Visuals – Squamish Valley Artists believe that the words ‘art’ and ‘heart’ always go hand in hand.

Visuals – Squamish Valley Artists believe that the words ‘art’ and ‘heart’ always go hand in hand.

Visuals – Squamish Valley Artists believe that the words ‘art’ and ‘heart’ always go hand in hand.

Talented Squamish artists have been exploring this theme in their exhibit, Art in a heART. There is an artist inside everyone and artists are crazy passionate about what they do! The process of creating transports the artist into another realm where they challenge themselves to observe or let intuition flow, making connections between communication and culture.

Art is universal — the visual language of love.

    February 2-23 | Open daily | Free | Maury Young Arts Centre, Whistler
    February 11 | 6-9pm | Free | Cash bar | Maury Young Arts Center, Whistler | Share the Facebook event

Meet the artists:

Amanda Storwick

Amanda Storwick is a young artist, driven by her strong background in drawing, her interest in 
acrylics, and a recent introduction to pastels. While her style continues to settle, she finds that she is particularly drawn to images and concepts that are visually exciting, meaningful, and dazzling. 

Amanda’s background in theatre and design informs her art with her knowledge of illumination of space and powerful stage pictures, in addition to her attention to detail. 

Although the public exposure of her art has been slim, Amanda is excited to begin sharing her work with the community.

I have a deep love and connection to the ocean creatures. My heart truly does belong to the sea, which is what brought me to BC from Alberta. One of my favorite creatures is the stingray, because it is a beautiful mix of grace and power. Additionally, when i look at stingrays, I see them as heart shaped creatures swimming in the sea. Depicted in my painting are two rays, a mother and daughter, swimming through a school of fish. These are highlighted with pink tones (as this is a common symbol of love). This piece represents my love for the sea, my love for stingrays, and the connection between mother and daughter, which resonates within my heart.

Amber Gould

Amber is dynamic creative dedicated to channeling and giving form to the conscious feminine. Amber utilizes the Intentional Creativity® modality in the creation of her paintings and is a certified Intentional Creativity Teacher, offering powerful creative experiences to folks in the Sea to Sky Corridor. 
Intentional Creativity invites people to work with art and inquiry intentionally as a way to become more consciously-aware of what the soul is wanting to communicate. This is about ACCESS – opening the awareness to new information, new ideas, and new ways of being that come as a message or insight from the created image. Having practiced Intentional Creativity for many years, Amber has experienced this as one of the most effective mediums for transforming old stories into dynamic possibilities and staying current with one’s own personal story and sense of self.  


Angela Muellers

Angela is a full time artist and educator. She has been a resident of Squamish for 20 years and spends time in the wilderness climbing and skiing. Angela’s initial introduction to painting was through her German grandfather, her parents encouraged her further with classes.

Cathy Wickett

I have been drawing and carrying a camera around as long as I can remember.

Trained as a graphic designer my career focus was on interpretive design, illustration and visual arts. As a commercial gallery manager I also spent many years working in the fine art industry. 

Mostly-retired I now have time to focus on my painting practice.

My influences are the many artists I have met along the way, the prairies where I lived much of my life and now the mountains here in Squamish.

Ben Poechman

Benjamin Jacob Poechman grew up in a family of eight on an organic egg farm in the foothills of southern Ontario. With big mountain dreams and a passion for snowboarding he graduated high school and did not pass Go, did not collect $200, but headed straight to Whistler, BC. 

Growing up on the family farm instilled a deeply rooted philosophy of creating a lifestyle that inhibits growth and fosters community. After five years of working seasonally to fund his adventurous winter pursuits, he began to search for a better balance. Ben vowed to leave his landscaping job behind and explore a more fulfilling purpose with passion.

