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Thousands of dollars in Indigenous art missing after Bella Coola break-in – Williams Lake Tribune



The owner of Bella Coola Wild Craft and Gallery is hoping the public will keep an eye out for thousands of dollars in Indigenous art that went missing following a break-in to her business.

Kathleen Booth learned the arts and craft store, and gallery was a victim of crime Monday morning after a worker of the Cumbrian Inn who does a daily check of the shared space noticed the back door open and heard some noise.

She said he initially thought it might have been a bear although he had quickly realized that scenario made little sense when he had ended up chasing several potential suspects who had tried to make a get away from the building on foot.

“It’s very tied into what we seem to think that is an escalation of drugs that are coming into our valley, notably meth,” Booth said, noting there were a couple of break-ins within the community prior including the boats at the wharf.

“We see behaviours of people changing.”

With the suspects having made their way through the rear door of the hotel and breaching a variety of corridors by breaking through doors, Booth estimates at least $14,000 in art by a variety of artists including a hand painted jacket of a grizzly by herself is missing.

There is also approximately $2,000 in damage.

Despite being left devastated by the event and the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the woes, Booth said things can be repaired and fixed.

“Because the drive of the business is people over profit, it will continue.”

Booth started the fairly small arts and craft store at her home-based studio in 2012 as a means of providing residents affordable quality art supplies

It was just recently she held a soft-opening for the new location of the arts and craft store, as well as to celebrate the revamp of the art gallery she had taken over management of.

“We have a lot of artists in the valley, and there’s a challenge in small communities like this with drugs and alcohol and the nothing-to-do factor,” she said. “That’s a big part of what I do through the art store is basically to make a lot of supplies accessible and at an affordable price so that we can provide an option for people to spend Friday night in a different way.”

Since opening, Booth said within the last month she has heard from many young women who tell her they are making the choice to bead over drink.

She recalled how she came from a poor background in Quebec that was challenged even more when she chose to attend the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and would dumpster dive to salvage supplies she could use for her art due to unaffordable rent.

“For me it’s always been about empowering people no matter what step of life I’ve been through,” she said. “My mother taught me to share my gifts, share my knowledge and always try to build people up in that journey.”

Knowing that some are unable to complete the thought process leading up to their actions, Booth added she will not let the acts of one or a few individuals represent the whole of the community she has grown to love since calling it home nine years ago.

“There’s many other people that are struggling with addictions that have great respect and in honor of those people we continue, and I’ll continue, to keep those people in the foreground,” she said. “It’s too easy to let one person destroy everything for everybody.”

Anyone with further information is asked to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

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Vankleek Hill Fair-inspired painting will be part of art show in Texas – The Review Newspaper



Crystal Beshara’s touching watercolour, “Heart Whispers” (inspired by a photo she took at the 2019 Vankleek Hill Fair) is headed to Texas for The Southwestern Watercolor Society 57th Annual Exhibition.Since moving back to the area, Canadian contemporary realist artist Crystal Beshara’s renewed sense of “self” has permeated her latest works of art and her career is beginning to take off on the international art scene.

As a child, Crystal spent many summers attending (and even participated in events at) the Vankleek Hill Fair. The nerves, the excitement, the scents and sounds of the country fair have had a lingering impact on her fondness for the area. Now as an adult (and mother),  it was pure nostalgia to capture this precious exchange just after their line class, between young Piper and her massive companion Irene, a majestic Clydesdale owned by the Heatlie Family.  “I couldn’t believe how tiny Piper kept up with Irene’s gate when they trotted in front of the crowd last year. She was all but lifted off the ground!” The draft horses have always been a favourite of Beshara’s and this quiet, fleeting moment was too beautiful to resist.

Born to two artistic parents, Beshara has been painting and drawing since a child but moved to Ottawa to pursue her studies and a career. After 20 years of living in the Nation’s Capital as an artist, illustrator and successful arts educator, a new relationship brought her back quite unexpectedly to the area where she grew up and the genesis of her artistic journey, in Prescott Russell. Returning to her rural roots has brought clarity and created a powerful shift in her latest paintings.

“It wasn’t until I had moved in with my husband that I realized how impactful being back in the country could be. My senses are alive again. A veil has been lifted. My vision is clearer and most importantly my heart has opened again. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of “coming home” metaphorically and, in my case, also geographically”.

“I try to paint almost daily and honour my love for the natural world both through my artwork and teaching philosophy. My environment is key to my creative flow and I am so grateful that  I can just step out of my light filled studios, clip flowers from my garden, take in the rolling farmlands, meet up with local cowboys & cowgirls, or take a stroll in the woods rather than working almost exclusively from photos in a dark basement and hustling every day as I was in the city. I feel closer and more connected to the world… my childhood sense of wonder has returned and that is reflected in the stories I tell through my artwork”.

This guiding principal seems to be paying off as her work is being noted by American art markets. Last year she won The Award of Excellence for her painting “Lean on Me” (at the Steamboat Art Museum in Colorado Springs), was invited to teach a hugely popular workshop in (Wyoming), exhibited alongside fellow Canadian Wildlife Master Robert Bateman (Cincinnati) and Settlers West Galleries (Arizona) and The Steamboat Art Museum (Colorado Springs). Currently, Beshara’s oil painting “Cowgirl Up!” is featured in FINE ART CONNOISSEUR MAGAZINE, July / August edition profiling North America’s best Equine Artists. Keep an eye out for more news as she gears up for a solo show in Ottawa featuring local farm scenes from the Prescott Russell area.

“I think creative integrity and staying true to the subject matter that really lights your fire is crucial to honouring yourself and your work. It is indeed WORK and requires a lot of discipline and I am not without my discouraged days, but I am hopeful my steadfastness will pay off in the long run.”

