June 18th -25th 2016, The Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, Whistler BC, in partnership with Pacific Wild, held a group exhibition….
Many of our artists have made the journey into the Great Bear Rainforest to experience the wilderness and beauty of the Earth’s largest intact temperate rainforest.
Growing up in the lower mainland the mid-coast of British Columbia was thought of as company mill towns and commercial fishing depots. It was not a place where anyone would holiday. I grew up in Ladner, BC. Back then Ladner was a farming and fishing village located at the south arm of the Fraser River. In my youth a summer job on a seiner brought me to Namu, Klemtu, Ocean Falls and Prince Rupert on the way to the northern fishing grounds. This was my first introduction to this mysterious coast that would come to be known as the ‘Great Bear Rainforest’. Over the years I’ve made plein air painting trips with groups of artists, sailing threw the inside passage and travelling from the interior to Bella Coola and Prince Rupert. I was always impressed by the regions mystery and beauty.
The three paintings submitted for this group show ( featured below ) are portraits of two first nations carver’s I’ve known from Alert Bay, Al West and Beau Dick, both artists and hereditary chiefs. The subject of the third painting is of a summer fishing camp stationed on the craggy inlet shores of the rainforest. To me they are iconic and symbolize the pioneer spirit and independents of those who call Great Bear Rainforest home.
The Great Bear Rainforest was officially recognised by the Government of British Columbia this year, February 2016, with the announcement that 85% of the old growth forested area would be permanently protected against industrial logging.
We will be celebrating the beautiful, natural landscape of the Great Bear Rainforest through a selection of new artist’s works, presentations by BC artist Charlie Easton and Pacific Wild representative Colette Heneghan. Along with a silent auction of special edition photographs by Ian McAllister, award winning photographer, with proceeds going to Pacific Wild Foundation.
‘Carver’s Shed’ 36 X 60 in. oil on canvas portrait of Al West, hereditary chief of the Namgis.
36 X 48 in oil on canvas. ‘Carver of Monsters’ portrait of Beau Dick, artist, hereditary chief and medicine man of the Kwakwaka’wakw.
40 X 60 in oil on canvas. ‘Rainforest Homestead’
portrait sketch of Hereditary Chief, Al West, September 4th, 2017