Koreen Kidd with some of her creations which include artistic interpretations of small and large ruby slippers that might have been worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Gaeil Farrar photo

Koreen Kidd with some of her creations which include artistic interpretations of small and large ruby slippers that might have been worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Gaeil Farrar photo

Station House Gallery reopens after being closed most of the summer due to impact of wildfires

Shortchanged summer show Expectations of Character: Dorothy, Alice, Anne continues through September

The summer exhibition at the Station House Gallery Station that was cut short due to the wildfire situation in the region is being continued through September to give the public an opportunity to see what they missed.

The gallery was closed for almost a month and a half due to the wildfire evacuation of the city and subsequent lack of staff and volunteers with health concerns as a result of smoke hanging over the city.

The gallery and gift shop was finally able to reopen again on Monday, Aug. 28 and is offering a 15 per cent discount for all firefighters and military through September as a thank you for their efforts.

The art exhibition Expectations of Character: Dorothy, Alice, Anne offers a delightful relief from the trials of the summer that will touch the hearts of children and adults who grew up loving the storybook characters of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and the iconic Canadian character Anne of Green Gables.

In her unusual and fanciful installation which occupies both the main and upstairs galleries Koreen Kidd intertwines some original costumes she has created for theatrical productions with a more expansive, contemporary creative vision.

The costumed headdresses for the 20 flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz sit on mannequin heads atop tall and short plinths anchoring the centre of the main gallery.

Surrounding them are beautifully crafted ruby slippers of all sizes, blue gingham dresses that Dorothy would have worn, along with dozens of interesting clear boxes filled with reconstructed white dolls and tiny little ruby slippers.

One of the clear boxes filled with white dolls represents approximately 1,728 costumes Kidd has created over time for clients and theatrical productions.

In the upstairs gallery, Kidd is joined by other local artists who have developed their own artistic interpretations reflecting the life of Anne of Green Gables as it was and as it might have been in different circumstances. The collection includes paintings, sculpture and photography.

Guest artists Lisa Anderson, Cat Fink, Barb Fraleigh, Betty Kovacic, Lori Macala, Terri Smith, Kathryn Steen, and Sharon Tucker express various interpretations of Anne’s life and what it might have been.

Always involved in the arts Kidd started developed her passion for costume art when she began designing costumes for the Prince George Theatre Workshop.

“I’m self-taught so they let me have that opportunity which turned into my whole life,” Kidd said.

Since 2000 she has designed and produced costumes for almost 60 theatrical productions.

More recently she has been creating costumes for Prince George and Burns Lake high school productions. She says the Burns Lake High School puts together two and sometimes three musical productions each year and requires numerous costumes for each production.

“With so many costumes in my collection, it’s the perfect medium for me,” Kidd says.

“It is quite fulfilling.”

Kidd has had four gallery exhibitions of her contemporary work including a previous show at the Station House Gallery, and shows at the Island Mountain Arts gallery in Wells, and galleries in Prince George and Dawson Creek.

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