His first discovery after escaping the hamster wheel of seasonal employment was a stone carving studio right here in Whistler. Ben began creating inukshuks for an art gallery over the summer, which led to full time employment and eventually the skills he needed to create art harvested from his own imagination. Ben realized he has the ability to hold a vision in his mind and project it into something tangible. 
The miracle of creative expression consumed him that first year, as he began to experiment and explore new outlets and avenues to convey his dreams and inspirations. Ben first started painting watercolours for birthday gifts and random acts of kindness for friends and family. Ben soon realized how much he enjoyed giving a gift that he had created. Ever since, he has created space between stone carving and snowboarding, to tune out the world and create his own two dimensional place to share.

Curtis Sauve

Curtis Sauve aka Cortez is a local abstract artist and longtime bouldering enthusiast known as a multifaceted creator with an original laugh.

Cortez is a widely known athlete, artist and performer, making appearances as a in-front comedian, chef and foodie. His biggest rewards are always fresh and new ideas. He’s self-taught and occasionally teaches his love of expression. Cortezʼs inspiration is lustfully abstract. His signature colour combinations and composition are designed to baffle. He’s in awe of the freedom to create with no purpose or thought.

Dawna Werbeski

Dawna is best known for her larger canvases featuring the details of twisted trees and mountain rock pathways. However, her ongoing collection of artwork encompasses far more eclectic subject matter and media.
Creations range from traditional applications of acrylic paint and shift through a spectrum of combinations incorporating reactive resins on various surfaces including glass. Fun colourful translucent images of seaweed bobbing, whimsical tree lines, and leaded glass-like pieces add a splash of dazzling sun rays to windowsills or frames.

Her current creative intentions are laid out on cradled hardboard canvases. They feature glorious resin reactions representing slices of dramatic skies with deep rough seas, aerial views of waves washing ocean beaches and earth’s geographic mottling. Some of her works are smaller canvas groupings that can be reorganized in various combinations to essentially create a new piece when the mood strikes.

Elena Whitman

Elena moved to Squamish, Canada, B.C. from Moscow, Russia in November 2014. She has always been enchanted by masterpieces of great painters. It wasn’t until she took part in an Intuitive Painting workshop in 2011 that she started to envision herself as a painter. Inspired by beautiful local sceneries she started painting Canadian landscapes and beautiful nature scenes. The beauty of the sea, sunsets and sails has always fascinated her.
Recently Elena started taking Charles Bargue drawing classes that took her back to the very basics of Academic drawing. She is learning about light and dark families, range of values, training her eye to see subtle differences in shapes and forms. New knowledge she obtained has resulted in beautiful graphite and charcoal works of majestic sail boats and fresh rendering of classical sculptures.

Grace Laverdiere

Grace is 17 years old and was born and raised in Squamish, BC. She is currently a grade 12 student at the Whistler Waldorf High School. Attending the Squamish Waldorf School through her primary years has really fostered her creativity and love of
art. Grace plays the violin, loves to read and is currently taking art classes with Angela Muellers, a very inspiring artist and teacher to her. Her father originally taught her how to draw when she was very young, and she has continued to draw and paint in school,
as well as at home. Art has always been one of her favourite subjects; it is one of her main passions and she takes pride in her work. Aside from drawing, she has painted with watercolours, gouache, acrylics and oils, and has also worked with charcoal and clay, although, her preference is painting and working with graphite. Grace is a realist artist, and it has been her goal to create something that replicates a picture, whether
that be from a photograph, or nature, since she was very young. She is inspired to continue creating art because even though it can be very challenging, seeing the art piece as it unfolds, and the end result is what makes the whole process worth it.

Jenna Robinson

Landscape artist, J. D. Robinson, uses vivid light and contrasting colour to guide her viewers on an intimate journey of her local, British Columbian environment. Robinson’s work is realistic, yet her focus on contrast lends a surreal element to her mostly acrylic portraits of Canadian mountains, reflections, and forests.

