In the Okanagan arts scene there is a heavy emphasis on landscape painting. Portraiture is not seen very often.
Landscape artists paint the lovely rolling hills covered in orchards and vineyards while the art of painting a proper portrait is at times left untouched.
And yet, there is an interesting, concurrent trend that has been emerging from the Fine Arts program at UBC Okanagan: Portraiture.
Over the last four years or so, each graduating class has had some portrait work—Stephen Lee Scott in 2011, and Nadine Bradshaw and Jeda Connor in 2013.
“It wasn’t until I learned of the Rucker Archive and got talking with its owner, Mark Rucker, and getting a look at the collection, that this idea of inviting three Okanagan-based emerging artists to make work inspired by the Rucker Archive sprang into being,” said Lake Country Art Gallery curator Katie Brennan.
“Having a focus on portraiture naturally followed suit.”
Nestled in an idyllic orchard above Peachland, the Rucker Archive and its more than 100,000 pieces of paper ephemera (such as posters, photos, etc.) make their home. It began with Rucker’s interest in baseball paraphernalia and has expanded into a collection of the wild and wonderful images of our past.
Items from the archive will be on display beside the work of Bradshaw, Connor and Scott.
To round out the exhibition is a selection of portraiture from this year’s graduating class of UBC Okanagan’s BFA program. All based in photography, the work of these artists each approaches it a bit differently. Kelsie Balehowsky investigates the gaze of the camera on our phones. Taylor Crain and Alia Popoff mix other elements into their portraits. And Anastasia Fox presents fun-loving portraits of man’s best friend.
Portraiture, inspired by the Rucker Archive, plus Recent Portraiture from UBC Okanagan runs from June 11 to July 18, with an open reception to take place today, June 11 from 6 to 8 p.m with remarks at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
On the evening on Wednesday, June 18 at 7 p.m., the gallery will host Jeda Connor and Kelsie Balehowsky for an artist talk and discussion. Admission is free and open to the public.