“Heart Whispers” watercolour 16”x20”  (Limited Edition prints are available through the artist)

“Lean on Me” Oil on canvas 24×24 , Private Collection

“Cowgirl Up!” Oil on canvas 20×20, Available through the artist

About Crystal Beshara:

Crystal Beshara is an award winning contemporary realist painter. Crystal works in watercolour, oil and graphite and holds a BFA in Studio from The University of Ottawa as well as a Diploma in Botanical Illustration from the UK. She strives to create strong narrative in her work, combining realism and expressionism to give emotional charge to her rural subject matter. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including International Artist Magazine. Recently Crystal was awarded Best in Watercolour for her watercolour painting “These Boots” at the annual SKB Rendezvous in Wyoming and the Award for Excellence for her oil painting “Lean On Me” at the Steamboat Art Museum in Colorado Springs.

Crystal’s studio is situated in L’Orignal Ontario in Prescott Russell where she lives with her fiancé and their two dogs. To book a viewing, inquire about commissions or local and international art retreats, visit the artist’s website.

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Tiny worlds spark imagination at Art Gallery of Regina – Regina Leader-Post



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Artists Dick Moulding and Ed Finch will bring their creations to life during Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Moulding makes miniaturized farm machines, among them a baler that makes tiny bales of grass.

Ed Finch stands behind the mechanical rollercoaster he built. BRANDON HARDER/Regina Leader-Post

Finch has fabricated carnival rides, including a tabletop roller coaster, and a replica of the train at Ogema with tiny people inside.

Jason Nelson created a literal tiny world, a globe that rotates on an abstract ocean.

Frans Lotz’s mini jungle gym hearkens to a geodesic dome built for world’s fairs.

Kathleen and Jeff Coleclough made felted bison and horses, which stand among succulent plants. Outdoors, in the gallery’s sunny courtyard, there are more succulents — with more troll dolls hiding among them — and birdhouses in various designs.

These plants are a small consolation for fans of NDH’s annual Secret Gardens Tour, which couldn’t happen last month because of COVID-19.

REGINA, SASK : August 7, 2020  -- A number of planters featuring trolls and succulent plants are on display as part of the Tiny Worlds exhibition taking place at the Regina Art Gallery on Elphinstone Street in Regina, Saskatchewan on August 7, 2020. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
A number of planters featuring trolls and succulent plants are part of A Tiny Worlds Fair. BRANDON HARDER/Regina Leader-Post

Artists Kristin Mae Evans, Don List, Daniel Paquet and Annalisa Raho also feature in the exhibition, which runs through Aug. 21.

A closing reception will see live performances by Tom Brown, Mohit, Tessa Rae, Aaron Santos, Renz Rivero and Jerry Siphanthong on Aug. 21, 5-7 p.m.

The Art Gallery of Regina is at 2420 Elphinstone St. Current hours are noon to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The gallery has adapted to the pandemic, installing hand sanitizer stations and one-way traffic arrows.

More information will be available at

REGINA, SASK : August 7, 2020  -- A piece entitled 19 COVID trolls is on display as part of the Tiny Worlds exhibition taking place at the Regina Art Gallery on Elphinstone Street in Regina, Saskatchewan on August 7, 2020. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
19 COVID Trolls, created by Robin Poitras. BRANDON HARDER/Regina Leader-Post
REGINA, SASK : August 7, 2020  -- A tiny jungle gym is on display as part of the Tiny Worlds exhibition taking place at the Regina Art Gallery on Elphinstone Street in Regina, Saskatchewan on August 7, 2020. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
A tiny jungle gym by Frans Lotz. BRANDON HARDER/Regina Leader-Post
REGINA, SASK : August 7, 2020  -- A piece entitled Earth Ship is on display as part of the Tiny Worlds exhibition taking place at the Regina Art Gallery on Elphinstone Street in Regina, Saskatchewan on August 7, 2020. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
A piece entitled Earth Ship is on display as part of A Tiny World’s Fair exhibition at the Art Gallery of Regina. BRANDON HARDER/Regina Leader-Post

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An urban art gallery: House of PainT building crowd-sourced map of murals, graffiti in Ottawa – Ottawa Citizen



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It still happens, but not as much.

I think it’s totally fair to complain about tags and vandalism that don’t add to the beauty of a space, but the red tape around creating art, especially when there’s permission, is really unnecessary and I think is to the detriment of our arts and culture ecosystem in Ottawa.

What do you think has led to the increasing acceptance of this kind of art in Ottawa?

When you look at other world-class cities … their graffiti and their murals are a tourist destination. There are a lot of cities in Latin America, Mexico City especially, where there’s just public art everywhere — mosaic art, installations, murals, graffiti — and it’s beautiful and it’s stunning and people go to see that.

Veronica Roy, House of PainT’s festival director, stands in front of a piece of street art in the Glebe. House of PainT has launched a crowd-sourced map of murals and graffiti in Ottawa so people can explore urban art. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia Ashley Fraser/Postmedia

The existence of public murals and public art adds so much character to a city, and I think that for a long time, Ottawa was missing out on that and the municipal politicians and policymakers are now in a position where we’re recognizing that murals and graffiti are an attraction.

(Also,) as millennials are in their mid-to-late 30s and early 40s and we’re coming into these positions of power and influence in our communities and in our professional spheres, the attitude that we have towards graffiti and public art and a lot of different cultural issues is now being taken more seriously, and we have a voice at the table to influence this change.

To your earlier point, there’s now an obvious commercial incentive to allowing this kind of art in cities — it’s a tourism draw, it draws people to different neighbourhoods. Do you think it’s frustrating to people who’ve been involved with this artistic community for years?

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