Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre New Exhibit Features Jeff Wilson and RSS Students

Two new exhibits are set to stun Revelstokians at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre.

Artist Jeff Wilson’s work will be displayed in the main gallery. This is his first solo show in Revelstoke.

Titled Wolf Willow, the collection was inspired by his 2017 art residence at the Wallace Stegner House.

“Wallace Stegner House, in Eastend Saskatchewan, is the childhood home of the Pulitzer prize-winning author,” Wilson explains. “The collection is named after one of his most famous books “Wolf Willow,” a semi-autobiographical work that combined his childhood memories of Eastend, together with the local history.”

A wolf willow, Wilson explains, is a wildflower that blooms in the area.

“Having produced extensive work depicting Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, I wanted the opportunity to explore prairie rural subjects and narratives,” he says.

A trained structural geologist and Scottish immigrant, Wilson trained at Emily Carr University, works full time as an artist and lives in Vancouver. He has won various awards and art residencies, and his work can be found across Canada in private and public collections. In fact, three of his pieces were recently installed at the Parks Canada offices in Revelstoke.

A 2016 participant in the Glacier National Park art residency, Wilson met many local artists. The national park, as well as the community, left quite an impression.

“Since that time, I have wanted to show my work at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre,” he says. “I love the sense of history in the downtown, particularly its rail history, as exemplified by the Museum.  Aside from the built environment, I like the vibrancy and optimism exhibited by local people. If I have time, I’ll have a drive up the road to Mount Revelstoke.”

Wilson is a painter who works in acrylics and is known for his vibrant pieces.

“I hope that people will get some sense of the unique landscape and heritage in and around the Frenchman River Valley, which has witnessed many of the events that characterise the Canadian West, and retains some sense of that by virtue of its relative isolation from the rest of the Province,” he says of his current collection.

The Revelstoke Secondary School (RSS) exhibit Shades and Colour will be displayed in all three side galleries.

“About a third of the show is black and white,” explains RSS art teacher, Theresa Browning. “The rest of the pieces tend to be vibrant colour, with a wide range of themes and topics.  There are some pieces that are a series of two or three. So the unifying factors are these two elements; shades and colour.”

There are over 50 pieces created by 36 different students. The works have been collected since the start of the school year and showcase students from both semesters.

“We frame all the pieces ourselves and fortunately, I have a grade 12 student, Avery Dias, who is a teacher assistant and did the majority of the framing this year. She also has a piece in the show,” says Browning.

It is RSS’s seventh, consecutive year displaying an exhibit at the gallery.

“It is such a great opportunity,” she says. “Students have sold pieces every year and also received commissions. It is incredible to see all their work professionally hung and lit; we greatly appreciated the amount of work the volunteers put in to make this happen.”

The opening reception is Friday, May 31st from 5pm – 9pm. Entrance is by donation. Snacks and refreshments will be available.

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