Along with the night's festivities, come prepared to participate in the first "Chair-ity Auction" provided by local artists, as well as youth, who have all designed and painted a vintage chair to raise funds for Foundry. Watch for coverage of the artists and their chairs in the local paper, Facebook and in the windows of downtown businesses throughout the month of January. Art for the "Love of Youth," just doesn't get any better!
Born an artist, my entire life has been a massive pendulum of incredible life experiences and spitting out the emotion on canvas, paper, film and whatever medium crosses my path.
I have ventured out of the studio on occasion and my artistic achievements include organizing with other experimental artists to design and create two artists cooperatives - the provincial Alliance of Pacific Visual Artists, and the local Salon de Refuses. The proud offspring of these two groups was the annual AIDS fundraiser- The Sexuality Show, and the opening ceremony of the International Conference of the Arts which brought together 57 performers from 8 countries for an improvisational multi-medium performance called Popping the Quiff.
In the 90s I spent eight years doing collaborations with the international jazz community. This love of music has lead me to my new project, studying the history of hip hop and working with Canadian rappers.
To balance that intensity, I go to the ocean, Living part time on my boat and volunteering with marine mammal rescue gives me plenty of material to satisfy the need for calm, A recent life altering accident has lovingly brought me back to being a professional artist and as far as I’m concerned, that includes giving back. Having worked with youth at risk in the past, the Youth Wellness Centre is the perfect choice for me. Very excited to be a part of this and I want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity.
Norma Jean Phillips
Norma Jean is a local artist living and working in Maple Ridge. A member and past vice-President of the Garibaldi Art Club who is inspired by colour, texture and subjects that fill the canvas. Bold, confident and interpretive images are her common focus.
“Painting a chair For the Love of Youth has special meaning for me because mental health challenges have touched many people close to me. This is a wonderful way to help support youth in our community, and have fun doing it!”
To see more of Norma Jean’s work, please click here.
Ann Blackwell, BFA, MFA
I have been a creative since Nursing School in the 1960s, when I learned to crochet. After 25 years of Nursing, being a single parent and making crochet wearables of my own design, I decided to go back to school - in Art. I received my BFA from Ohio University in 1992, focusing on photography because they had gotten rid of their fibres department. Then I got my MFA from University of Michigan School Art and Design in 1995, focusing in photography, fibres and mixed media. After that I taught at the University of Michigan in the photography department until I moved to Canada in September of 2002.
Once settled in Canada, I didn’t have a darkroom, and I didn’t have a high quality digital camera, and so my art has had to evolve a lot since moving to Maple Ridge. I worked for several years in free form bead embroidery, and made a lot of beaded goddess dolls, mermaids, and angels, and velvet bead-embroidered purses. I love beads and bead embroidery, so much so that I actually wore out a joint in my left thumb. Unable to continue beading, I turned to drawing and painting, and found that I love drawing.
Lately, I have started making my own rubber stamps and stencils to add layers to my mixed media projects. Recently I have combined beadwork with my drawings, and love the three dimensional quality this adds, and the sparkle.
Last Spring I volunteered to paint a mannequin and now I am very excited about painting a chair.
Read Ann’s blog here.
I am a Canadian born artist raised in Newfoundland and has called British Columbia home for the last 20 years. My love of creating art started at a very young age influenced by my mother who was a self taught watercolor artist. I did explore textile studies and the fiber arts in my early adulthood. I consider myself as a self taught artist. It is a life-long study and always looking for ways to express myself creatively
I use many different mediums, such as acrylics, charcoal or graphite. I believe that working in a single medium is restrictive to my artistic process. Each idea manifests in its own individual style.
I enjoy taking in the natural beauty that surrounds me. Whether that be the forest, the ocean or animals I am never lacking for inspiration in my work. My own imagination of mystical angelic beings will pop in here and there.
Visit Cheryl’s website here.
