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Ucluelet artists launch pop-up art exhibition – Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News – Westerly News



A collaboration between two Ucluelet artists has launched a unique opportunity for locals and visitors to tour through the town’s creative talents.

Carly Butler and Nelly Heyduck have cut the ribbon on a new, two-month, pop up art exhibition entitled Heyduck & Butler. The vibrant experience opened on July 1 and will run until August 31 at a space the artist’s have rented inside Ucluelet’s Whiskey Landing building. Along with Butler and Heyduck’s own work, the exhibition includes contributions from Lydia Karpenko, Karla Strickland, Hjalmer Wenstob and Jens Heyduck.

A sampling of the show can be found on Instagram:@heyduckandbutler.

Butler told the Westerly News that she hopes people will check out the exhibition and experience the strength of Ucluelet’s local art scene.

“One of the reasons for doing this is that we haven’t had the opportunity to even talk with people about our art work, it’s been a very isolating time,” she said, adding she plans to be making work within the space on a tabletop letterpress and is happy to show anyone interested how it works.

“It’s lovely to get out and actually talk to the public about our work. You don’t have to come and buy, you can come and look and chat and learn more.”

The pop up exhibition was launched, in part, to help showcase artists who have watched their exhibition opportunities obliterated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There has been the loss of exhibitions and resulting sales, which cannot be completely replaced online. Many people need to see work in person before deciding whether they want to live with it, particularly if they’re paying a substantial amount for a piece,” Butler said. “And then, of course, there’s the closing of galleries themselves, as we’ve seen here in Ukee. Museum shows have been cancelled, and that means artists aren’t receiving the exhibition fees they would normally be paid.”

Along with events and exhibitions being cancelled, artist residencies and grants have also disappeared.

“It’s tough and unusual times, but we’re trying to make the best of the opportunities that come our way,” Butler said.

She added that, along with diminished opportunities, some artists have struggled to make work in isolation as they tried to process the pandemic’s toll and faced doubts around where their work would be shown, whether it could be sold and how to create relevant work in a fast-changing world.

“I think, for a lot of us, we stopped making work because it’s very hard when you feel like the world is going through such a huge crisis. You really have to adjust what you’re doing, especially if your art work is reflective of the world around you,” she said. “We got a little bit paralyzed for a month or so there and, I think, that’s also why this exhibition is nice because it’s kind of like exhaling and trying to, not pretend things are normal, but establish some sort of normality. If other exhibitions and opportunities are closing, what are the ones we can create for ourselves?”

Butler and Heyduck also helped launch the Ucluelet Artists Collective and received funding from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust to launch a website showcasing local artists at

“The idea behind the website was just to help promote and support each other as artists in the community,” Butler said, adding the site currently features a community of roughly 24 artists and continues to grow.

“It felt important, in these times in particular, to do something to help local artists promote their work online. I hope people will look at the site and be pleasantly surprised at how much incredible talent there is in our small community.”

She added Ucluelet provides an inspiring and spacious landscape for artists to explore their work, but with few opportunities for local exhibitions, many residents might not be aware of just how robust the local art scene is.

“Ucluelet can be a great place to make art and be inspired by nature, our local geography, and history, and it can also be rewarding to be removed from the hustle of the larger art scene that exists in urban centres as it can give you more space, figuratively and literally, to develop your own art practice,” she said. “On the flip side, being an artist in Ucluelet can sometimes feel lonely and with less opportunities for exhibition and promotion and it’s this we’re trying to address with both the Ucluelet Artist Collective and this pop up exhibition…It’s exciting to see what a lot of artists are doing in the community, sometimes behind closed doors.”

She added her own most recent art show, prior to the pandemic, was in China.

“There’s artwork based on Ucluelet currently in China, but I haven’t had the opportunity to show that work in my own backyard, so that’s exciting.”

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READ MORE: Ucluelet loses one of town’s oldest art galleries

READ MORE: VIDEO: Ucluelet gallery owner hopes to connect communities

READ MORE: Tofino and Ucluelet to host Arts BC conference


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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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