Whistler ArtWalk numbers continue to grow 

Summer of culture, events and the Function Block pARTy

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SEAN ST. DENISE - Picture perfect Art Junction Gallery was one of the many locations to see work by local artists for ArtWalk this summer.
  • Photo by Sean St. Denise
  • Picture perfect Art Junction Gallery was one of the many locations to see work by local artists for ArtWalk this summer.

The final numbers aren't in, but the Whistler Arts Council is painting a picture of considerable success at this summer's ArtWalk, which ends on Aug. 31.

ArtWalk aims to promote local talent during peak visitor season, with local organizations and business offering artists from a wide array of genres the chance to show what they are capable of through shows and demonstrations.

"We don't have the final tally for sales right now; we'll have that in a few weeks," said WAC's visual arts programmer Andrea Mueller in an emailed response to questions.

Businesses have reported that they have had traffic throughout the summer specifically from visitors who are taking the self-guided ArtWalk tour, Mueller said.

"The Function Junction Block pARTy was a huge success again this year and it continues to increase in attendance numbers. This year we saw approximately 1,500 visitors, an increase from about 1,000 last year," she said.

The top-selling artists included Lianne Gulka, Baz Carolan and Allee Wells, said Mueller.

"ArtWalk has continued to grow and increase its visibility in Whistler," Mueller said. "We saw a lot of visitors come out for the opening night reception... many participants commented on how much fun the event was and that the experience of listening to the live bands, watching artists paint or do pottery live, and letting their kids get in on the action was a nice change to their daily routines."

Said Gulka: "I've been grateful for the opportunity to participate.

"I've participated almost every year since 2006 in a range of venues, from Mountain Galleries to Millennium Place to Whistler Real Estate."

Gulka added she especially enjoyed opening night: "It was a great chance to meet local Whistler patrons, engage with the arts community and meet visitors. It's a true celebration of art."

She praised the Whistler Arts Council and Mueller for their professionalism.

"It certainly helps us raise our profile in the artistic community in a credible and professional fashion," said Gulka.

"Having juried events like ArtWalk also helps raise the bar in striving to improve one's art, and there is plenty of opportunity to observe and learn from fellow artists which is great."

She said she donates all proceeds from her works to charity in honour of my late mother, Lillian Gulka, also an artist, who passed away suddenly two years ago. Benefitting are the Women's Cardiac Research program at St. Paul's Hospital and the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada. 

Mueller said ArtWalk couldn't happen without the support of the local businesses.

"We are extremely excited by their continued participation each year," she said.

"The event is a celebration of local art in Whistler and it's always great to see the number of businesses and artists participating increase, as well as the number of attendees."


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