Celebrate BC Culture Days

Kimberley Arts Council wants you to spend time with artists

Freedom Flight by artist Leah Wilson

Freedom Flight by artist Leah Wilson

British Columbians, along with the rest of Canadians, will be celebrating Culture Days on the weekend of September 26, 27 and 28, 2014. Culture Days is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

There is no doubt that arts and culture plays a strong role in Kimberley with a hard working and dedicated Arts Council driving many events, including Arts on the Edge in August, this year with the week-long Kaleidoscope Festival leading into it; First Saturdays; art exhibits; and a continual stream of quality concerts and entertainment events year-round.

For the days set aside specifically for culture in September, the Kimberley Arts Council will allow visitors to Centre 64 to get up close and personal with a couple of artists — to get into their heads and find out what inspires them.

The two artists are from Kootenay Lake, Leah Wilson and Dan Silakiewicz, and their exhibit will be in the gallery from Tuesday, September 2 to Sunday, September 28. On that Sunday, Leah and Dan will be at Centre 64 to talk about their art and demonstrate their painting/drawing techniques. Rumour has that Dan, also known as Howlin’ Dan, may play a few tunes as well. The session goes from 2 to 4 p.m.

The exhibit itself is called  ‘What’s the Matter’ and feature acrylic paintings and ink line drawings that share a common thread — reconstructing reality through art.

As per the exhibit’s press release, Leah’s part of the show features recent acrylic paintings that explore a landscape made up of floating particles reflecting light and color, breaking down the subject matter into colorful symbolic images. The most common shape in her work is the square; she stacks a multitude of vibrantly colored squares against each other to create the whole piece. This visual sensation she calls “Color Field Vibration”. The textures and color combinations found in this series of paintings often inspires the viewer to touch the painting. Feedback suggests there are so many layers to explore it could take hours to take the journey.

“Her recent works on exhibit are part of a series called “Freedom Flight” numbered in sequence of completion. The series takes on the idea of freedom using the flying bird as the symbol, creating a space full of birds moving upwards for the viewer to experience.

“Dan’s part of the show features his recent linear paintings and drawings. They are all larger images made up of smaller shapes, words, or images. These works are meant to be examined, the discovery of the various details making the examination a treasure hunt.

“The pictures are an extension of, and a learning tool for part of his spiritual philosophy which is: “The more carefully you examine or experience something the more you get out of it – pay attention!”

“For example, you can look at a tree. Nice tree. If you look closer and see the leaves flutter and the pattern of the bark you experience a little more about the tree. If you notice the tree’s movement or see how fast a cloud passes it, you also learn something about the weather and enlarge your experience. If you find out how the tree works, what a wonder of nature it is, you get more even out of it.

“Dan’s style of art came about from realizing that areas of a painting need not be made of solid lines or colours. A dark patch could be a series of dots or other marks that still perform the function of shading but add something else as well.”


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