Rockies documentary features Oliver artwork

Flyer Documentary, 2013, 3

The artwork of Oliver painter – and Swiss native —  Kurt Hutterli will be featured on the cover of a new DVD release, “Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies: Beyond Adventure”, a documentary produced by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver as part of the Swiss 100 Canada project. This year, Swiss 100 Canada celebrates 100 years of official relations between Switzerland and Western Canada.  The documentary, directed by  Josias Tschanz,  features interviews with mountaineering experts against a backdrop of stunning Canadian alpine scenery as they reflect on the impact Swiss mountaineers had on opening up the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies.

Swiss alpine guides had accompanied English mountaineers in the Rockies during the 1800s, but it wasn’t until a fatal climbing accident on Mount Lefroy in 1896 that the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) hotels hired Swiss guides to work for the mountain parks. Between 1899 and 1954 Swiss alpinists led hundreds of first ascents and taught safe climbing techniques to thousands of climbers. They also laid some of the most beautiful mountain trails, most notably the stone pathways in the Lake O’Hara region of Yoho National Park. Arguably, their skills training, and enthusiasm, helped to create the current cultural appreciation of the Canadian Rockies, together with a desire to preserve this remarkable landscape.

Kurt Hutterli

Kurt Hutterli (pictured at left) explains how he was personally contacted to help with this Swiss 100 Canada project:

“A while ago I got a phone call from the Consul General of Switzerland in Vancouver, Urs Strausak. He told me about the projects planned for the Centennial Celebrations of the diplomatic relations between Switzerland and British  Columbia. One of the projects was a documentary about the Swiss guides in the Canadian Rockies by director Josias Tschanz (Counting Ants Productions) and produced by the Swiss government through the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver. Urs Strausak asked me for ideas for the cover of the DVD. I sent him a copy of my RipOff Artists painting from 2010. All the people involved in the production of the movie liked it and it was decided to use the painting also for the flyers and the posters.”

Feuz on Saddleback Mt

Hutterli’s painting (above at top) was originally created as part of the 2010 challenge by Oliver’s RipOff Artists to recreate the iconic work by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris, “Mount Lefroy”. Kurt’s contribution to the multimedia event was a whimisical interpretation that blended two famous works: Harris’ Mount Lefroy painting (below), and a black and white photograph of Swiss alpinist Eduard Feuz Jr  guiding an unidentified visitor up Saddleback Mountain in the Lake Louise region near Mount Lefroy (at left).

Lawren-Harris-Mount-Lefroy-500x500

Hutterli’s work often blends reality and fantasy. True to form, Kurt let his
imagination run wild in naming the “unidentified visitor” clutching Feuz’s hand in the photograph. He titled his piece “Ed Feuz Jr Guiding Emily Carr at Mount Lefroy”, giving a teasing doff of the cap to another BC artist! Hutterli delights in blurring the lines between legend and history in his art, whether working in oils or three-dimensional installations. Hutterli further describes this particular piece as “a contribution to BC mythology”.

The trailer for “Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies: Beyond Adventure” can be viewed here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=00ndBrrgCmw

More about Swiss100Canada is here: www.Swiss100Canada.com 

The premiere screening of the documentary is on Sunday June 23 at 5:30 at the Banff Centre, Margaret Greenham Theatre. No word yet on the release of the DVD to the public, but Kurt will keep you posted!

Friday June 21: Due to the heavy rain and flooding, and out of respect for those affected in Southern Alberta, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver has cancelled the Premiere Screening that was to be held in Banff this Sunday, June 23rd, 2013. The documentary Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies – Beyond Adventure will be screened at a later to be determined date.

Logo CH-CA-LikeMinded_RBW

RipOff Artists Reception Monday June 28th

by Marion Trimble

The “Ripoff Artists” once again rise to the challenge as they scale new heights in lifting Lawren Harris’s “MOUNT LEFROY” during a week of open studio. So-named for their annual pilfering of a famous dead artist’s masterpiece, the Ripoffs, a “Group of Nine”, have selected the Canadian icon who was the driving force behind the formation of the Canadian, “Group of Seven”.

