Art Shows in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery: Show of Shows 

Art Shows in Merritt BC at the Gallery for the last five years

Art Shows in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery: Show of Shows Photo Credit Kim Leclair

Art Shows in Merritt BC and on the walls of the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery is the Show of Shows exhibition, the posters from 55 art shows since May 2017.  That was when I became the Gallery Director in Merritt BC and began curating art from the valley in a variety of exhibits, featuring all local artists. All local except the artists in two 2017 shows. 

Showing the creativity and art from our own Nicola Valley is one of the missions of the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council. And that mission is a passion of mine, to gather a diversity of art expressions in a variety of art shows.

Art shows in Merritt BC from young and old…

The 55 shows have brought the art of all ages to our small Gallery. We recently had clay sculptures and paintings from an after school art class with children as young as seven years.

And two of the many shows featured Bev Veale, who is still painting and drawing as she turns 86 years old. And Bev is not the only artist in the area who continues to create well into their retirement. Some retirees are just beginning their artistic path! 

Posters as art…

Bees in the Nicola Valley

The Bee Show, Poster by Kim Leclair

For each show, except one, local artist Kim Leclair has put together images provided her to create a poster that is art itself. Kim uses her digital skills to promote art shows in Merritt BC in posters which are printed to post around town, and in digital form to use in all our social media. 

The posters for each show are now on display on the walls of our small town Gallery, framed informally with bright wooden and metal frames. As people enter the Gallery the show posters take them on a sequential journey down memory lane around the four walls. 

We have put on about ten shows a year, each about five weeks, some longer and some shorter. Each art show has a story about its inspiration, the artists and submissions, and its time in the community.

Winter Art Show

6th Winter Artisan Show at the Nicola Valley Arts Centre Photo Credit Kim Leclair

Our month long Winter Artisan Show, since 2016

One corner of the Gallery is filled with the Winter Artisan posters, a popular yearly event since 2016. Artists and artisans, who are not already a part of our adjoining Gift Shop, are invited to display their art and wares for the local and traveling public. From local honey, to hand spun scarves, to art on the wall, there is something for everyone during the festive season.

The artists and artisans who participate have often already been a part of one of our Gallery shows.

We feature individual artists, two person shows, invite shows with several artists, and community shows where everyone in the Nicola Valley can submit a piece or two for the show. 

Art Show Stories

Each show curated has stories of its inspiration, its execution, and the personal accounts of the artist(s) and the art…

Some shows are touching in their topics, like the Memories and Mandalas Show, honouring over 30 artists and creatives who have passed in our valley. Hearing the stories of the submissions for this show was both emotional and fascinating. It was a very personal show for me, as I set up a display for my thirty year partner, a creative writer well known in our community, Gordon Cockle. Gord was a writer, a journalist, and a natural comedian and poet. I held his memorial during this show, a quiet affair in the middle of our Covid shutdown.

Another, The Murray Church Show, lamented the burning of a well know historic church a few kilometres out of town. The show acknowledged the memories of so many people in the community and beyond

This was a community art show in Merritt BC, by the community, and about our community. And the stories were from far and wide. We had Murray Church art on display: oils, pastels, watercolours, and sketches, both recent and from long ago. We had lots of photos of the church: inside and out, past pastors, and events, as well as art photography. There were collages, storyboards, stories, newspaper clippings, brochures, and past posters.

Linda Baird of the Trinity United Church, along with Amrit Samra, gathered much of the historical material for this wonderful show. We held a story telling evening…

This is a favourite poster of mine, because of Kim Leclair’s depiction of the church, gone…

Murray Church Art Show Poster

Murray Church Art Show Poster. Photo Credit Kim Leclair

The church has since been rebuilt, complete with stained glass by local artists Susan and Glenn Parkinson.

Art During Covid, Inspiring

Art During Covid

Art During Covid: Creativity Persists Photo credit Kim Leclair

Our Art of Covid: Creativity Persists Community Show was surprisingly beautiful. We held this show in early 2021, during our months of careful protocols. We weren’t sure what to expect but the creativity that people brought forward was full of beauty and inspiration, as well as art expressing unsurprising frustration.

Soon after our 2021 fires and floods, causing wide spread evacuations and regional, community, and personal devastation, we put a call out for a show about our pets and creatures, Creature Comforts. I heard so many stories about the care that our people took to save their pets and their livestock in our ranch and rural community. The stories were harsh, or sweet, and once again, inspirational. The art submitted gave people an opportunity to tell their stories of  flood and fire experiences when they came in to see the show. 

Those stories are still going on. Lasting effects.

Youth Art in Meritt BC

Coming Home Show, Youth Art. Photo Credit Kim Leclair

Our Merritt High School Seniors Art Shows in Merritt BC

The Youth POV…

Every year now, the local High School, Merritt Senior Secondary has a spring show with us, put together from their art class projects with teacher, Shannon Dunn.