Suzanne Amendolagine has been painting as long as she can remember, qualifying her as a self taught artist. She is a member of the “Garibaldi Art Club”, “Federation of Canadian Artists” and has exhibited and been represented by “Mind and Matter Gallery” in White Rock, B.C. Her work has also been published in “Room of One’s Own”, a women’s literary magazine. She is the recipient of various awards and her artwork is included in numerous private and some public art collections throughout Canada and the U.S.
She lives and works for Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living in Maple Ridge, her home since 1982. Working in the health care field and having a close family member struggle with mental health inspired her to be involved.
Finding beauty in a beat up old chair
Transformation means commitment, hard work, tenacity, faith, hope and greatest of these, is LOVE
My inspiration: All those who struggle with mental health and addictions.
Isabel grew up in New Zealand where her early artistic endeavours were encouraged by her mother. Later she began studying watercolour and acrylic, using a limited palette to achieve harmony in her paintings.
To more fully develop her ideas, Isabel finds it beneficial to focus on a theme. Taking many reference pictures to develop her subjects, she looks for strong values and interesting designs. She enjoys the interplay between more structural human made shapes, such as boats and barns and the organic shapes found in nature.
During her years of working with children as a classroom teacher, Isabel encountered students struggling with mental health issues. Unfortunately there were few resources for these children. As Maple Ridge joins the Foundry network, young people in the area will have greatly improved access to resources. Isabel has enjoyed painting a playful looking chair with a nautical theme to contribute to the "Chair-ity" event.
Isabel is a member of the Garibaldi Art Club in Maple Ridge and the Fort Langley Artists Group. She is an Active Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Fraser Valley Chapter of the FCA.
Visit Isabel’s website here.
Kat Wahamaa, M Ed. ASC
Award-winning artist Kat Wahamaa creates with music, visual arts (photography/fibre arts/mixed media), theatre and dance, co-creates with community members on arts for social change/community building projects and collaborates/curates with artists/organizations to present and/or publicize their work. As a performing artist she has toured in Canada, Japan, UK and the US. Over the last 15 years her focus has been on multi-generational community engaged arts projects inquiring into the issues of women health, peace-making, environment/water, homelessness and substance use. She is a Moms Stop the Harm advocate, co-chair of the Stop Overdose Ridge Meadows Community Action Team, Artist in Residence for the City of Maple Ridge and holds a Master of Education - Art for Social Change from Simon Fraser University. She believes that through making art together we touch, teach and transform each other and is looking forward to working with the youth that will create a setting of four chairs for the project.
Robyn has been painting for as long as she can remember, beginning with her childhood and into her school years in North Vancouver where every possible dime she earned went toward art supplies. Music began early as well, at first singing to her parent’s long play record albums, then formal piano lessons. Robyn began teaching others to play piano at 14, and from then on art and music were the dominant interests in her life.
Robyn is a self taught artist who specializes in acrylic, coloured pencil, and pen and ink. She has recently dabbled in the world of abstraction and expressionism and expects to follow this path for the foreseeable future, though sculpture calls in the summertime. She gains her inspiration from an acute interest in palaeontology and geology as well as a deep love for animals.
Robyn has been living and teaching in Maple Ridge B.C. since 1979 and enjoys the outdoors, gardening and Friday sushi with friends.
Lyn has been painting for many years in watercolour and had no thoughts of changing mediums.
Lyn has been enjoying painting more since turning to pastels. From the dreamy, soft shades of watercolours, she is now excited about using the vibrant colours more associated with pastels.
Lyn's pastel paintings have won awards in Juried shows and generated much interest in the Blue Heron Gallery where her paintings were featured and sold.
Lyn has been an active member of the arts community in Maple Ridge for more than 30 years. During this time, she has been instrumental in development and direction of the Garibaldi Art Club of Maple Ridge.
Lyn also originated the annual Art in the park event where local artists and artisans were able to showcase and sell their work for an eagerly anticipated weekend. She organized and hosted this major Maple Ridge event in her beautiful two-acre garden for fifteen years. It became very popular with artists and art collectors in the local community and beyond.