Lawren Harris, a major leader and influential artist of this country, was pivotal in the development of a uniquely Canadian style of landscape painting. By virtue of its isolation, he felt the Canadian landscape required a different painterly approach. This insight led him to begin simplifying his palette and forms in the belief they were capable of expressing spiritual truths. “Mount Lefroy” in it’s symbolic blues and yellows, is an example of his dramatically designed, mystical compositions.

The collective’s ringleader, fabric artist, Terry Irvine known for her functional, sometimes humorous original creations stated, “I like the simplicity of the painting, while at the same time, I’m surprised by its complexity”. “It was an easy decision in picking this year’s prey”, said paper collage artist and member, Marion Trimble. “After imitating the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt and Georgia O’Keeffe in previous years challenges, it was time to come home”.

The nine artists recreating “Mount Lefroy”, a Canadian rockies buttress on the B.C./ Alberta border, represent several different art forms. Dianne Birnie and Enid Baker are both gifted members of the Double “O” Quilters and the Fabricators. Each employs a different method of quilting that always impresses. Enid in past challenges elected to paint rather than quilt so it will be a surprise to view which of her talents she employs this year. Another surprise can be expected from multi-disciplined, fine artist, JoAnn Turner. In previous challenges, she painted her image on a non traditional surface. Chosen from any one of her mediums of pottery, jewelry, basketry or clothing design, we can expect her piece to be skillfully produced. Kurt Hutterli is a writer and artist. His imaginative 3-dimensional creations of recycled, mixed media, have delighted audiences in past exhibitions. A member of several weaver’s Guilds, including the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers in Oliver, Barbara Levant, a weaver and spinner for over 35 years, enjoys the suspense of seeing fabric develop and colours interact as she weaves.

Another Ripoff participant since it’s inception in 2007, is encaustic artist, Thea Haubrich. An active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, her works win awards locally and nationally. As exclusive representative for Canada of the Arts Encaustic International products, she is a well-known, dedicated promoter of her art form. Pushing the boundaries of digital photography, Russell Work’s innovative images last year were an exciting addition. Known for capturing the beauty of the Okanagan Valley landscapes, he specializes in panoramic compositions. This year guest artist Leo Pedersen joins the gang. A member of the Oliver Sagebrushers, Leo is a self taught painter and woodworker who learned the basics from his grandfather and father. He now carries on a family tradition, teaching his grandchildren the love of art.

 In 1940, Harris moved to Vancouver where he spent the last 33 years of his life making an enormous contribution to contemporary art. He was a strong supporter of younger artists and influenced the direction taken by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Harris was the driving force that brought together the varying talents and temperaments which formed the Group of Seven. This week his guidance reappears to inspire our very own talented Group of Nine, the Ripoff Artists.

Visitors are welcome to view the artists’ progress as they gradually ascend the lofty goal of bringing their Mount Lefroy interpretations to conclusion. The skullduggery takes place at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 34273 95th St., across from the airport in Oliver. Opening reception is Monday, June 28th, 6-8 pm. Studio times Tuesday June 29th through Saturday July 3rd from  9 am to 3 pm. Join the artists during the week as they scramble to a dramatic climax by 3 pm, Saturday, July 3rd. For information contact Terry Irvine at 250-498-4156.

Ripoff Artists Scale New Heights

The Oliver-based artists’ collective known as the Ripoff Artists are getting ready to “lift” the work of Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris, “Mount Lefroy”.

Each exhibit, the Ripoffs select one famous piece of artwork for inspiration. Each artist in the collective then works independently in their chosen medium to capture the essence of the masterpiece.  The Ripoff Artists excel in photography, wood working, 3-D, weaving, felting, quilting, encaustic (hot wax) art, mixed media collage. In previous years, the artists have “ripped off” such great artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Their interpretations are always breathtaking in their creativity!

Find out the artists’ visions at the opening reception. Drop by to watch the artists at work during the week. Return for the final frenzy and the finished creations on the Saturday.

Come experience Harris’ “Mount Lefroy” with all your senses!

Monday June 28 – Saturday July 3
Quail’s Nest Arts Centre
 34274 – 95th Street, Oliver BC
 
Opening Reception:
Monday June 28
 6 – 8 p.m.
 
Daily Demonstrations in Studio:
Tuesday  to Saturday
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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