Holiday Spirits rising at Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Grace Ivers – Interview with an Artist
By Helen Duckworth
Cranbrook and District Arts Council is hosting an exhibition of seasonally themed pieces throughout December. To mark the event I sat down with contributing artist Grace Ivers for an artist interview.
Ivers was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and she first starting painting at the age of eight under the influence of her mother who was also a painter.
Ivers has a business sense approach to selling her artwork and so a lot of her early works were sold or given as gifts. Growing up, and having children, Ivers fell out of the art world until her children had grown although she dabbled in pottery in the meantime, later returning to painting. Ivers moved to Cranbrook eight years ago from Fairmont Hot Springs to be closer to the community and joined Art Group75, a local art group established in 1975, who paint, sculpt and create from the Cranbrook Seniors Hall. “We inspire each other,” Ivers smiles.
When asked about her favorite medium, Ivers responds: “Oil, although I’m not doing it right now oil is more user friendly but I like acrylic too.”
All of the pieces Ivers contributed to the current Holiday Spirits exhibition are either watercolor or acrylic and many of the pieces depict a land or forest scape which will look familiar to local people. Ivers admits that landscapes, particularly mountains, are her favorite subject matter because “I’m still in love with the mountains, being a prairie chicken, I sure didn’t think about mountains.” After some thought she adds, “I also really like trees because each tree is different, they each have their own characters.”
This rings true as in four of the five pieces for the current exhibition, Iver’s work demonstrates a different kind of tree, from the silver birches in ‘Elizabeth’ to the pines in ‘This Way’ and ‘One Frosty Morning’ to the beautifully silhouetted trees in the piece ‘Icy Dawn’.
When asked for her plans for the holiday season, Ivers mentions that she’s taking a trip to Seattle to stay with her children who have recently bought a new house there. Ivers says that her favorite thing about the season is “the camaraderie of spirit, and that everyone is just in a friendlier, get-together kind of mood.” This sense of the season is highlighted in Ivers’ piece ‘Togetherness,’ which features five figures blending and meshing together, representative of family ties and close bonds, something we can all share in as the nights get colder and darker.
Ivers’ artistic influences come in the form of home grown talent such as fellow exhibiting artist Marg Skoberg and recently departed Man Woman whom she commends on his “off the wall creativity.”
You can see Ivers’ and Skoberg’s pieces side by side in the current exhibition along with the beautiful photography of Terri Nash, whose image ‘Fisher Peak Cradle of Light’ features as the poster image for the exhibition.
This exhibition also sees returning artists Ronda Wood, Paula Cravens, Sheila Reynolds, Marlene Bjorkman, Katrine Ann Hynne, Irma Brown and Dorial Davis.
Also featured are works by 2013 VisArts People’s choice winner Val MacPhee and new to the Cranbrook and District Arts Council, nine-year-old Jordan Shukin. You can also purchase prints of Nash’s and Cravens’ exhibited works, or pick up a hand painted original watercolor Christmas card by Grace Ivers herself from the CDAC gift shop.
The opening reception for this exhibition is Thursday, December 5 from 7-9 p.m. where you can meet some of the artists, enjoy some complimentary refreshments and a live performance by local singing group The Funtastic Singers and maybe join in with a Christmas Carol or two!
To find out more information about the reception, or the Cranbrook and District Arts Council in general, please contact Helen via [email protected] or call on 250-426-4223, or visit their website www.cranbrookanddistrictartscouncil.com
About Cranbrook and District Arts Council • www.cranbrookanddistrictartscouncil.com CranbrookArtsCouncil on Facebook. We support development of the visual, literary and performing arts in the Cranbrook & District area, and work to increase public awareness and opportunities for participation in arts and cultural events in the community.