Hello, my name is Meadow Kroeger, I am currently in the tenth grade attending L.V. Rogers Secondary School, and I have been doing art for six years. I am mostly self-taught and mainly work in oil, ink, and watercolour. I have lived in Nelson for my entire life and am very connected to the mountains and the scenery of the area.
With my art I wish to create pieces that make people stop for a few minutes and think about what they are looking at. In my art I am largely influenced by the mountainous landscapes I live in as well as music as it has a large influence on my life. I enjoy experimenting with all mediums and techniques to create a new emotion evoking art work.
My artistic practice is interested in capturing new ideas and thoughts using a variety of mediums to demonstrate moods into my pieces. I predominantly work in mixed media because it allows me to generate the imagery I want. I seek to propose questions and incite curiosity when engaging with my work. For example, I am interested in using contrasting colours as a tactic to play with the eye and bring excitement to the viewing process.
The works included in the virtual exhibition are inspired by artists Melissa Castrillon and Viktoria Maliar. For the piece The Hare I was predominantly inspired by Castrillion’s piece The Visitor, and for the piece Eyes That Burn Blue Like Flames of Sulfur I found inspiration from Maliar‘s work Persona I I I. Their practices inspired my interest in abstract approaches and concepts in visual art. In the work The Hare I choose to use a hare enveloped by ivy to illustrate the impatience (the hare) many feel with personal growth (the ivy) and letting oneself slow down to allow the process to happen. The title of my piece Eyes That Burn Blue Like Flames of Sulfur references the simile Eyes Like Flames of Sulphur written by the British dramatists Beaumont and Fletcher. I interpreted this simile as a way of saying someone had a passion in their souls as eyes are often referred to as ‘windows to the soul’ and flames are symbolized as passionate.
Nestled within the West Kootenays mountains, Spencer was born and raised at the base of the Slocan Valley. He shares a deep connection with the landscape, and admires the silence of the Kootenays. Spencer has been shooting photos for a decade, and lately finds the juxtaposition of still images the most natural way to comment on the contrasts and similarities of life. Spencer is also a journalist, filmmaker, and poet.
Being born in a rural environment, symmetry was uncommon. Trees, rivers, mountains, and lakes found their perfection in their imperfections—rough, jagged, and wild. The beauty of this nature wasn’t confined to a consistent line or box, making it unpredictable. As I grew older, and spent more time in urban landscapes, I was regularly exposed to the smooth edges of sidewalks, right angles of buildings, and sharp lines of concrete
To many photographers, an obvious rule is to create photographs which are appealing to the eye. When a photo is composed with orderly properties, the viewer may relax and accept the image at face value. My current interest in photography is not to make the viewer relax on the visual, but give credibility to the viewer, allowing them to contemplate my juxtapositions and walk away with their own interpretations. In this way, nature—asymmetrical and primal—is my original muse to juxtaposing normally single-idea images. My microcosmic revolution is fed by the photographs I take, and how I compare and contrast them.
There is nothing wrong with a strong single photograph, though I do find single photographs may not represent the feelings or vibes I try to depict. My revolution is my juxtapositions, and my dance is whatever meaning the viewer takes with them.
Josh Franklin is a 24 year old recent honours graduate from the Visual Arts Department at the University of Victoria. Josh has been in Canada since 2011 where prior to this he moved constantly due to his parents occupation. Since having been in the Pacific NorthWest, he has been interested in the arts. During his time at UVIC he was able to find focus in painting, pushing the current notions of painting and attempting to understand the time and place we currently are in.
The work that Josh creates takes reference from modern architecture, specifically, the ever repeating rectangle that can be found within it. Using this as reference, he blocks out a flattened colour field on the canvas and slowly builds up the many layers of paint upon the untraditional fabric, viole, that he paints on. Josh applies paint to the backside of the painting and due to the specific nature of viole, the paint bleeds through the permeable substrate to slowly create the painted side of the work that he exhibits. During the creation of the painting, Josh does not look at the front side and in this, he is unaware of what the final outcome will be. Relinquishing the control of the abstract image that he is creating is a vital component to his thought process when making his work.