This year the show, Coming Home, was a poignant mix of art and writing, expressing the experiences of the students during the fires and floods of 2021, most experiencing weeks-long evacuations and many the destruction of their homes. Still ongoing displacement…

Quotes from the students, about their art, and life…

“There is whimsy in everyday still life…”

“Children shouldn’t have to sacrifice their childhoods to survive.”

“I enjoy drawing simple things that bring me joy and peace.”

“People can feel isolated from each other even when being surrounded.”

“…to fly without boundaries, to explore without obligations.”

“Look closely, can you see starts on the window of her eye? They represent calmness and curiosity.”

“…that nostalgic feeling which envelops you in a warm blanket of comfort and reminiscence.”

Art Show Fun

We love to include the creative expressions and talents in different areas that are not always recognized in a small town gallery. 

Like the shoe show, Shoe Fabulous! Fun! It was inspired by Jean Kiegerl and her fab collection of shoes. We learned, during the call out for that show. who in our community has amazing shoe collections! Gorgeous and fun displays of shoes as well as shoe paintings, 3d mixed media on the paths we take, bronzed baby shoes, and firemen’s boots. We even had a little shoe shop in the back… Unforgettable!

Our Body Art: Living Art of Tattoo and Body Adornment art shows in Merritt BC displayed the work of our two tattoo artists in town, as well as airbrush, hair and makeup art. We posted body art images from around the world. I was inspired to take the plunge and designed arm band tattoos for myself that summer. Definitely fun!

Showcasing Different Talents in our Community

Art Shows in Merritt BC

Artof Sound Poster by Kim Leclair. Photo
by Jano Howarth

We enjoyed putting on a show, Wild! Flies, Skins, and Skulls, for the amazing fly tie artists in our fishing community. The beautiful work of internationally known fly tier Peter McVey (now past) of Corbett Lake Lodge, and others, brought in a whole different audience to our art show. We combined the fly tieing submissions with a bit of local taxidermy and skulls from a variety of creatures found in our surrounding valleys. We held a skull painting workshop around Halloween for that show! Fun!

Another fun show was our Art of Sound. We asked artists, musicians, creatives to express this theme in a variety of ways. So besides art of painting and drawings, we had Amrit Ahuja’s sound wave of the phrase “I love you.” framed. People brought interactive instruments and the Gallery was filled with sound, visual and literal.

I brought in a record player to play our fav LP’s. And I traded artist Robert Moretti my Janis Joplin vinyl for his jukebox painting. A great trade…

Jukebox Art

Got this in trade for a Janis Joplin vinyl Photo Credit Jano Howarth

Individual Artist Shows

My first individual artist show, in June 2017, was Leonard George, a very creative indigenous artist I had known for years. It was a retrospective show, with work he had done over the years collected from various private collections, with a few new works mixed in for purchase.

Art Shows in Merritt

Local Artist Jean Kiegerl and Twin Willows Photo Credit Kim Leclair

Other shows featuring a single artist: Wyatt Collins, a young artist working on big canvases, Libby Dybikowski, whose Sun. River. Mountain piece takes up a big space on one of my home walls, and Fred Tomlin, who’s stunning wood and mirror work surprised the community. Most of it.

Artist Michelle Lonsdale, with her show Wondernatural, also plays for us at Open Mic Nights and has taken up delicate tattoo art.

 And Jean Kiegerl, Cassandra Dolen and Shirley Reynolds, all experienced and dedicated artists we are fortunate to have in our community. 

So many I have been fortunate to work with. Inspiring artists in our small town community…

Living Legends…

Art Shows in Merritt BC

Living Legends Art Show. Photo credit Kim Leclair

A fav young graffiti style artist, Joel Reid, helps me put up a lot of the art shows. At 6′ 4″ if he’s there, I don’t need a ladder. He named one of our art shows in BC Merritt, when I told him who was coming, Living Legends. Long time artists instrumental in guiding our arts community for years, Pius Chong, Evelyn Armstrong, and Doug Strand were joined by inspired music and art supporter and artist in her own right, Jackie Stibbards. 

Living Legends for sure, in any community. And I know that many of our up and coming artists, expressing their creativity and sharing their art with our community, will take their place as well known inspirations in our Nicola Valley.

Gratifying. It’s a blessing to pull together the fun, thoughtful, inspired work of the many artists who have participated in all of these 55 shows over the last five years.

And we are almost booked for the next two years, art shows we can all look forward to, from community themed shows to feature artists to interactive and challenging shows. 

List of  55 Art Shows in BC Merritt below, May 2017 to August 2022.

What’s happening in the Arts Council?

Jano Howarth, Arts Gallery Curator and talent fan.’

