RipOff Artists Retrospective Opening May 12

The RipOff Artists are a multimedia collective who set themselves a new challenge each year to “rip off” a famous work of art, reproducing it in their own medium. Photography, fibre art (weaving, felting, and quilting), painting, 3-D, found objects, encaustic (hot wax painting), and more!   2011 is their fifth anniversary, and in celebration they are mounting  a retrospective of their previous work.

Do you need to catch up on any of the four RipOff challenges over the years? Missed any of the following exhibits: Wheatfield with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh (2007), Emilie Floge by Gustav Klimt (2008), Pink Tulip by Georgia O’Keeffe (2009), or Mount Lefroy by Lawren Harris (2010)?

Here’s a taste of their work. At left is Klimt’s Emilie Floge interpreted in mixed-media collage by Marion Trimble. Below is Harris’ Mount Lefroy reimagined as a small painted cabinet by JoAnn Turner.

You can see them all at once at the

RipOff Retrospective
May 12 – June 23, 2011
Opening reception: May 12, 7 – 9 p.m.
Leir House, 220 Manor Park Avenue, Penticton BC, V2A 2R2
Phone: (250) 492-7997  


Fall Art Show and Sale: Those Were the Days

The 2010 Fall Art Show and Sale  waxes nostalgic this year, with a competition, exhibit, and sale that reminisces: “Aaaah, those were the days!”  Paired with Oliver’s Festival of the Grape for several years now and held at the same venue, the Oliver Community Arts Council event always draws a huge crowd of locals and tourists.

The Fall Art Show and Sale is held on Saturday October 2 and Sunday October 3 at the Oliver Community Centre Hall.  The Saturday event opens at 3 p.m. with an exhibit, sale, and public voting on the competitive entries.  Free admission on Saturday from 3 – 9 p.m. 

This year, 71 works of art will compete across seven categories: Painting – Representational, Painting – Abstract, Photography, Fibre Arts, Three – Dimensional, New Media, and Emerging Artists (under 19) .  The winners are selected by public ballot. An overall best-in-show category requires the winning entry to reflect “Best Interpretation of the Theme”.  The theme, “Those Were the Days”,  is broad enough to allow artists a wide interpretation: last summer’s vacation to the last century’s pioneer culture.

In addition to the competitive entries, two non-competitive displays will also be on show. The Oliver and District Heritage Society exhibits a slice of Oliver’s history with their display of Oliver’s Museum and Archives  treasures from the 1930’s. The popular RipOff Artists will present their latest multimedia interpretation of a famous artwork: Lawren Harris’ Mount Lefroy. The Group of Seven painting is recreated in wood,  quilting, weaving, oils, watercolours, encaustic (wax), photography, and three-dimensional installations.

Mirroring the nostalgic theme, the Oliver Community Arts Council will run a silent auction of small antiques and collectables from the early to mid 20th century.  Among the charming items for bid are a bakelite vanity set from the 1920s, Royal Winton chintzware, and several porcelain and silver items.  The collectables silent auction will run across both Saturday and Sunday. An additional wine auction will run on the Saturday only.

Visit the information table both days for promotional items, OCAC memberships, publicity about upcoming arts events, and information about OCAC member groups and businesses. Learn about the work of the Oliver Community Arts Council by viewing their powerpoint presentation. Make an offer on two lovely  works of art donated to the council for fund raising purposes. 

On Saturday evening, a public reception begins at  7 p.m. with live entertainment, appetizers, and wine. At 8 p.m. voting on entries closes and the ballots are counted. Right before 9 p.m., winners in all categories will be announced. Silent auction winners can claim their wine prizes.  