Permeating each canvas is her belief that light is an infinitely creative force that plays on landscapes; it’s constantly shifting and revealing a new perspective on a familiar place. Self-taught, Robinson began painting to express her personal and family connection to the mountains, a connection that was initially established through rock climbing, hiking, skiing, and a rural childhood. In this age of urbanization with a growing need to advocate for our environment, Robinson’s bold portrayals of her local landscapes encourage appreciation and respect for these natural places.

Karen Yaremkewich

Textile artist Karen Yaremkewich creates contemporary one-of-a-kind, handmade wearable art, fairytale couture and eco-friendly home decor. She breathes new life into locally sourced reclaimed fabric waste and thrift shop finds.

Born and raised in Squamish, British Columbia on the beautiful West Coast of Canada, Karen comes from generations of makers; and daughter of the late Hedi Knudsen who was a well known local textile artist, weaver, spinner and knitter. Both Karen’s grandmothers were dressmakers and seamstresses who raised their families in the thirties and forties in Europe. Upcycling wasn’t a coined term then, but it would describe exactly what they did as their way of life. Old things were taken apart and sewn into something new again.

Yaremkewich is a full-time artist, seamstress and on-line store owner of Endure Upcycled Designs (on Etsy) where she shares her creative costumes and fanciful creations around the world. She says, “I have had the great pleasure of creating costumes for local kids musical theatre productions with the Squamish Academy of Music Broadway or Bust program for the past 7 years as lead costumer for over 14 shows!”

Kim Sawula

Kim Sawula was born in Canada in the prairies, where the winters are long, cold and snowy, and the ground is flat as far as the eye can see. The sky overhead stretches from one horizon to the other in a sea of clouds and color. In the prairies everything is immense and enduring. Kim has now moved West and is surrounded by new landscapes with moss covered cliffs and the tallest trees she has ever seen, that stretch from the ground and disappear up in the sky. The opposition between these places is clear but she prefers their similarities; found in the connection between the elements within each space.
Details like the network of veins on the underside of a leaf or the way light passes through the overlapping canopy, creates new shapes that catch her eye. She watches the soft gradients that fall between light and dark in the afternoon sun or the way the wind bends tree limbs. These subtle relationships of fine balance are what she is drawn to in her aesthetic. As Kim works in a stream of consciousness, she remembers the feeling of these shapes and images in the collection of her mind and intuitively reorganizes them into her work.

Lenny Rubenovitch

Lenny produces artistic furniture which emits a state of reverie. He produces timeless and inspirational works that bring character and dialogue to spaces with consideration and respect to the environment. Our living spaces play a key role in our attitudes and Lenny sees to create products with stories that support a healthy living environment.

Lynda Maximenko

Over forty years ago Lynda worked as a production weaver and spinner living rurally in the Upper Squamish Valley. For ten years she wove a multitude of clothing, blankets, pillows, wall hangings and many other creations, which she sold to specialty stores. Lynda was a participant in the newly emerging craft faire market scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Lynda took a couple of decade’s hiatus and pursued other endeavours that she pursued with enthusiasm. She always planned on returning to weaving on her ‘retirement.’ When she re-entred this creative world, she discovered a new universe had emerged! Her unearthing of new techniques began when she attended a spinning retreat in a monastery, where she met spinners who were doing things that did not exist decades ago. Lynda now attends every year and spins morning, noon and night with inspirational spinners from all over the province.

She spins her yarns for her weavings on a special spinning wheel that allows for all sorts of textured art yarns. Her yarns are created from sheep fleece, silk, merino wool, bamboo, angora and linen. The art of needle felting is added to some of the weavings. Most recently she has embraced adding carefully collected colourful textured beads to some of her hangings.

Marcelle Armatage

Marcelle has lived in Whistler, BC since 1969.

Since her return to paintings and ceramics, her artwork evolves consciously and unconsciously. Each idea, color, shape, line, form and pattern happens in its own time.

Marcelle’s paintings consist of abstract landscapes. The landscapes of the Sea to Sky Corridor influence the direction of the geometric patterns. She works with many layers of acrylic paint and mixed mediums all adding to a textured surface.

