Artist of Merritt- Libby Dybikowski
“I like to work quickly and spontaneously…”
Libby believes art can help you see the world in a different way.
Libby Dybikowski is one of our popular and prolific Artists of Merritt. Her work is known for colour vibrancy, for bold brush-work, and for simple themes with lasting appeal. She says the enjoyment of the Nicola Valley surroundings and the pleasure of travel to exotic locations drive her choice of subject matter.
I first met Libby at a Nicola Valley Community Arts Council meeting. And I discovered a focused, articulate lover of arts and cultures, with skills of great use to a social-profit organization. We worked together when I first took on the Gallery Director job for the arts council. She hung my first show, collaborating with the three lower mainland artists for the “Poetic Language of Landscape” exhibition. I will always be grateful…
I first encountered Libby’s art, when I invited her to fill some spaces for a community show we held. A lot of the art contributed by the community ended up, to a large part, smaller in scale than I anticipated. Libby’s work is all sizes. And she brought in several large canvases, covered with bold colour and form. I became a fan…
From the words of Anne MacKay, Chief of Conservation at the McCord Museum in Montreal, “Libby Dybikowski’s skillful handling of colour and form give her work an impact that is hard to deny. Strong, sensuous and daring, her paintings grab the observer at first glance, and continue to engage with every viewing.”
Montreal beginnings, Vancouver life…
Born in Montreal, Libby spent her first twenty or so years in Montreal. From her website: Libby has been a lifelong appreciator of the arts, including music, theatre, dance and fine art. A graduate of McGill University in French language and literature, with a year at the Université Aix-Marseille and two summers at Cornell’s Hotel School, her professional achievements prior to painting included management strategist, negotiator, and founder of a successful national executive search business.
Libby enjoyed painting as a child, and watched her father, an architect, paint “en plein aire”. As a teenager she found more interest in music, and playing the clarinet and appreciating classical and jazz forms.
From age 20 to retirement, Libby worked in Vancouver, in human resources for Hilton International and the Bay, and as a university administrator at UBC, and finally owning and operating her own executive search firm, Provence Consulting, that specialized in searches for university administrators for universities across Canada..
Artists of Merritt – Libby Dybikowski in the Nicola Valley
Upon retirement, Libby and her husband spent more and more time in the beautiful Nicola Valley. Here she ran across a watercolour workshop given by Jean Kiegerl, picked up her brushes, and hasn’t looked back since. She switched to acrylics and now paints often, in spurts. Inspired by her surroundings: the landscapes, the animals and people around her, and her travels. Libby includes mixed media is some of her work, like paper and netting.
She has a studio where she can leave out her paintings in progress. Libby walks away from them when the artistic flow stops or slows down, and returns to them when the time is right.
One of her pastimes, between painting bursts, is spending time with her horse, Buttercup. For a while Libby also created jewelry with semi-precious stones.
More About Libby
Libby enjoys playing bridge with friends.
She prefers coffee to tea, dogs to cats.
Libby watches tennis and late night talk shows – or parts, like Stephen Colbert’s monologues. Her favourite movie is still Lawrence of Arabia. And favourite books are Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities and The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje
Libby loves to bake and enjoys French cuisine.
And France is her favourite country to visit.
Libby loves to travel, creating her own travel adventures with her husband, Jim.
Support, Inspirations, and the place of Art in Society.
Libby feels she gets a lot of support for her painting, from Jim, and her friends and fellow artists, like Kim Vizi-Carmen and Jean Kiegerl. She has received mentoring from many artists, including Joanne Beaule Ruggles and Patricia Peters. She has enjoyed painting alongside artists, like Cyndra Bradford in California. Libby says she has learned a lot in the company of other artists.
When asked about the challenges she has encountered in pursuing her art, Libby talks about the importance of pleasing herself when she paints and not being affected by the opinions of others.
She believes that art stretches society, that it can help you see the world in a different way. “Bigger and better…bigger skies, deeper oceans.”
Libby has long admired Canadian Group of Seven artist, Lawren Harris. She visits art galleries and museums for inspiration in cities when she travels- Paris, Barcelona, Nice. “Amazing!” And most recently, Marrakesh, a city she would return to…
Merritt 2 Marrakesh
Libby is showing at the Courthouse Arts Gallery. There are over 30 paintings depicting three themes: her recent trip to Morocco and the exotic city of Marrakesh, the city of Vancouver, BC, and the Nicola Valley. From horses, to mountains, to colourful city scenes, to flower still life, and in all sizes, Libby has something for everyone to enjoy. And all of us in the Nicola Valley have the opportunity to acquire a Libby Dybikowski painting of our own.
Come and see Libby’s work at the Courthouse Arts Gallery on Nicola Valley in Merritt. Or visit Libby’s website, where you will find her paintings are available for the world.
See for yourself and tell a friend! September 6-29, 2018
Read more about other artists of Merritt and art and culture in the Nicola Valley, here on Experience Nicola Valley.
Check out our local Nicola Valley Community Arts Council site to see what is happening in the arts in the valley.
Every work of art which really moves us is in some degree a revelation: it changes us. Lawren Harris