Through this usage of referencing modern architecture, Josh attempts to situate himself in an understanding of time and place. One where his historically colonial white background has impacted the world at large and specifically the place where he has called home currently – upon Lekwungen land. Through the usage of referencing the institutionalized rectangle that underpins colonial architecture, Josh works the canvas to slowly break down these harsh lines to eventually create a loose and free flowing image. An image that, through the relinquishment of control, has the possibility to converse with unlearning our Eurocentric canonical ways of thinking to allow for the inclusion of what was once ignored. Through the belief that the time is now to relearn, think, and include, these paintings attempt to speak to what was to be able to shape what will be.
My art practice inquires into the relationship between installation, performance, and painting, and how these come together to form and make visible an ecology of creative process. I utilize my formal training in painting as the cornerstone to these various trajectories within my studio practice. My work stems from a formalist studio driven investigation into materials where one project or thought informs the next progression of research. I am interested in the relation between the body and painting, showcasing the action of process, self referencing imagery, and site specific projects. Through the utilization of a restricted colour palette and limited dynamism in a painted picture, I produce works that utilize the immediacy of paint and the logic of gravity to focus on producing an image that I relinquish control of. Ultimately producing abstract imagery that creates its own subjective content for viewership and experience.
Katherine Victoria is a ceramics artist. She plays on ideas of nature and the human body in her work. She produces wares that bridge the space between the functional and the conceptual. Coming from a strong craft-based training, in addition to an education in the field of philosophy; she seeks to bring the two spheres together in a harmony of thought and process.
Educated at the Kootenay School of the Arts and the University of Calgary; Katherine Victoria brings a presence and awareness to her work. Her work is strongly informed by the hills and open spaces of her upbringing in Southern Alberta, and now by her surroundings of mountains and forest in her present home of Nelson, BC. Her dwelling in the West Kootenays has inspired a new layer of consideration in her practice–one strongly informed by her physical surroundings and a sense of connection both to place and the materials of her work.
I am a practicing Ceramicist with a background in the study of Philosophy. I tend to tell people that I did not choose clay, but that clay called unto me. The practical part of me resents this degree of romantic description, yet it is the most honest story I can speak of as to why I continue to pursue it today.
I cried with joy the first time I entered a clay studio. The smell of moist earth, the feeling: cold and solid between my hands, the tender sound of the material pressing and folding against the surface to knead—I’m all in.
I seek to explore questions in my daily practice with clay. I entered my philosophy degree with the notion that I would come to understand the world, people, and existence more fully. The opposite seemed to occur–instead I experienced a grand opening of sorts. While I left my education with far less answers than when I had begun–I had started the learning a different path towards knowing. Not to know and be able to prove, but to know as a form of alignment, connection, or relationship. The tool I found most helpful to this sort of exploration?.. Clay.
Clay is particularly special, for it is both craft and art. This desire to explore the craft-based side of my medium is what lead me to the Kootenay School of the Arts. I have found learning the practice of building form to be incredibly humbling, as well as deeply informative towards the whole of my practice. I found my process of asking questions, of bringing the opposites of various ideas together in one piece, gained yet another layer of depth when placed in the confines of constructing a vessel.
I am not the first to find kinship with an idea of this sort. As the introduction to East of Eden by John Steinbeck, he includes a letter to his editor. It begins with a memory, of the editor witnessing Steinbeck in the practice of woodcarving, and requesting a box. To which Steinbeck writes: “Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is still not full… The pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation… And still, the box is not full.”
While Steinbeck is comparing a box to a book, I seek to do the opposite. Through the form of a vessel, I seek to explore questions of ethic and existence. To bring thought into physicality. The many steps of the ceramic process deeply informing the way these ideas take shape in the world. The final element is: You. Dear reader, dear viewer–as you read this page or view this vessel, the work is complete.