Marcelle’s tall clay ceramics are a sculptural expression of local landscapes. The planters are slabs built for plants changing in size, shape and speed of growth. All with a finish subtle texture.

My work has a strong connection with nature and organic structures. Each body of work embodies her interest in unique forms, creative subjects. Marcelle has exhibited in Quebec, Paris, Whistler and Vancouver.

Michaela Ivancova

Michaela Ivancova, also called Machi Mela, is a passionate artist that finds inspiration in nature and own experiences. She focuses on depicting events from her personal life and her own states of mind. 

Michaela is a graduate of Presov University in Slovakia with a Major in Fine Arts. As part of her studies, she also attended Shenzhen University in China and Rzeszow University in Poland in order to get a broader view of art scenes around the world. Drawing, painting, and woodworking became a part of her daily life. 

Michaela also studied ILAC College in Vancouver. Coming to Vancouver and then to Whistler has opened many possibilities for her artistic visions. British Columbia nature, especially mountains and animals has become her new inspirations. She has recently created a series of animal drawings, and paintings of mountains she explored. Last but not least, a Bison has become a new motive for her creation, especially in a wood media.

Michiko Splinter

Michiko moved to Squamish in late 2004 from Osaka, Japan.

Inspired by our beautiful, natural surroundings, she resumed painting months after arriving here, following an 12-year hiatus. Michiko realized how much she had missed and needed to paint. While she has been drawing and painting since she was a child, it was here that she began interpreting landscape for the first time.

Michiko a self-taught painter, paints several hours almost every day starting in the quiet of morning. Her style of painting has evolved significantly since moving here. She explains, “I focus more on translating what I feel from what I see with thin layers of paint on canvas. I used to like painting with very thick texture.”

From the age of 18, Michiko has been involved an art group in Osaka where work is exhibited in a private gallery once a year.

Michiko is also an active volunteer and member of Visuals since 2009.
She regularly participates in shows around Squamish.

“Art is very important to me. It is a passion I feel blessed to be able to pursue.”

Penelope Kalopisi Kennedy


Toby Jaxon

West coast adventure artist Toby Jaxon affirms,“Nature is alive with vibrating colour and animating spirit; this observation is confirmed in the views I enjoy from my own backyard and informs many of my canvasses.” Easily accessible high mountain trails provide an abundance of stunning views of the Howe Sound region and for this passionate artist, it translates into new artful compositions derived from the vastness and mystery of nature…where the unconscious speaks in ways beyond words! Toby’s artistic acrylic creations feature vivid contrasting colour and multiple perspectives. The under-painting sporadically pops through to persuade unification of the entire piece. Toby develops a relationship of naïve colour shapes using a variety of deliberate strokes, a technique that creates a dynamic rendition, a shock effect that challenges the viewer’s experience.

Toby was recently honoured to be the Artist in Residence guest on the Azamara Quest Club Cruises to live and paint aboard the ship for the month of June in 2019 as it travelled up and down the Alaskan coastline.

Tonnja Kopp

Tonnja Kopp’s passion lies in the act of creation. She was born in Canada but raised in Switzerland where her experiences cultivated her love for art. A visual artist, Tonnja strives to connect her patrons with the beauty of nature found near her new home in Squamish, British Columbia.
Nature is Tonnja’s motif. Surrounded by awe inspiring mountains and deep lush forests, makes her feel alive! This is what truly inspires her. Natural objects in unusual, unique compositions or astonishing light conditions are some of her favourite subjects.
Next to painting rock formations, stones and plants, Tonnja loves to paint bears. Bears have been her favourite animal since childhood and appear often in her work. She’s particularly drawn to their raw strength, sheer size and power, which is in direct contrast to their playful and tranquil demeanor.
Tonnja’s main medium is acrylic which she uses on various materials like canvas, wood and MDF panels.




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