.

Many of her paintings for the 2007 Brave Art showing are reflections on her adventures.

“Local Venetians taught me all about the history of the place, the architecture was so beautiful,” Javor said. “The sailboat races with traditional Venetian sailboats with vivid colourful sails were amazing. The whole painting is based on a dream of that place, a memory of it.”

The Brave Art exhibition is all about unearthing the underground art network that paints on everything from canvas to snowboards, sculpture to film, graffiti to skate decks, and, new this year, surfboards.

O’Neill launches the second annual Surf’s Up! Surfboard exhibition as part of Brave Art, raising funds and awareness for the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization seeking to protect oceans and beaches. At the end of the event, surfboards will be auctioned off online at

Brave Art also hosts a silent auction for the Zero Ceiling Society, a Whistler-based non-profit that puts at-risk kids on the slopes.

Auction items include prints, signed albums from Outdoor Concert Series bands and even a personal photograph taken with one of the most distinctive figures in freestyle skiing, Glen Plake.

Artists will be in attendance at the Brave Art opening reception, Friday April 13 at 8 p.m. in the conference centre, which includes DJs, drinks and live painting.

Admission is free.

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