 On Sunday, the Fall Art Show and Sale continues by admission through your Festival of the Grape  ticket. The exhibit is open from 12:00 noon to 5:30 p.m. Although the competitive portion is over, the show and sale continues. View the winners across all categories. Wander through the Heritage Society and RipOff Artists’ exhibits. Meet the artists. Make a silent auction bid on “Those Were the Days” collectables before 5:00 p.m!  Become a member of the Oliver Community Arts Council. Buy some OCAC promotional items. Wax nostalgic, fall in love with art, and purchase artwork at the sale. Bring your chequebook and plastic!  Take a piece of Oliver home with you!

Poster artwork by Evie New
Poster layout by Heather Fink

RipOff Artists steal a Pink Tulip

ol9_5329roa“Good artists copy, great artists steal” has become the tag line for The Rip-Offs, a collective of nine South Okanagan artists who shamelessly pilfer their creative ideas from great works of art. In a Summer Studio exhibit in July, this multimedia collective interpreted the work of American oil painter Georgia O’Keeffe, each artist in their own medium. They chose as their inspiration O’Keeffe’s dramatic Pink Tulip.

As collage artist Marion Trimble explains, “O’Keeffe was known for painting large lush flowers of dynamic energy and erotic tension.” Each artist faced the challenge of recreating the piece within five days, using a variety of media including oils, quilting, weaving, collage, 3D, wax, felting, and graphic art . The public observed their works in progress throughout the week.

Two years ago the group opened their first show, The Van Gogh Challenge, in which they each interpreted the same masterpiece Wheatfield with Cypresses using their own techniques and materials..In 2008, the collective presented Klimtomania, an homage to Art Nouveau painter Gustav Klimt and his glamorous blue portrait of Emilie Floge.

From left, the Rip-Off Artists include Terry Irvine, fabric artist (felter); Kurt Hutterli, interactive 3D installations;  Barb Levant, fabric artist (weaver); Thea Haubrich, encaustic art; Enid Baker, painter; JoAnn Turner, painter; Marion Trimble, collage; Russell Work, photographer; and (missing from photo) Dianne Birne, quilter.  Photo by Russell Work

barb-levant-pink-tulip-1Barbara Levant has been weaving, spinning, and dying for 32 years. She recreated Pink Tulip using a transparency woven with fishing line and embroidery thread (at left). Barbara also dyed yarns in the colours of O’Keeffe’s work and wove an elegant scarf.


kurt-hutterli-pink-tulip-1Originally a writer from Switzerland, Kurt Hutterli also works with mixed media objects to create entertaining and interactive 3D installations. In his whimsical creation, the tulip resembles an “exploded diagram” with pistil and stamens as a 3D structure standing in front of a painting of the tulip petals.


russell-work-pink-tulip-1Digital photographer Russell Work focuses on landscapes and other panoramic subjects, so his interpretation of O’Keeffe’s Pink Tulip closeup view was an artistic departure for him.  “When I first saw Pink Tulip, my first thought was ‘vegetables“.”  He first photographed a bean, a slice of red onion, some red cabbage leaves, and a zucchini. Using photoshopping software, he shaped and twisted each photo and then pasted each into position on a master photo to represent the various parts of the flower: the petals, stamen, pistil,  leaf, and so on. The results are displayed at left.

Marion Trimble is a mixed media artist and painter. She used homemade paper and mixed paper to create a collage of the tulip image. Dianne Birnie, a member of Double O Quilters and The Fabricators, employed the techniques of fabric painting and beading. Enid Baker paid  loving homage to the original artwork with a faithful representation of Pink Tulip in acrylics.

Encaustic artist Thea Haubrich specializes in an ancient art form which uses heated tools to melt and paint with pigmented beeswax.

joann-turner-pink-tulip-3JoAnn Turner juxtaposed the delicacy of the spring flower with a symbol of mortality: she painted the tulip across the surface of a  cow skull. (see left).

Missed the action? The Rip-Offs Pink Tulip collection will be the featured exhibit at the Oliver Community Arts Council’s Fall Art Show on the first weekend in October at the Oliver Community Centre.

For more information on the Fall Art Show, type the program name into the search engine at right.

Artwork Photos by Penelope Johnson