See Staresina in September

Country Roadby Michael Jorden, B.Sc., M.B.A.

In March 2010, I received a phone call from Steve Staresina, an Oliver painter who I had known as one of the Oliver artists associated with the Quails Nest Arts Center. Steve had a vision that, because of the closure of an established commercial gallery on Oliver’s Main Street, an opportunity had arisen to create a new commercial gallery dedicated exclusively to local artists from the south Okanagan. He was determined to make sure Oliver continued to have a community art gallery. The Oliver Art Gallery – well into its third year – exists because of his vision. No dreams however – no matter how noble – are brought about without effort. A few hundred hours of ‘sweat equity’ were invested in bringing about this vision – by Steve in particular and his intrepid assistants including yours truly. In April 2010 the Oliver Art Gallery opened its doors with six members. Today it is a registered artists Co-operative with twenty one members and running like a well oiled machine.

This month, Steve is the featured artist at the Oliver Art Gallery. His choice of medium is oil and acrylic and his subject matter is the landscapes and people of western Canada. As a child living in Croatia, Steve was influenced by Roko Stokic, a wheelchair bound artist with whom he spent countless hours sketching hands, feet, faces and figures of friends and neighbours. He stood out among his peers and had his first art gallery show at the age of seven. He has had a varied career in business and the construction industry but has devoted himself to painting full time only since retirement. He is a participating member of a number of arts organizations including the Oliver Community Arts Council, Oliver Sagebrushers and the Oliver Art Gallery Artists Co-operative.

Steve’s work will dominate the gallery during September. Come and view his art Tuesday through Saturdays between 11:00AM and 4:00PM at 6046 Main Street in Oliver.

The Oliver Art Gallery is also presenting Art Classes for the fall. Come in and register for drawing classes, painting classes, pastels and more.

Seeing double at Oliver Art Gallery

June is the month where the South Okanagan starts to hum. With daily sunshine, sweet smells from the orchards, people are happily looking foreword to Summer. The Oliver Art Gallery Artists, are also inspired to go out and paint the local scenes and produce more of the fine art, the gallery is famous for.

This month, as a special to bring in Summer, we have a double spectacular show by featuring, not one, but two of our fine artists.

The art of Nancy Gray and Jennifer Farnell will be displayed during June. These two are spectacular artists in different ways. One is a detailed realist, while the other is inspired by life’s situations and emotions.

Nancy Gray took several art classes in 2003, which re-ignited her need to be creative. She continued painting and then moved to the South Okanagan in 2007 and thoroughly loves it here. After getting established, she joined the Artists on Main in Osoyoos in 2008 and then the Federation of Canadian Artists as a supporting member. She was juried to Active status in May 2009. In June 2012 she joined us, at the Oliver Art Gallery.  Nancy usually works in watercolour, however she does like to explore in other mediums like graphite and acrylic.

Jennifer Farnell paints from life’s inspirations, feelings and imagination. She never uses a reference photo. Her work lets the observer interpret whatever it is they may see or feel in their own unique way. Jennifer paints mainly in acrylics and he work has sold in many venues between Alberta and B.C.

The Oliver Art Gallery is lucky to have Nancy and Jennifer add to the variety of styles and mediums by its 20 artists. Drop in to view the high quality art, ceramics and jewelry.

The gallery is at 6046 Main Street, open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Horse logger and painter displays stunning work in May

Mowing with the Bay Team 2010[1]submitted by Steve Staresina, Oliver Art Gallery

Here we are, with the passing of April and the completion of BC Arts and Culture week. Well, the Oliver Art Gallery is proud to push on with the theme by announcing its new Feature Artist for the month of May.

Rod Gould, Horse Logger/Painter will be displaying his many works on our feature walls, from April 30, to May 28th.

Rod, an avid outdoors man, has spent most of his life hunting, fishing, farming and logging with his horses on his 1500 acre wilderness ranch. While he had painted and followed his love of art all along, lately he is finding himself out in the weather slapping paint on canvas more and more.

His paintings are his attempt in expressing his appreciation, of the life he has had the privilege of living and to pay tribute to some of the good and honest horses he has worked with. His paintings speak, of the sparkle of first light on a mountain river, or times past when horses broke the ground and skidded the logs.

Rod occasionally works in watercolour, but mainly he paints in oil. It is the chosen medium of his artistic heroes, like Tom Thomson, Carl Rungius and N.C. Wyeth. He spends a lot of his time painting outdoors, or creating plein air sketches that later become a large studio painting.

