LIFTing the Community
Retired Catskinner Chairs Find New Life As Works of Art with LIFTing the Community
Outdoor Exhibit: Whistler Village and Upper Village | FREE, all ages | June – August, 2021
Whistler Community Services Society & Laura Scarr
Proceeds will benefit: Whistler Community Services
Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) has a strong history of quickly responding to the needs of the community using an effective, collaborative and unique approach. WCSS works with community partners, members, funders and other non-profits to provide programs and services that support and advocate for a healthy community.
Artist: Laura Scarr
Laura Scarr is a contemporary landscape painter. Whether it is a sunrise bursting through snowy trees or light cascading through a forest canopy, the light that bursts through the landscapes of British Columbia is the main source of inspiration for Laura’s work.
*As this is an outdoor exhibit, all chairs will be touched up by the artists before going to their new home. Find our more about the auction
Discover the story behind the chair and find out more about the artist and organization:
Artist Laura Scarr
Laura Scarr is a contemporary landscape painter. In 2008, she received a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Guelph. After graduating, Laura moved to Whistler and has been finding inspiration in the mountains ever since. Laura is fascinated with the moments in photographs that have failed to capture reality. Specifically, where the excess of light distorts the colors and forms within an image to the point where reality is suggested but unclear. In these moments beautiful colors blur and distort to create a veil over reality. Using the language of these distortions in her paintings allows her to create landscapes which, although visible, maintain their own mysteries. Within a modern culture where we are bombarded with information, Laura’s sense of true beauty lies in the quiet moments that allow us to contemplate and embrace the unknown. The wild landscapes of British Columbia have provided her work with a starting point which Laura uses to morph into abstract explorations of light and color. Whether it is a sunrise bursting through snowy trees or light cascading through a forest canopy, the light that bursts through the landscapes of British Columbia is the main source of inspiration for Laura’s work.
Whistler Community Services Society
Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) has a strong history of quickly responding to the needs of the community using an effective, collaborative and unique approach. WCSS works with community partners, members, funders and other non-profits to “Provide programs and services that support and advocate for a healthy community”. Starting in 1989 with only two programs, Food Bank and Santa’s Hampers; WCSS has continued to flourish with the success of two social enterprises the Re-Use-it Centre and The Re-build-it Centre, and have increased programming to over 25 different services. Most importantly, our Outreach program provides no-cost, confidential support for those experiencing challenges with mental health, financial insecurity, advocacy, physical health and injury, housing, food insecurity, substance use, employment, family/friend relationships, or violence/conflict in relationships. Our success would not be possible without the continuous support and unwavering devotion from our volunteers, our staff, our stakeholders and ultimately our donors; the community of Whistler.
LIFTing the Community
Local artists have transformed 15 retired Catskinner ski lift chairs into works of art, reflecting the theme of belonging as perceived by 15 community groups that actively contribute to community life. LIFTing the Community has been created to enhance the sense of belonging in Whistler and the Sea to Sky. Whether Whistler is home for a season or a lifetime, a sense of belonging benefits us all. In our ever-growing and changing community, wellness, connection and a sense of home needs to be fostered, practiced, discussed and experienced by our community.
With support from Vail Resort’s Epic Promise fund, in partnership with Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Arts Whistler has paired some of the Sea to Sky’s most exciting artists with 15 community groups to reimagine trusty old Catskinner lift chairs into compelling works of art. Tourism Whistler recently provided space for the artists to work in the Whistler Conference Centre.
The reimagined chairs are on display throughout the summer in Whistler Village for people to explore, experience and discover their own spirit of belonging. Chairs will be auctioned off with the funds going to the community organizations to support their programs that support community belonging and wellbeing.
Learn more about all of the participating community groups and creative artists paired with them:
- Arts Whistler | Anna Lynch
- Audain Art Museum | Dave Petko & Liz Thomson
- AWARE | Ben Poechman
- Kids on the Move | Kris Kups
- Mature Action Community | Tonnja Kopp
- The Point Artist Run Centre | Sherry Klassen
- Squamish Arts Council | Kendra Hicks
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre | Taka Sudo & Dominique Nahanee
- Whistler Adaptive Sport Program | Vanessa Stark
- Whistler Blackcomb Foundation | Mike Tyler & Bob Van Engelsdorp
- Whistler Community Foundation | Stan Matwychuk
- Whistler Community Services Society & Laura Scarr
- Whistler Museum and Archives | Alyssa Bruijns
- Whistler Public Library | Michaela Ivancova
- Whistler Youth Centre/Alphabet Soup | Ace Mackay-Smith & Mercedes Nicoll
Take yourself on a tour and discover all of the chairs for yourself!
With thanks to our sponsor Epic Promise, and project partners:
Thanks to Neutron Factory Works for production support.
Accommodation provided by: