FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
WHISTLER, BC – For three weeks in June, the magic and spirit of Chili Thom will be celebrated throughout Whistler with exhibitions, eccentric evenings, performances, and a showcase of Chili-inspired young artists’ work. Arts Whistler presents The Chili Thom Experience, a resort-wide celebration June 2 to 26, will honour one of the most significant artists to work, live, and contribute to the Sea to Sky community.
“Arts Whistler is honoured to showcase Chili’s works in June, from exhibiting his masterpieces at the spectacular Audain Art Museum, to baring his eclectic soul at the Maury Young Arts Centre”, said Arts Whistler Executive Director, Maureen Douglas. “Chili was a true cultural connector, and we’re celebrating his passion for collaboration by inviting the entire community to participate in The Chili Thom Experience, through attending, through social media, or by hosting your own Chili-themed event.”
Arts Whistler presents The Chili Thom Experience is a celebration of Chili, his life, and his art, for the community that loved him and the visitors about to discover him.
These exhibits hosted along Whistler’s Cultural Connector path pay tribute to part of Chili’s legacy in connecting all of the cultural facilities in Whistler. These Chili-inspired exhibitions along the cultural connector are only part of what’s to come. For the latest details on what’s happening in the community to celebrate Chili and his life’s work visit artswhistler.com/chili.
June 2 – 26 | Audain Art Museum
From dreamy landscapes to mind-bending nature perspectives, this exhibition will feature the best of Chili’s works showing his progression as an artist. Chili was part of the process in selecting which works to showcase and they are being shipped in from private collectors from across Canada and beyond. In keeping with Chili Thom’s generous and accessible spirit, entry to this exhibit will be free of charge.
HIS ECLECTIC SOUL
June 2 – 26 | The Gallery at the Arts Centre
Think you know Chili Thom? Think again. The home of Arts Whistler, The Arts Centre is a gallery where Chili’s footsteps often tread. It’s where the B-Grade Horrorfest made its debut and where Chili’s originals once hung beside many of his peers and best friends. This exhibition will feature some of Chili’s early works ranging from the eclectic to the unique to the downright bizarre.
INSPIRED BY CHILI THOM
June 2 – 26 | Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
In his life Chili Thom collaborated with, advocated for, and found inspiration in both the artists of the Squamish and Lil’wat nations, and the youth of today. Whistler High School students are studying Chili Thom’s body of work and in June the “Inspired By Chili Thom” show will open up at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – showcasing the students’ final pieces in their Chili Thom education and bridging the divide between two of our greatest cultural assets in Whistler.
June 2 – 26 | Whistler Public Library
Chili through the eyes of a child. Young students at Myrtle Philip Elementary School are looking at Chili Thom’s body of work and learning about how their identity is influenced by living in Whistler. Using Chili’s connection with nature as inspiration, these Little Chilis are showcasing their inspired talents at the Whistler Public Library. “Little Chilis” is being presented thanks to the generous support of the Morden family of Whistler, BC.
COLLECTING CHILI THOM
June 2 – 26 | Whistler Museum
Walk the everyday and epic moments of Chili Thom’s life, from the early years in his namesake of Chiliwack, BC, to the elbow rubbing times as a keystone in the culture club of the Sushi Village waiting scene. See Chili as a television host and wilderness guide, while living the fuzzy chaps and tutu art gatherings of Function Junction’s Creation Station. The Whistler Museum will help you better understand the celebrated landscape that influenced him, and share 40 years of his story.
There are lots more community events lined up to celebrate Chili’s life’s work throughout June, including a film festival weekend of his greatest films, and other events and exhibitions inspired by Chili as an artist, musician, filmmaker, and community builder. Stayed tuned to artswhistler.com/chili for all the latest updates.
Everyone is invited to share in Chili’s art and legacy on social media. Take a picture with Chili’s art —whether it’s a print, a mural, or a cell phone case, and use #MeAndMyChili on your social channels. Find yourself in a “Chili-esque” environment? Use the hashtag as all of these images will be collected to appear as a slideshow at receptions and other events honouring Chili.
Chili Thom’s Legacy:
Up and down the Sea to Sky Corridor, Chili Thom was a community volunteer and a strong advocate for the arts and culture community. He made a connection between sport, nature, and fine art and captured the spirit of the Sea to Sky with his dreamy imagery and wild at heart perspective. After a courageous and spirited fight, Chili, 40, lost his battle with cancer November 30, 2016.
Chili lived a life without limits. In addition to being a successful and largely self-taught painter, he was also a talented DJ, a passionate backcountry guide, and an innovative filmmaker. As a member of the Arts Whistler board of directors, Chili brought the artist’s perspective to the organization and was one of the founders of the Sea to Sky Arts Council Alliance to help elevate arts and culture throughout the Corridor.
“Chili was instrumental in the development of arts and culture in Whistler,” says Heather Paul, chair of the Arts Whistler board. “He was a brilliant painter and an unwavering advocate for our community’s artists. But even more importantly, Chili was someone who encouraged others to be all they could be.”
He passed away knowing that his work would be showcased at the Audain Art Museum and was part of the planning group that includes his friends and family, Arts Whistler, and the Audain Art Museum.
More program announcements will follow. Visit artswhistler.com/chili for full details and updates as they become available. We welcome your support of fundraising events with proceeds supporting The Chili Thom Experience which will fund free admission to Chili’s work at the Audain Art Museum, and expenses related to the exhibitions. Proceeds will also support a legacy scholarship in Chili’s name.
Twitter: @artswhistler #artswhistler
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ABOUT ARTS WHISTLER
Arts Whistler is passionate about Whistler, about arts, and about making arts and culture an integral part of day-to-day life. Operating out of the Maury Young Arts Centre in the heart of Whistler Village, Arts Whistler runs a variety of creative classes, showcases an exciting lineup of live shows for Arts Whistler Live!, and hosts year-round free-admission exhibits in The Gallery supporting local artists and their craft. Annual events include the Whistler Children’s Festival, Whistler Street Entertainment, Arts Whistler’s Holiday Market, ArtWalk, and Art on the Lake. Arts Whistler creates bold, inspiring, and engaging experiences and supports an arts and culture sector in Whistler that’s welcoming, accessible, and collaborative.
GOT THE PICTURE?
Arts Whistler is pleased to provide high resolution photos for editorial use. Please credit Joern Rohde with the attached photos.
WHO’S IN THE KNOW?
Jillian van der Geest