Mendicino 2010The Oliver Art Gallery is privileged to have Rod Gould as one of its 20 artists, displaying a variety of mediums and styles from realism to abstract, for the pleasure of all comers. Ceramics and jewelry have also been added as extra variety for a diversity of choice to shoppers.

There is also ongoing art classes offered at the gallery:

Pencil Drawing

Sunday Mornings, – 9:00 – 11:00AM.

Six weeks, starting Sunday May 5, through to June 9th.

Cost; $ 60.00

Artist teacher, – Steve Staresina

Every artist needs to be able to draw before they can paint. Learn the basic drawing techniques, for landscapes, animals and the human body.

Painting – Acrylics for Beginners

Monday Evenings – 6:30 – 9:00PM

Six weeks, Starting Monday, May 6 through June 10.

Cost; $ 60.00

Artist teacher – Steve Staresina

This will be a teaching Class for beginners. You will learn about the supplies, products and techniques. If you wondered if you had it in you to become a painter, this is where you will find out. A list of supplies will be available upon registration.

Portrait Drawing with Pastels

Monday Mornings – 9:00 – 11:30

Two weeks, starting May 13 and 20th.

Cost; $45.00

Artist teacher – Sharon Leonard

This will be a two session lesson, where you will be able to draw a portrait of your choice. Bring your own photograph to work from. (Picture should be clear and show all features, like the eyes).

Drop in to view, Rod Gould’s Art, and the many other beautiful pieces on display.

Oliver Art Gallery

6046 Main Street, Oliver BC

Cowboy Christmas at Rustico

The Oliver Sagebrushers Art Club are celebrating the opening of a second gallery room at Rustico Farm & Cellars Winery, where they have been showing their works over the last several months.  The artists’ productivity and sales have warranted this new expansion.

Join them to celebrate a Cowboy Christmas! Tour the new gallery area, stock up on gifts of art and wine, listen to some live country music, and chow down on some warm chili and hot mulled cider around the campfire.  Artists will be on hand throughout the weekend to tour or answer questions.

The entertainment will feature country singer Mikie Spillett from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday Dec.3.  Everyone is welcome: It’s family fun!

The monies donated during the Cowboy Christmas will go to the Desert Valley Hospice Society.

"Casting Shadows" announced as 2012 Fall Art Show and Sale theme

The Oliver Community Arts Council announces the theme for the 2012 Fall Art Show & Sale: “Casting Shadows”. Artists in all media are invited to begin the creative process using that theme as their inspiration to create new works. 

Precise categories have not been announced, but will include the following: oils, watercolours, acrylics, fibre arts, photography, mixed / new media, and three-dimensional (including sculpture, found object art, leatherwork, metalwork, lapidary and more). Emerging artists (under 19) may enter in their own category.

“Casting Shadows” was the popular choice for the 2012 theme, based on ballots received from the public at this past year’s Fall Art Show & Sale. Whether you draw, paint, take photos, or create in fabric, wool, or in 3-dimensions with wood, clay, metal or other materials, the Fall Art Show and Sale is the perfect place to show and sell your work.

The 2012 Fall Art Show & Sale will take place on Saturday & Sunday, September 29th & 30th at the Oliver Community Centre (held jointly with the Festival of the Grape on the Sunday).

For further information, please call Sally at 250-498-0104 or email the arts council at olivercac @ gmail.com

Visit the Oliver Arts Council’s website in early 2012 for entry forms and more news concerning the 2012 Fall Art Show & Sale.

“Casting Shadows” announced as 2012 Fall Art Show and Sale theme

The Oliver Community Arts Council announces the theme for the 2012 Fall Art Show & Sale: “Casting Shadows”. Artists in all media are invited to begin the creative process using that theme as their inspiration to create new works. 

Precise categories have not been announced, but will include the following: oils, watercolours, acrylics, fibre arts, photography, mixed / new media, and three-dimensional (including sculpture, found object art, leatherwork, metalwork, lapidary and more). Emerging artists (under 19) may enter in their own category.

“Casting Shadows” was the popular choice for the 2012 theme, based on ballots received from the public at this past year’s Fall Art Show & Sale. Whether you draw, paint, take photos, or create in fabric, wool, or in 3-dimensions with wood, clay, metal or other materials, the Fall Art Show and Sale is the perfect place to show and sell your work.

The 2012 Fall Art Show & Sale will take place on Saturday & Sunday, September 29th & 30th at the Oliver Community Centre (held jointly with the Festival of the Grape on the Sunday).