Lyn has operated her well established home-based picture framing business Lynton Studio for 30 years. Recently she has turned her focus more keenly toward her art and has slowed down on her business interests while she accelerates her artistic creativity.
Maybe even to try acrylics.
Less work and more fun....at long last!
By her own account, Vancouver-based sculptor Danielle Swift always knew the arts would be her life’s trajectory and recognized early on there is something heritable about creativity; her family members on her mother’s side are all artistic — some are writers, musicians, others paint and draw.
Swift originally studied English Literature until pursuing her true passion in the Fine Arts in 2004 at the University of the Fraser Valley,which lead to her job as a sculptor’s assistant in 2006. She honed her technical skills and craftsmanship during that tenure and in the same year opened her eponymous studio.
Her work explores the human body and communicates a dichotomy of fragility and strength represented in both the delicate and resilient mix of materials (concrete, beeswax, paper, brass, bronze, burlap, rope and wood), which makes the observer feel the duality of an emotional and cerebral connection. Having established an affinity for concrete as her main medium, Swift’s drawn to how the material can be innovatively manipulated in a way that works aesthetically and is uniquely individual.
Long fascinated with anatomy and biology, Swift defines the internal details (bone, tendons, muscles, ligaments) in her subjects using an old anatomy book and meticulously replicates etchings from the mid1800s. Alternatively, she’ll pose or have others sit for a photographer to ensure everything is aligned and constructed accurately. A lot of casts are formed from Swift’s body except larger-than-life-size pieces,which she molds out of various materials including paper, beeswax,clay, plaster and wire among others before casting them.
What begins with an idea develops into a sketch and transitions back-and-forth between the physical and conceptual, driving both to constantly evolve. The nuances in Swift’s sculptures come through exploration and a visceral conviction, especially in the beginning of the process. Her sculptures are emotionally inspired and speak to the natural processes of creation and fragmentation.
Her work generates diverse meanings and poetic musings to reveal the vulnerability, disconnection and evolution of the human existence on the planet. The public’s reaction to Swift’s emblematic work is subjective, yes, but often elicits intense personal associations, which makes her sculptures distinctive from her contemporaries.
Swift says, “There’s variances in reactions because people are looking at it through their own lens. Most people react quite strongly to the work, but it is all over the spectrum.”
Swift’s sculptures have appeared in numerous local exhibits, most notably, ART Vancouver art fair; East Vancouver’s HFA Contemporary gallery, Deconstruction and the Space Between; Granville Island’s Becker Galleries; Vancouver’s Windsor Gallery, and The ACT Art Gallery in Maple Ridge.
Swift puts in long hours in the studio, generally creating three pieces at a time, which keeps her interest level active on each — a life-size sculpture can take 200 hours from start to finish. She is available in-studio by appointment Monday to Saturday.
On any given day, Swift’s happy place is ultimately in her studio. The setting: ambient lighting, a glass of wine, and a pot of beeswax — in her words, modelling feels warm and smells divine.
Artist, Creator, designer, fixer, painter, sculptor, crafter, maker of things, package of organic matter driven endlessly to create. Is that a thing?
I am Cartney, a “self taught” artist living and working in Maple Ridge. I have been in love with art since I can remember. In an effort to satisfy my drive to create I have made and played with all sorts of creative outlets. I will paint anything I can get my hands on! I like to work with all mediums such as watercolor, oil, charcoal, pencils but use acrylic most frequently. My inspiration comes largely from being outdoors, especially in our overwhelmingly beautiful landscape here in BC, my family and I also love all things vintage.
I am excited to be a part of this amazing fundraiser for such a necessary and important cause. Like most, I have been touched by mental illness and addiction by many people near and dear to me. As a youth myself I spent time in foster care and understand first hand how important resources are for our youth and how impactful the kindness from others can be.
All you need is Love :)