Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Art For Oil-Free Coast Dec. 20, 2012

 Art for an Oil-Free Coast. Dec. 20, 7:00 pm, Shaw Auditorium, Vancouver Island Conference Centre. A free, multi-media evening with a book launch, film screening and art exhibition of 50 Canadian artists working to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. Nanaimo has never had a show like this before!

At 8:00 pm, things move up the block to the Nanaimo Art Gallery for the art opening and book launch of Canada's Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast.

Everyone is welcome to attend these free opening night events. But you must reserve your seat in advance using this link: http://oilfreecoastnanaimo.eventbrite.com.

Canadian artists believe British Columbia’s rugged coastal rainforest is worth safeguarding. And last summer, on an expedition organized by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, fifty of them headed up the coast with their paintbrushes, canvases and carving tools to prove it.

The results, which include the work of Robert Bateman, Roy Henry Vickers and other notable Canadian artists, will be unveiled in Nanaimo on December 20 at Art for an Oil-Free Coast, a free multi-media evening involving a book launch, film screening and art exhibition.

The evening begins at 7:00 pm at the Shaw Auditorium in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre with a showing of the short film Reflections documenting the artists and their journey to the rainforest.

The film will be followed at 8:00 pm by the art opening and book launch one block away at the Nanaimo Art Gallery where the public will have an opportunity to see some of BC's finest art pieces and meet the artists in attendance.

“The response from artists has been overwhelming,” says Tofino artist Mark Hobson, who initiated the project. “Many feel as I do that it will only be a matter of time before incidents like the Exxon Valdez and Nestucca oil spills repeat themselves in this incredible coastal ecosystem,” Hobson adds.

Canada’s raincoast, which includes the famed Great Bear Rainforest, is currently in the path of various proposed pipeline and supertanker routes connected to the Alberta tar sands and to shale gas production in northeastern BC.

The art on display is also showcased in the recently released art book Canada’s Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast, published in November by Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Nanaimo and mid-Island artists featured in this project include Alison Watt, Paul Jorgensen, Harold Allanson, Ray Ward, Dominik Modilinski, Dan Gray, Bill Helin, Collin Elder, David Goatley, Esther Sample and others. The book also includes the work of nine poets, among them Nanaimo poets Kim Goldberg and Alison Watt.

The 160-page art book devotes two pages to each artist’s work, and includes a foreword written by scientist and author David Suzuki, an introduction to the region written by naturalist and author Briony Penn, an introduction to the Peoples of the northwest coast written by Heiltsuk artist and advocate Jessie Housty, and an afterword written by Canadian anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis.

The original artworks have been donated by the artists and are now part of a traveling art show and auction to raise public awareness and funds for conserving the wild and diverse marine environment of Canada’s raincoast. The art will remain on display in Nanaimo until January 5, 2013.

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