We Heart Local Art invites you on a visual journey through the creative minds of 14 artists in the Sea to Sky.
From serene landscapes to psychedelic worlds, ornate carvings to intricate pen and ink, We Heart Local Art celebrates the diversity of artistic styles and perspectives.
Whether you’re an avid art collector or a first-time appreciator, We Heart Local Art is the perfect opportunity to bring the eclectic style of the Pacific Northwest to your walls this summer.
June 6 – July 15 | The Gallery at the Maury Young Arts Centre | Free & everyone welcome
Featuring artwork from:
Alli van Gruen
Alli van Gruen is a contemporary Canadian artist with a multifaceted mixed portfolio. From her animal portraits to her autobiographical work referencing old family slides to her colour-infused abstract chairs and landscapes… van Gruen is happy to play with multiple subject matters in her art practice. She strives to create a personal relationship between her artwork and her audience, with the ultimate goal of evoking a feeling of intimacy and nostalgia. She uses intricate brushwork and an expansive colour palette to express her connections with her subject matter to tell a story. Alli lives in Whistler, BC, with her family and dog, Bea. Her work can be found around Whistler and in many private collections in Canada and Europe.
Brayden is a lifelong skier, fine artist, and commercial illustrator who draws inspiration from various interests. Having spent the better portion of his years in competitive skiing, and later attending OCADU for formal arts training, he now finds a way to merge his experiences in the mountains with the urban landscape creating a bridge between the various environments he’s existed within.
Eileen is a multidisciplinary artist that uses wood, watercolour, and acrylic to communicate the fluid lines and natural geometries in nature she finds so appealing. Trained in industrial design and fine furniture and joinery, Eileen strives through her work to create a calming, natural sense that draws people into carefully curated details. Although trained in precision, the softer and perfectly imperfect lines and shapes that occur in nature come forward in her work.
Based out of Squamish, BC, Eileen finds the ancestral lands of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations truly awe-inspiring.
Eileen is a mom of two young daughters and loves witnessing their budding sense of exploration and creativity. Her family loves adventuring outdoors – surfing, mountain biking, camping, hiking, and exploring the backcountry are all important parts of their lives and what draws them to the Sea to Sky.
Helen was born in the northwest of England. She had grown up always loving and appreciating the arts! Helen has always had a natural eye for art and design and has nurtured her skills over the years. Today she resides in Whistler with her husband and two dogs. Helen studied Illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Before that, she had worked as a Snowboard instructor in Austria. Helen also had a fondness for the mountains, and being immersed in nature is a therapeutic bliss. Helen has had many different jobs throughout her years and is always looking for fun new adventures. Most recently, Helen has refound her love for illustration after learning the art of tattooing.
Holly is a British Canadian artist living in Whistler, BC. Her art is inspired by the colours found in nature. She works mainly with acrylic paint as she loves blending and mixing colours on canvas. Many of her paintings are made by adding several layers of paint, then scraping parts back to create a rawness and depth to each design.
While travelling in Australia, Holly learned about colour therapy and the unique response colour invokes in each person. Combining this knowledge, her love for colour, and inspiration from nature, she has created thoughtful colour palettes. She often adds gold foil or iridescent paint to create a dancing effect across the canvas.
Joan Baron’s paintings reflect the passion she had for injecting art and creativity into everyday moments. Born in Vancouver, she was raised and educated in California, then spent her later years in Whistler. Here she found a place that combined her passion for art, environment and active living, inspiring her to create beautiful “moments in time.” Joan passed away on October, 2015, but her legacy lives on in the beautiful works she created.:
Juan is an illustrator from Spain living in Whistler. Five years ago, he decided to leave his country with only a backpack, watercolours, and brushes and began to travel the world, making his passion his profession.
The vividness of the colours and the subtlety of each inspire his brushstrokes and achieve Juan’s very personal style. You´ll find different techniques highlighted in the look of each of his portraits. Scarce brushstrokes, and full colour used in just the right place, make each of his works convey feelings beyond paper.
But… we cannot underestimate the value of his other passion and why five years ago he came to Whistler… SKIING. Passionate about this sport, he has been able to illustrate that feeling uniquely in his work. Works full of dynamism, detail, and vibrancy reflect the hidden spirit of all lovers of this sport.
Lesley Fireweed Gering
Lesley “Fireweed” Gering is an award-winning Emily Carr Alumni who explores the themes of modern technology, ancient mythology, and science with her large paintings, sculpture & photography. Her family moved to the Sea To Sky corridor in 1988, and it was here that her adventurous spirit took hold. Her passion for riding motorcycles and for the Ancient Near East culture has brought her to the top of the Himalayas on small dirt bikes and into the rare archives of Eastern European museums discovering that science and mythology have links – it’s the awareness of this beautiful juxtaposition that is her search. With each stroke and each layer, she pushes the boundaries of fabricated and body mechanics in Humanity, Machine and Nature.
Over the years, Fireweed’s process of painting with used motorcycle oil as a medium in her fine art has created a unique style for her work that has been exhibited internationally, eventually being awarded in the Hall of Fame for Motorcycling in both Canada (Motorcycle Confederation in Ottawa) and the USA (American Motorcycle Association in Colorado) – “for her contribution to the world of motorcycling through her art and writing.”
