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Williams Lake, Bella Coola artists featured in Station House Gallery shows

Between the two floors the works of 17 artists are on display

Two popular exhibits are on display at the Station House Gallery in Williams Lake.

In the main gallery is West Coast Light by Bella Coola artist Ida Eriksen and in the upper level is Images of a Future featuring art created by children taking after-school art classes at the gallery.

Both shows continue until Saturday, March 25.

When the artists celebrated the openings of the shows on Feb. 9, the gallery was packed, something Station House Gallery president Lynn Capling said was so great to see.

Executive director Davana Stafford thanked everyone for attending and supporting the artists.

“A big thank you to Mary (Latin) Skipp who has generously sponsored this exhibition. Mary has been a long-standing supporter of the Station House Gallery,” Stafford said. “Her continued support is greatly appreciated.”

Introducing Eriksen, Stafford said she was born in Denmark, moved to Canada at an early age to live with her family at Namu.

“She gained the love for land and especially forests in that area,” Stafford said. “Ida has drawn and painted throughout her life and done pottery. She settled in Bella Coola in 2013 and became very involved with the arts council.”

Eriksen works mostly in oils and acrylics, using local landscapes for inspiration and drawing upon some of her childhood memories for some of her latest more abstract work, Stafford added.

“Thank you Ida for making the trip to Williams Lake and bringing your show to the Station House Gallery.”

Afterwards Eriksen said she was amazed at the attendance of the opening and felt quite overwhelmed by the number of people engaging with her and complimenting her on the artworks.

“I had forgotten how uplifting that could be as I’m usually on the other side of things. As well, both the outgoing manager, Diane, and the new incoming manager, Davana, were so supportive and helpful. They truly made it an amazing experience for me.”

Children’s art instructor Courtney Patenaude had participants ages six and older discuss the role of art and artists in the pressing issues surrounding the environment as well as shared appreciation for Mother Earth, Stafford said.

“Together they got messy and had fun making art. Thank you for all the families for joining us tonight, she said.

Patenaude said the students had experimented with print making, working with recycled materials such as paper clips, or pine cones - things that were a lot of fun to work with.

“My husband’s childhood Lego, which was a big hit. There are sculptures the kids created. I think the best part was listening to their creativity and imaginations.”

She said the children had a lot of great ideas and shared them.

“You guys are super brave,” she said looking around the room. “You should be proud of yourselves.”

Patenaude thanked Eriksen for sharing the space and the gallery hanging team for curating 17 artists all together.

READ MORE: Bella Coola artist evokes feelings of mystery and solitude with abstract west coast landscapes

READ MORE: Art House Gallery keeps community connections close during COVID times

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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