For further information, please call Sally at 250-498-0104 or email the arts council at olivercac @ gmail.com

Visit the Oliver Arts Council’s website in early 2012 for entry forms and more news concerning the 2012 Fall Art Show & Sale.

It's the FASS — at LASST!

The Oliver Community Arts Council is excited to present the
Fall Art Show and Sale (FASS)
Theme: “Outside the Box”
Oliver Community Centre, 79th Street
 
Saturday October 1
FREE admission
3 – 9 p.m. Show, Sale, and Silent Auction
3 – 8 p.m.: Public Voting
7 – 9 p.m. Reception with Jazz Out West, Door Prizes
8:45 – 9 p.m.: Artist Winners announced
 
Sunday October 2
Admission through Festival of the Grape
12 – 5 p.m.: Show, Sale, Silent Auction, and Artist Demos

View many interpretations of the “Outside the Box” theme in eight artistic categories: photography, fibre arts, 3 -D, oils, acrylics, watercolours, other media, and a category for young “emerging artists”.

View the artwork, vote for your favourites, purchase artwork, bid in the silent auction, and tour fascinating non-competitive displays such as the RipOff Artists American Gothic and demonstrations. Visit the arts council information booth. In the evening, nibble at the reception, listen to live entertainment, and be present for the announcement of category winners and “Best Interpretation of the Theme”.

The Sunday entrance is free with your paid entrance to the Festival of the Grape. The exhibits and sale continue, as does the silent auction. Meet the artists. View the category winners and the overall “Best in Show”.

Watch for cute little wine glass tags commemorating poster art from the last four art shows. They make great souvenirs as well as being handy to wear on your Festival of the Grape glass on Sunday.

Bring your chequebook because, in addition to the great art, arts council memberships, souvenirs and gift items on sale, you will definitely want to enter the silent auction!

The silent auction has 50 amazing items for bid! The auction continues the “Outside the Box” theme. Bid on dozens of tempting hand-painted boxes laden with various themed goods. Each box is filled with items such as “a night at the theatre”, “home preserves”, “vacation”, “outdoor living”, “games night”, “school days”, “kitchenware”, “gardening”, “coffee bar” , “tea for two” or “bath and beauty”, just to name a few. Each filled box makes an attractive gift or keep it for yourself and display it at home. Expect the bidding to be exciting right to the last minute!

It’s the FASS — at LASST!

The Oliver Community Arts Council is excited to present the
Fall Art Show and Sale (FASS)
Theme: “Outside the Box”
Oliver Community Centre, 79th Street
 
Saturday October 1
FREE admission
3 – 9 p.m. Show, Sale, and Silent Auction
3 – 8 p.m.: Public Voting
7 – 9 p.m. Reception with Jazz Out West, Door Prizes
8:45 – 9 p.m.: Artist Winners announced
 
Sunday October 2
Admission through Festival of the Grape
12 – 5 p.m.: Show, Sale, Silent Auction, and Artist Demos

View many interpretations of the “Outside the Box” theme in eight artistic categories: photography, fibre arts, 3 -D, oils, acrylics, watercolours, other media, and a category for young “emerging artists”.

View the artwork, vote for your favourites, purchase artwork, bid in the silent auction, and tour fascinating non-competitive displays such as the RipOff Artists American Gothic and demonstrations. Visit the arts council information booth. In the evening, nibble at the reception, listen to live entertainment, and be present for the announcement of category winners and “Best Interpretation of the Theme”.

The Sunday entrance is free with your paid entrance to the Festival of the Grape. The exhibits and sale continue, as does the silent auction. Meet the artists. View the category winners and the overall “Best in Show”.

Watch for cute little wine glass tags commemorating poster art from the last four art shows. They make great souvenirs as well as being handy to wear on your Festival of the Grape glass on Sunday.

Bring your chequebook because, in addition to the great art, arts council memberships, souvenirs and gift items on sale, you will definitely want to enter the silent auction!

The silent auction has 50 amazing items for bid! The auction continues the “Outside the Box” theme. Bid on dozens of tempting hand-painted boxes laden with various themed goods. Each box is filled with items such as “a night at the theatre”, “home preserves”, “vacation”, “outdoor living”, “games night”, “school days”, “kitchenware”, “gardening”, “coffee bar” , “tea for two” or “bath and beauty”, just to name a few. Each filled box makes an attractive gift or keep it for yourself and display it at home. Expect the bidding to be exciting right to the last minute!

Fall Art Show and Sale is FASS-t approaching

This popular annual event is on Saturday October 1 – Sunday October 2 at the Oliver Community Centre, in conjunction with the Festival of the Grape. See poster for details.

