Caprice Hogg, a professional oil painter active in Kimberley for over 25 years, has opened an art exhibit at Centre 64 entitled Inspiring Connections, done in collaboration with her students.
Caprice moved to Kimberley in 1997 and has been an active member of the art community ever since. For the past ten years, she’s been teaching art lessons through Centre 64 as well as her studio which is located just a half a block up from there.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Caprice to have to re-think and re-shape her lessons. Normally done in person, Caprice and her students moved their lessons into the virtual realm and she’s remained an active teacher via Zoom.
“In many ways it worked out well, because when the pandemic first hit it was a big shock to me, just like it was to everyone else, and I thought for sure my weekly classes would come to a halt,” she told the Bulletin. “And then all of a sudden I made the switch to Zoom and some parts of it work better than in person.”
She said switching to Zoom actually made for some unexpected positive outcomes, such as being able to do screen shares and really focus in closely on certain parts of her students’ paintings.
“In some ways it brought me and my students closer together because it was suddenly a connection that we were able to share. It bonded us in a new way,” Caprice said. “When we were together all of us, we weren’t quite so isolated.”
Her students have dubbed the paintings created over quarantine times “The Covid Paintings,” and these have inspired the current exhibit, though her former students will also be exhibiting.
There is no one concurrent theme running through the exhibit.
“They’re pretty individual,” she said. “I worked with each of my students, picking out which paintings to exhibit and I wanted to show a wide variety of subject matter, different colours, there’s different mediums and I wanted to show the range that my students is capable of.”
Caprice likes to draw inspiration for her work from the beautiful nature surrounding her here in Kimberley. However, there were times throughout the pandemic where her inspiration levels were low.
“For me, my students actually have been a big inspiration for me because they kept painting and I really have a hard time painting when I’m not feeling really good or feeling inspired or uplifted,” she said. And the pandemic, I found it really tough to be creative. And so I really, really focused on my art lessons and my classes and my students and they kept on producing way more than I was.”
Getting the space to do the exhibit at Centre 64 had a touch of serendipity to it, as the gallery space is booked through until 2024. However, a cancellation created an opening that Caprice and her students jumped on immediately.
“I received an email from the gallery, I’m on their newsletter from the Kimberley Arts Council and I received a notice stating that an opening had come up in the Gallery,” she explained. “I didn’t even think anything about it and then one of my students sent me a note saying what about Caprice and her Students, could we do it?
“And I immediately jumped on that bandwagon and got in touch with the centre and they presented my proposal to the arts council and they said that they had received a lot of submissions from a lot of different artists and that they had agreed to accept us.”
This will be the very first time Caprice has displayed her work in a gallery alongside the work of her students.
“I’m excited that my students paintings are hung next to mine,” she said. “That has been making me really happy.”
Caprice worked closely with her students on many of the paintings that will be shown, so she said she’s very attached and connected to them; that she knows them almost as well as she knows her own work.
A portion of the exhibit is also dedicated to two of Caprice’s students who passed away: Don Davies and Nola Doiron.
Don was well known in Kimberley for his work with the education system, sitting on the board of the Kimberley Arts Council and for his band the Don Davies Quartet.
“Don was a pillar of the community and so I wanted him to involved,” Caprice said. “I had a lot of fun teaching him through the years. He was a neat, neat man.”
Following a cancer diagnosis, Nola did a very inspiring trip to Mexico to spend her last days on the beach. Both of these former students will have work on display, plus biographies written up so people can learn about their lives.
Inspiring Connections runs from October 27 to November 21 and will also be available to view online.