The soft charcoal-like style juxtaposed with the classic realistic rendering was tested over years of having her motorcycles in & out of her studio, thus having access to actual oil changes. Where do these fossil fuels go? Recycled into Art.
Lesley Fireweed Gering is honoured to be part of this show in Whistler, where she explores new themes from her last 34 years in the Sea to Sky area and around the world. Simply expressing the sacred & mechanical divine for her viewers with fine art – this fusion of science, nature, and sensuality holds a mysterious spell over the viewer to find peace and love with ourselves and with the planet.
Mimi Morrissey is a Whistler-based mixed media artist, printmaker, designer and crafter. Her formal training in Studio Art with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Printmaking and Art History was completed at the University of British Columbia in 2008. Subsequently, she has cultivated her artistic practice independently and in collaboration with numerous wide-ranging art collectives and initiatives in Montreal, Vancouver, Paris, New York, New Delhi, Athens, and Georgia in the United States. A certified Yoga instructor, she has also travelled widely, teaching different yoga disciplines in Costa Rica, Bodhgaya, India, and throughout North America. After years of itinerancy, she found contentment and inspiration in her return to the Sea to Sky in 2020, a place long resonant with her spirit and artistic proclivity.
Nat Tuke is an artist and graphic designer living in Squamish, BC. Her art is heavily inspired by those ‘this is it’ moments – that perfect wave, the fleeting alpine glow, or a setting sun glittering on a glassy ocean. Her flowy, vibrant paintings celebrate the beauty and purity of the natural world as a great gift that has been given to us, one which we must protect and cherish.
Sunlight and warmth are a familiar presence in her work, tying back to her roots growing up in Melbourne, Australia. Moving to the Sea to Sky region in 2017, Nat’s fascination with the rugged and dramatic landscape of the west coast has translated into countless artworks. When she isn’t painting or designing, she is out climbing, skiing, and backpacking throughout BC, soaking up as much inspiration as possible.
Rob has lived in Whistler and worked with wood for over 30 years. After building many beautiful mountain homes (and a brief stint in the movie business), Rob decided to delve into the art world.
Inspired by the mountains and the natural environment, Rob chose to reuse and re-purpose as much material as possible for his art. His sources include second-hand stores, renovations, demolitions, off-cuts from local ski manufacturers, and most importantly, emotionally significant wood from a client’s past or present.
As an artist, Rob has found it incredibly satisfying to use a fragment of someone’s history as a basis for a current piece of art which can be enjoyed in perpetuity. His art is a touchstone to a specific time and place that can be enjoyed forever.
Rob considers it an honour to be tasked with creating beautiful and personal art.
Robyn is a Squamish-based artist that works primarily with acrylics. Robyn’s work focuses on capturing the beauty and magic of landscapes. The creation of depth and lighting are essential aspects of her work.
Robyn was a live painter at Arts Whistler’s Art on the Lake in 2021. She has exhibited pieces locally at the Maury Young Arts Centre and participated in the Squamish Art Walk in 2022. Robyn has taught an art programme at the Luminous Elephant Studio in Kitsilano and has previously exhibited work in Sydney, Australia.
Sarah McDonald gets her inspiration from the memories created by exploring the outdoors in beautiful British Columbia. With heavy textures and vibrant colours, she brings her paintings to life.
“I began painting and sculpting at an early age, over the years this practice evolved into using different mediums and techniques to create contrasting effects, and varying depth of fields. Primarily I paint with acrylic paint, using an airbrush or spray paint to create the bokeh effect and then heavy body acrylics or oils to create the textured foregrounds.”
Steffi is a graphic designer and illustrator. She tries to incorporate illustrations into her design work wherever she can and is primarily influenced by her visual arts background.
Her current inspirations come from her home here in the pacific northwest – its lush forests, majestic mountains, dark and mysterious oceans, and the many creatures that dwell within them. She has always found an appreciation for the life cycles of the natural world, finding beauty in decay and its contribution to new growth.
When she’s not illustrating or designing, she loves to drink tea, venture outside, climb rocks, delve into true crime and the macabre, and collect all things cute, strange, and unusual.
Steffi is humbled and grateful to be able to live and work in Squamish, BC, which is located within the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw traditional territories.
Vicki Lynn Barrett
Vicki Lynn Barrett was born in 1982 in Vancouver, BC, and currently resides and works in her studio at Furry Creek, BC.
In 2001 Vicki received formal training at the Lorenzo de Medici Art Institute in Florence, Italy. Three years later, she was accepted to the IDEA design program at Capilano University.
Honouring her Native Canadian (Metis) and South African roots, Vicki has explored various themes such as African and North American wildlife and landscape subjects, dance, spirituality, and psychology. In addition to her Safari and Canada Wild series, Vicki explores deeper themes of addiction and recovery in her Underworld, Recovery, Rising, and Risen series and raw self-reflection and analysis in her candid Eros series.
Vicki’s body of work honours and embraces the light, the shadow – en masse, it is a captivating visual journal of her life and experiences.