Art Gallery Kimberley is hosting its first solo art exhibition in its display area, The Laundromat.
Kimberley artist Grant Smith is currently displaying his work at The Laundromat, and proceeds from any sales will go to the Mountain Caribou Recovery Project.
Gallery owner Irma De Visser explains that Smith has always been concerned with wildlife welfare and animal conservation is a recurring theme in many of his artworks, particularly his latest, Mountain Caribou Recovery Project.
De Visser says that Smith spent a lot of time in the past three years thinking about the disappearance of the South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd from our area.
In the hope of seeing the restoration of the mountain caribou to their former ranges in southern British Columbia, Smith spent time creating the shapes of mountain caribou in wire and, using wooden dowels on masonite, pegging them firmly back into place. “I enjoyed working simply with their shapes in wire and then I discovered that the wire cast shadows onto surfaces, a bit like ghosts or memories.” he told De Visser.
“This is the first time in my life when a group of wild animals has become extinct in my own backyard, so to speak.” said Smith. “Collectively, we need actions to bring the Mountain Caribou back to Southeastern British Columbia. The remaining stands of inland old growth temperate rainforest need to be protected from clear cut logging, abandoned forestry service roads need to be decommissioned, recreation in sensitive areas needs to be curtailed and protected wildlife corridors across neighbouring watersheds need to be created. There are no immediate plans to try again at reintroducing mountain caribou from other herds into our area, but maybe with good stewardship of the remaining herds and habitat protection and connectivity, the mountain caribou can grow back into this region and things can be put right.”
Smith says he admires the work of Wildsight’s Dave Quinn, Eddie Petryshen and John Bergenske and wants to support them by donating the process from his artwork to Wildsight.
Smith’s solo art exhibition at Art Gallery Kimberley also features his latest stencil and block prints of local animals and chalk drawings of pine trees from the Second Butte in Wycliffe and the backyards of houses along 106th Avenue Rails-to-Trails pathway.