‘Counsel’ by Elizabeth Hutchinson.Peace River Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists

Original Published 11:06 Jun 12, 2022

By Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An opening reception was held on June 12, 2022 at Fort St. John’s Peace Gallery North for the Peace River Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists’ juried art exhibition, titled ‘Faces of the Peace’. It runs until July 9.  

Federated artist and long-time South Peace resident Charlie Parslow said the exhibition is about celebrating the character of the region, whether that’s people, places, or wildlife, the theme is wide open.  

“It could be faces of people, but it can also be those things that are the face of the region. For instance, it could be distinctive landscapes, it could be features such as rivers, mountains, valleys, things we see such as cattle, horses, wildlife and so on – they’re all faces of the Peace,” said Parslow. “It could be windmills, town halls, historic sites, anything that is the face of our region.”  

The Peace River Region is well-known for its biodiversity and stunning vistas, extending from Alberta all the way into B.C.  

In total, 16 artists have come together to share 36 artworks. The twice annual event has always been alternated between Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Dawson Creek, and Fort St. John.  

“I’m looking forward to seeing people. There’s great comradery between the artists and community supporters, and that’s really facilitated by having the reception,” said Parslow.  

The next show expected to take place in Beaverlodge this fall, and is titled ‘Beauty Defined’, again drawing on artists’ love for the region and the northern wilderness.  

It also reflects the enormous talent of the artists living in those communities, said Parslow, noting the show is a diverse mix of mediums: acrylic, charcoal, mixed media, oil, pastel, print work, and more. 

“All of our artists have been recognized as being competent artists, and each show is juried by signature members of the federation,” he said. “The people who are jurying our show are not from our communities, but they’re from other parts of Canada.”  

Award winners of the exhibition were announced virtually on June 8, with Elizabeth Hutchinson taking first place for her piece ‘Counsel’, an oil on canvas painting reflecting the outdoors and finding oneself.  

Second place was Darlene Dautel with ‘Blank Canvas’, a water colour painting of a child using a frosty school bus window as a wintery canvas.  

Agnes McDonald came in third with ‘Spring Thaw’, an acrylic painting of an old barn on their family farm, which has stood in place for nearly 40 years before collapsing. 

Peace Gallery North curator Jaqueline Bendetto says the show really shouldn’t be missed, especially by those who love the region.  

“Group exhibits are such a wonderful opportunity for the community to enjoy art from many incredibly talented local artists,” said Benedetto.  

This item reprinted with permission from Alaska Highway News, Fort St. John, British Columbia