Facebook and Instagram: Jano Howarth

Facebook: Creative Community 

Website: Meme Dreams 

55 Art Shows in Merritt BC from May 2017 to August 2022

2017

1. May 6- June 3  The Poetic Language of Landscape with Patricia Peters…

2. June 8- 24   In the Siege of Roots: A Retrospective with Leonard George

3. July 5-July 31 Art Walk with Bruce Walter and Ellen Miller

4. Aug 3- 31   Art Walk Artist’s Show 

5. Sept 1- 23   Bev Veale: A Retrospective

6. Sept 28- Oct 28   Ekphrastic: The Fibre Art Network

7. Nov 3- 18   Shoe Fabulous: A Collection from Collections Community Show with Jean Kiegerl

8. Dec 1- Jan 13   2nd Winter Artisan Show

2018

9. Jan 18- 27   Lifestyle: Clothes and Colours Community Show

10. Feb 1- Mar 3   Form, Figure, Faces Community Show

11. Mar 15-Apr 7   Wyatt’s World: An Abstract Expressionist’s Unique Perspective in Fluid Imagination with Wyatt Collins

12. Apr 19- May 12   Our Story: SD 58 Arts Festival 2018 with MSS Seniors

13. May 24- June 16   Into the Valley: Spirit, Energy, and Life with Pauline Ouelette and Natalie Rostad-Desjarlais

14. July 3- 31   Art Walk 2018 with Cindilla Trent and Pat Tombe

15. Aug 2- Sept 1   Art Walk Artists’ Show Community Show

16. Sept 6- 29   Merritt to Marrakech with Libby Dybikowski

17. Oct 11- Nov 4   Wild! Flies, Skins & Skulls Community and Invite Show

18. Nov 8-24   Wabi Sabi: Art in Imperfection with Vickie Strom

19. Nov 30- Dec 22   3rd Winter Artisan Show

2019 Art Shows in Merritt BC

20. Feb 1- Mar 2   Art of Sound: The Creative Expression of Sound Through Sound and Art Mediums

21. Mar 8- 30   Living Legends: Four Nicola Valley Artists with Pius Chong, Evelyn Armstrong, Doug Strand, Jackie Stibbards

22. Apr 5- 27   Wondernatural with Michelle Lonsdale

23.   Apr Joel Reid Art Show

24. May 2- 11   Create-Communicate-Connect with MSS Seniors

25. May 17- June 22   Forever West: A Lifestyle That Gas Never Changed with Faye Gustafson

26. June 27- July 31   Murray Church Show Community Show with Linda Baird and Peter Samra

27. Aug 9- Sept 7   Upcycle: Have Some Fun! Get Inspired! Save the Earth! Community Show

28. Sept 13 -Oct 5   Swing Into Fall Community Show

29. Oct 11- Nov 9  Fractured Reflections: The Art of Fred Tomlin

30.  4th Pop Up Winter Artisan Show and Shop

2020

31. Feb 7- Mar 14   Children in Art, Art for Children Community Show

32. Apr 5- June 13   I Love Painting! The Robert Moretti Show

33. May28 -June 13   Landscapes of the Nicola Valley with Dave Barber

34. June 19 – July 11   From the Earth Invite Show

35. July 17- Aug 22   The Bee Show Community Show with local apiarists

36. Sept 4- 26   Memories and Mandalas NVCAC Members Invite Show

37. Oct 15- Nov 14   Art for the Love of It with Jean Kiegerl and Twin Willows

38. Nov 20- Dec 4   5th Annual Winter Artisan Show & Sale

2021

39. Jan 13-31   Street Art! Community Show

40. Feb 3-Mar 7   Art During Covid: Creativity Persists Community Show

41. Mar 10- Apr 11   Looking Forward Now with Cindilla Trent and Kim Leclair

42. Apr 14- May 2   Unmasked: MSS Graduating Show

43. May 5-23   Clubhouse Art Show with Members of CMHA

44. May 26- June 27   Pencil Paintings with Judy Young

45. June 30- Aug 1   Body Art: Living Art of Tattoo and Body Adornment Community Show

46. Aug 4- Sept 5   Art of Clothing: Creative Fashion Community Show

47. Sept 8- Oct 10   Merritt Naturally: Discover Nature at Our Doorstep with Frank Ritcey and Bruce Walter

48. Oct 13- Nov 7   Baskets and Bowls with Evelyn Armstrong and Andrew Ruigrok

49. Nov 13- Dec 24   6th Annual Winter Artisan Show & Sale

And this year, 2022 Art Shows in Merritt BC

50. Jan 26- Mar 13   Creature Comforts Community Show

51. Mar 16- Apr 10   Kevin Griffiths: Flora, Fauna, Facility

52. Apr 13- May 1   Bev Veale: Reminiscences

53. May 5- June 5   Shirley Reynolds: Colour Personified

54. May 8-26   Coming Home with the MSS Seniors

55. June 29- Aug 7   Food for Thought Community show

56. Aug 11 – Sept 11   Show of Shows Curated by Jano Howarth, Posters by Kim Leclair

Art Shows in Merritt BC

Artists, Artisans, Art Gallery in the Nicola Valley

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