The November Back Room show features work by twelve members of the Fraser Valley's Stave Falls Artist Group (SFAG). With one exception, a pen and ink sketch of Monet's House by Maria Daley, the twenty-eight other works are framed oil paintings ranging in price from $200 to closer to $2000. The subject matter sweeps from bucolic landscapes, some identified with West Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Chilcotin place names, to beach and boating scenes, garden, pond hockey, and urban street scenes, still lifes, and figures -- window shoppers, boaters, lady, ballet dancer, bride. The level of skill is universally high and the choices of subject matter, although exhibiting great variety, are also universally appealing to this viewer. If I were forced to pick a favourite, it would probably be the bride portrait, but for no other reason than purely personal--the goddess allusion that for me all bride images evoke. The paintings are all beautiful and attractive, especially the way they play with light and colour; all celebrate our place and our lifestyles.
In an effort to make one useful observation, I felt several times that the frames, although beautiful, seem too heavy for the paintings they feature and have the negative effect of distracting the viewer from the work. But in the end, giving them all sufficient time, in the tug-of-war between beauty and security, between focus and frame, art wins.
The artists with works on display include: Bev Beresh, Bobbie Mac, Lynne Zimmerman, Shannon Coates, Janis Eaglesham, Linda Bishop, Stephen Dobson, Melanie Jane, Maria Daley, Gina Rubin, and Ron Hedrick. Jessica Hedrick is listed as an honorary member. Along with information about the history of the SFAG and its founder, boxed sets of Christmas Cards are on display, available for sale. The SFAG works are in the Back Room, Hope Arts Gallery, Hope, BC, from November 1 to 28, 2008.
The artist whose beautiful landscape is used on the poster is Melanie Jane. The group's website is: http://www.stavefallsartistgroup.com/ Check it out.