View many interpretations of the “Outside the Box” theme in eight artistic categories: photography,  fibre arts, 3 -D, oils, acrylics, watercolours, other media, and a category for young “emerging artists”.

Saturday is a great day to see the show for free,  from 3 – 9 p.m. View the artwork, vote for your favourites, purchase artwork, bid in the silent auction,  and tour fascinating non-competitive displays such as the RipOff Artists American Gothic and demonstrations. Visit the arts council information booth. In the evening, nibble at the reception, listen to live entertainment, and be present for the announcement of category winners and “Best Interpretation of the Theme” (our version of Best in Show).

The Sunday entrance is free only with your paid entrance to the Festival of the Grape. The exhibits and sale continue, as does the silent auction. Meet the artists. View the category winners and the  overall “Best in Show”. Did your favourites win?

Watch for cute little wine glass tags commemorating poster art from the last four art shows. They make great souvenirs as well as being handy to wear on your Festival of the Grape glass on Sunday. 

Bring your chequebook because, in addition to the great art, arts council memberships, souvenirs and gift items on sale, you will definitely want to enter the silent auction!

The silent auction is looking absolutely fantastic this year! The auction continues the “Outside the Box” theme. Bid on dozens of tempting hand-painted boxes laden with various themed goods.  Each box is filled with items such as “a night at the theatre”, “home preserves”, “vacation”, “outdoor living”, “games night”, “school days”, “kitchenware”, “gardening”, “coffee bar” , “tea for two” or “bath and beauty”, just to name a few.   Each filled box makes an attractive gift or keep it for yourself and display it at home.

Between now and the festival, watch for our travelling “Outside the Box” display! The 6-foot tall stack of boxes looks like the poster graphic.  Can you find it around town? Thank you to Beyond Bliss, Medici’s Gelateria, Interior Savings  Credit Union, Valley First Credit Union, and the Oliver Regional Library for hosting the box stack so far! Please patronize these community-minded  businesses and institutions!

Spot the “Outside the Box” box!

It’s what creative artists do — think outside the box! And this year, it’s the theme of the Fall Art Show and Sale. This popular annual event is on Saturday October 1 – Sunday October 2 at the Oliver Community Centre, in conjunction with the Festival of the Grape. See poster for details.

View many interpretations of the “Outside the Box” theme in eight artistic categories: photography,  fibre arts, 3 -D, oils, acrylics, watercolours, other media, and a category for young “emerging artists”.

Saturday is a great day to see the show for free. View the juried art, vote for your favourites, purchase artwork, bid in the silent auction,  nibble at the reception, listen to live entertainment, tour fascinating non-competitive displays and be present for the announcement of winners.

The Sunday entrance is free with your paid entrance to the Festival of the Grape. The exhibits and sale continue, as does the silent auction. View the category winners and the  overall “Best in Show”.

The silent auction continues the “Outside the Box” theme. Bid on one of dozens of tempting painted boxes laden with various themed goods.  Each box is filled with items for “a night at the theatre”, “vacation”, “outdoor living”, “games night”, “school days”, “kitchenware”, “gardening”, “coffee bar” , “tea for two” or “bath and beauty”, just to name a few.   Each filled box makes an attractive gift or keep it for yourself and display it at home.

 Between now and the festival, watch for our travelling “Outside the Box” display! The 6-foot tall stack of boxes looks like the poster graphic.  Can you find it around town? Let us know where you spot it! Hint: The first location is at Beyond Bliss on Main Street this week.  Please patronize these community-minded  businesses!

Spot the "Outside the Box" box!

It’s what creative artists do — think outside the box! And this year, it’s the theme of the Fall Art Show and Sale. This popular annual event is on Saturday October 1 – Sunday October 2 at the Oliver Community Centre, in conjunction with the Festival of the Grape. See poster for details.

View many interpretations of the “Outside the Box” theme in eight artistic categories: photography,  fibre arts, 3 -D, oils, acrylics, watercolours, other media, and a category for young “emerging artists”.

Saturday is a great day to see the show for free. View the juried art, vote for your favourites, purchase artwork, bid in the silent auction,  nibble at the reception, listen to live entertainment, tour fascinating non-competitive displays and be present for the announcement of winners.

The Sunday entrance is free with your paid entrance to the Festival of the Grape. The exhibits and sale continue, as does the silent auction. View the category winners and the  overall “Best in Show”.

