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

[slideshow_deploy id=’7677′]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

Oliver Art Gallery Grand Opening May 25

The Oliver Art Gallery, located on Oliver’s Main Street,  holds its Grand Opening on Wednesday May 25 from 1 to 7 p.m.

The gallery is run as an artists’ co-operative. Artists include  Sandra Albo, Shannon Ford, Barb Hillier, Brad Hillis, Michael Arne Jorden, Dale Matthews, Arlie Richards, Jane Scheffler, Denise Soule (left), Steve Staresina, George Traicheff, Roger Ulasovetz, Ivanna Zita,  pen and ink artist Sandy Boblin, and photographer Paul Eby. 

The art gallery provides exhibition space for local artists from Summerland to Osoyoos, and an inviting place for art lovers to visit and enjoy. The location takes advantage of highway exposure on Oliver’s busy main street. Artists hope the colourful venue will catch the eye of motorists and summer strollers, both tourists and locals.

Artist Steve Staresina, a driving force behind the establishment of the new gallery, rounded up a group of like-minded artists who put their time and energy into creating a beautiful space with new paint, tile, walls and lighting.

“This really is a group effort,” maintains Staresina. “It is all of the artists working together that is making this possible”.  Staresina (left) teaches regular art classes at the Quail’s Nest Art Centre, and together with Leza MacDonald, painted the mural at the Oliver Kiwanis Market.

“The arts make up over 30 percent of Canada’s GDP,” says Staresina, “and I am determined to bring that into the open in this community that I live in.”


The Grand Opening includes appetizers, beverages, and entertainment. The artists  invite you to experience the relaxation and pleasure of being surrounded by original artwork (such as that of Shannon Ford, left), which will delight and draw you in with the imagination, colour and the imagery of each piece.

Oliver Art Gallery 
34848 – 97th Street, Oliver, BC
Email: office @
Telephone: 778 439 3320