“We have two amazing artists in the gallery this month,” said Smithers Art Gallery manager Nicole Chernish. “Leah Pipe is an artist and designer living in Hazelton, B.C. She has the “heart of a raven,” creative, curious and drawn to beauty. Leah considers herself portrait painter – portraits of wild beings. Her work is both simple and detailed, capturing natural elements and portraying them in a striking, yet minimalistic layout.”
According to Chernish, Pipe guides her viewers to truly examine the micro-amazing details of a feather, a raven’s beak, snow-capped mountains, salmon tails and the shapes of wolves’ ears. She asks you to hear and feel the heartbeat in her portraits in “Deeper Into The Forest.”
Prince Rupert artist Chris Fraser is highlighting their striking pottery alongside Pipe in their first solo exhibition in Smithers.
“Metamorphosis” explores the organic formations of coral as abstract forms that have been interpreted through various textures, shapes and colours. With the understanding of rising ocean temperatures due to climate change, I want to convey corals metamorphosing from planktonic larvae to sedentary polyps. When these organisms stop swimming, while resting on rocks and the ocean floor, they begin their transformation into adult forms through several stages of development. Varying ocean temperatures cause coral polyps to lose zooxanthellae that live in the tissue of the polyps, resulting in coral bleaching.
These sculptures act as a visual representation of the variations in coloured coral contrasting to the bleached, almost lifeless formations that are void of zooxanthellae.
The Smithers Art Gallery is open to the public from 12-4 p.m. Tuesday – Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.