The silent auction continues the “Outside the Box” theme. Bid on one of dozens of tempting painted boxes laden with various themed goods.  Each box is filled with items for “a night at the theatre”, “vacation”, “outdoor living”, “games night”, “school days”, “kitchenware”, “gardening”, “coffee bar” , “tea for two” or “bath and beauty”, just to name a few.   Each filled box makes an attractive gift or keep it for yourself and display it at home.

 Between now and the festival, watch for our travelling “Outside the Box” display! The 6-foot tall stack of boxes looks like the poster graphic.  Can you find it around town? Let us know where you spot it! Hint: The first location is at Beyond Bliss on Main Street this week.  Please patronize these community-minded  businesses!

Sagebrushers Week at Studio

sagebrushers33

Drop by to watch the Oliver Sagebrushers Art Club as they demonstrate some of their painting techniques at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre this week. The Studio is open daily from now until Saturday July 16,  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Tour the studio exhibit of their completed works, and chat to the artists!  

Photo Credit: Jack Bennest, Oliver Daily News

RipOff Artists go-go-go Gothic

The RipOff Artists fifth anniversary Challenge concluded this week with a race to the finish, a ringing bell, and a burst of applause and cheers. The multimedia collective has been hard at work since Monday July 4 creating several works of art inspired by American Gothic by Grant Wood. As an added challenge, each artist in the collective chose their own iconic artist to imitate when “ripping off” the original piece. At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday July 9 , the time ran out on this year’s Challenge, with most artists completing their work.

 

 

 

Marion Trimble followed the style of Mexican painter Freida Kahlo when recreating American Gothic in mixed media. Freida and artist husband Diego Rivera replace the farming couple. Rivera holds a set of paint brushes instead of the pitchfork. The farmhouse only partially conceals Kahlo’s famous Blue House studio. Lush palm trees stand in for Iowa fields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kurt Hutterli, a 3-D artist specializing and found objects and recycled materials, copied the bold style of Alexander Calder. Hutterli incorporates  Calder’s palette of bright primary colours for the simple wood figures, and Calder’s love of mobiles for the clouds pverhead. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JoAnn Turner, painting on a wooden cabinet, adopted the style of Byzantine iconography for a “diptych” of the farming couple, giving them the dark brown eyes and swarthy complexion more typical of  Byzantine art.    The drawer above was decorated with Byzantine architecture. Turner says she has more detail work to do, perhaps incorporating the delicate artwork of another medieval religious painter Hildegard of Bingen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encaustic artist Thea Haubrich mimicked the style of Japanese wood-block artist  Katsushika Hokusai. Hokusai is well-known for The Great Wave and several paintings of Mount Fuji. In Haubrich’s reproduction, a pagoda replaces the farmhouse in the background. In front, a Japanese lady and a grimacing samurai (in wire-frame spectacles) pose together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilter Dianne Birnie experimented in the style of Gustav Klimt. She combined two separate society portraits by Klimt. She enjoyed the contrast between Klimt’s high society models and the American dustbowl setting of the dirty 30s.

 

 

 

 

 

Photographer Russell Work adopted the style of Salvador Dali. Work took inspiration from several of Dali’s techniques: Melting timepieces were replaced with a melting  cameo brooch and eyeglasses.  Dali’s use of wire suspension and props were used for the farmhouse and the farmer’s chin. Dali’s famous waxed mustache twirls into curled and drooping pitchfork tines. Mimicking Dali’s Mae West painting, in which the actress’ face is transformed into a stage, Russell Work similarly transforms the farmwife’s face and blouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leo Pedersen admits he struggled to find an appropriate artistic style in which to reproduce American Gothic in his chosen medium: wood.  He finally settled on something very unconventional but entirely appropriate, Vancouver Sun editorial cartoonist. Len Norris. Norris was known for “skewering social mores”, much like it is supposed Grant Wood does in American Gothic. Pedersen’s work includes a typical editorial caption poking fun at the RipOff Artists, Grant Wood, and Norris himself: “…and this just when we’re through posing for that cartoonist fellow!” grumbles the farmer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barb Levant took her inspiration from a 1930s textile artist to recreate the apron worn in American Gothic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In perhaps the most challenging recreation of American Gothic, fibre artist Terri Irvine knits a Picasso!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enid Baker’s painting was inspired by the style of Modigliani, whose models are often shown with elongated bodies, oddly bent necks,  and mask-like faces. Basing her design on Modigliani’s portrait Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz, she added a wine glass in Jacques hand– much more  appealing than a pitchfork! The background is based on a separate Modigliani landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enid must have had time on her hands, because she also completed this “Gothic” version of  Charles Schultz’s  Peanuts comic. “I was tempted to add some Gothic vampire teeth,” said Baker.