Bethany Pardoe has exhibited work in numerous exhibitions including Oxygen’s Juried Youth exhibition Wayfinding: Identity and the Kootenays, Appetite for Art, Nelson Art Walk, Kaslo Art Walk, and the Rossland juried visual art exhibition Life in the Kootenays. Pardoe has completed three solo mural projects and two collaborative murals for the NDYC. She is an active member in the art community and is part of the Youth Arts Action Council. She also volunteers at the Oxygen Art Centre and has assisted in set painting for the Capitol Theatre as well as completing three murals in the alley for the Capitol Theatre. She completed a month-long program at Emily Carr University and participated in a group exhibition there. Her work has been featured in magazines and promotional posters such as the cover art and illustrations in Stone Soup magazine and the remembrance day poster for the Provincial Committee of the Royal Canadian Legion. Her work has most recently been published in Black Bear Review magazine. Bethany Pardoe is currently in high school taking all the art courses she can and experimenting with subject medium and style. She has exhibited her art at the Nelson Municipal Library, the Capitol Theatre, Dominion Cafe, the Library of Sustainable Fashion, Oso Negro Cafe, and upcoming in Kootenay Bakery, in Nelson BC.
Bethany’s environment has influenced her work in terms of palette and subject matter. Her hometown Nelson has a great concentration of artists and creatives for such a small place and this has inspired and motivated her to contribute her own opinions. Being surrounded by artists has also motivated her to find her own voice in order to remain unique in a place so saturated with creativity. Living in a small town also made Bethany realize the magnitude of people that she may never encounter and for this reason art is a way for her to connect to a wider array of people. From a youth’s perspective she explores issues and subjects such as human emotion and social responsibility. Her work demonstrates what life is like in the Kootenays for a young person growing up. More of her work and sketchbook can be viewed on Instagram @bethanypardoeart.
In my acrylic paintings, oil paintings, and mixed media masks portraying the female figure I combine youthful pinks, blues and purples to explore the transitional stages of life. I illustrate skin with distinctive brushstrokes to hint at the inner workings beneath. The vivid colors and fantastical elements, such as flora, crowns, and small animals, depict innocence and naivety. In contrast to the soft palette my work deals with the internal struggles often involved in the path to maturation. The process of growing up in a generation that is simultaneously the most connected and most isolated from one another is visually represented in figurative paintings and 3-D masks. Nude females are included to portray the vulnerability that comes with the passage from childhood to adulthood as well as in reference to recent movements such as the body positivity movement and #MeToo. With unconventional palettes, I use color contrast to illustrate expressiveness of human emotion. I explore the link between the physical being and the internal self.
Hailey has lived her whole life in the Kootenays, and has no plans to move away anytime soon. Originally from Creston, she came to Nelson to study ceramics at the Kootenay School of Arts.
A writer before pottery, she mostly works on fantasy fiction. Her writing in the last year has gotten more personal, as part of taking creative writing at Selkirk College. In non-fiction and poetry, she writes about living everyday life when anxious, depressed, and creative. Her goal is to use ceramics and writing as positive influences on the world around her.
Updates on Hailey’s pottery, attempts to garden, and current project, The Anxious Introvert’s Guide to Staying Home, can be found on Instagram
Suki Simington lives in Nelson, BC with her parents and two dogs, Fruffy and Maple (the latter of whom once fought a bear and lived to tell the tale). She likes to ski, hike, read, write, and play the piano. She also enjoys British television and baking the occasional batch of croissants.
Nelson Aiken is a high school student and aspiring writer from Victoria, BC who dreams of leaving the city to work as a screenwriter and director later in life. When Nelson is not writing or buried in a book, he enjoys outdoor pursuits like hiking and skiing, listening to his eclectic and ever-growing library of music, photography, and travel.