Paint It Forward is the theme for the Cariboo Art Society’s 71st exhibition that opened last Thursday evening at the Station House Gallery.
All year, president Cat Prevette explained the club has been working on the collaborative theme and Paint It Forward represents the work created with collaboration in mind.
“We really didn’t know what we were getting into,” Prevette told the group gathered at the gallery for the grand opening. “Asking creative people who are notoriously individual to work together was a little like tackling world peace.
“The odd time it didn’t gel but mostly we did amazingly well as you can see by the collaborative projects around you.”
One of their collaborative projects was to create individual T-shirts for themselves using a gel printing technique. Artists attending the opening wore their shirts as part of the show.
“Gladys Wheatley mentored us in printing with gelli plates and that led to printing on our clothes,” Prevette said.
Another of the collaborative projects was a four-seasons mural collaboratively painted by the artists in a weekend workshop with city muralist Dwayne Davis who also tweaked the works for exhibition.
“In two days he had us painting like never before,” Prevette said.
Two other segmented works, the Tree and Sunflower were also painted collectively by art society members.
“My husband Gordie is our much appreciated volunteer carpenter who mounts these and who framed the murals for us, Prevette said.
The paintings, The Garden and a collage of teacups are examples of collaborative “drawing games,” Prevette initiated to relax the members and help them have fun just making marks on paper without thinking too much.
“We had made the tea cups for last year’s show and couldn’t bear to part with them so we did what any self-respecting artist would do, we collaged them into a new work,” Prevette says.
After the presentation visitors were invited upstairs to the education room to participate in a “drive by drawing” exercise in which anyone can participate no matter what their artistic skill or experience level.
“It’s easy,” Prevette said, in inviting people to join the art society.
She also talked a bit about the society’s history being formed in 1945 by Vivian Cowan and her daughter Sonia Cornwall with encouragement from Group of Seven painter A.Y. Jackson, and another of the society founders Joe Plasket.
She noted Julie Fowler has written a book about Vivian Cowan and Sheryl Salloumn has written a book about Sonia Cornwall.
She noted film-maker Tina Dickey recently visited the group to talk about the documentary she is making about Plasket.
“We have an illustrious history,” Prevette said.
In June the show will move to the Signal Point event centre.