Missed the show? Watch for a RipOff Artists exhibit later in the year….

 Photo credit: Penelope Johnson

RipOff Artists “Stick It” to American Gothic

“All the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow,” declared Grant Wood whose American Gothic painting of the dour-faced pitchfork wielding farmer and his sister is famous worldwide.  Wood’s masterpiece became a national symbol; a vision of hope during the Depression that still resonates today. “Because American Gothic is so iconic, it was the perfect mark for this year’s RipOff challenge,” raves fiber artist, Terry Irvine.

This July the RipOff Artists stick it to American Gothic at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver, BC. This multi-media collective includes artists working in fibre (quilting, felting, weaving), photography, mixed media collage, oils and acrylics, 3-D installations, and encaustic (hot beeswax).  For the fifth year in a row, this nefarious group has dared to take on the grand masters of art. To mark such an auspicious occasion, they added a twist to the proceedings. Each artist has chosen another artist through which to interpret American Gothic. It’s double the ripoff and double the fun!

The public is welcome to watch the RipOff Artists assume the styles of  Picasso, Klimt, and Degas, along with seven other famous artists, and reinterpret Wood.  

American Gothic Challenge
Monday July 4 – Saturday July 9
Opening Reception:
Monday July 4, 
6 – 8 pm
Daily Hours:
Tuesday July 5 – Saturday July 9
9 am to 3 pm 

You are encouraged to come frequently during the week to get a true sense of how their artwork progresses from rough idea to finished creation.  Be sure to see the completed project on the Saturday! It will be left to you to decide: Is Wood’s masterpiece a celebration of America’s stoic determination during the Depression? Or is the finished product a critique of those same American values? Come view the action and decide for yourself.

Incidentally, the treasures from the four previous “RipOff raids” are currently on display at Leir House Cultural Centre in Penticton until June 23. You can view their “stolen” interpretations of Gustav Klimt’s Emilie Floge, Goergia O’Keeffe’s Pink Tulip, Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Cypresses, and Lawren Harris’ Mount Lefroy in a variety of artistic media.

For more information about the RipOff Artists, click on their link under “Member Groups” in the column at right.  Or use the search bar on our website (type in “RipOffs”) for photos and articles from their past shows.

RipOff Artists "Stick It" to American Gothic

“All the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow,” declared Grant Wood whose American Gothic painting of the dour-faced pitchfork wielding farmer and his sister is famous worldwide.  Wood’s masterpiece became a national symbol; a vision of hope during the Depression that still resonates today. “Because American Gothic is so iconic, it was the perfect mark for this year’s RipOff challenge,” raves fiber artist, Terry Irvine.

This July the RipOff Artists stick it to American Gothic at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver, BC. This multi-media collective includes artists working in fibre (quilting, felting, weaving), photography, mixed media collage, oils and acrylics, 3-D installations, and encaustic (hot beeswax).  For the fifth year in a row, this nefarious group has dared to take on the grand masters of art. To mark such an auspicious occasion, they added a twist to the proceedings. Each artist has chosen another artist through which to interpret American Gothic. It’s double the ripoff and double the fun!

The public is welcome to watch the RipOff Artists assume the styles of  Picasso, Klimt, and Degas, along with seven other famous artists, and reinterpret Wood.  

American Gothic Challenge
Monday July 4 – Saturday July 9
Opening Reception:
Monday July 4, 
6 – 8 pm
Daily Hours:
Tuesday July 5 – Saturday July 9
9 am to 3 pm 

You are encouraged to come frequently during the week to get a true sense of how their artwork progresses from rough idea to finished creation.  Be sure to see the completed project on the Saturday! It will be left to you to decide: Is Wood’s masterpiece a celebration of America’s stoic determination during the Depression? Or is the finished product a critique of those same American values? Come view the action and decide for yourself.

Incidentally, the treasures from the four previous “RipOff raids” are currently on display at Leir House Cultural Centre in Penticton until June 23. You can view their “stolen” interpretations of Gustav Klimt’s Emilie Floge, Goergia O’Keeffe’s Pink Tulip, Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Cypresses, and Lawren Harris’ Mount Lefroy in a variety of artistic media.

For more information about the RipOff Artists, click on their link under “Member Groups” in the column at right.  Or use the search bar on our website (type in “RipOffs”) for photos and articles from their past shows.