Michelle Gazely poses beside the culmination of her Out of the Blooms exhibit the vibrant and lively piece Shine Through which represents where she and many survivors of sexual assault now are thanks to the #MeToo movement. Patrick Davies photo.

Michelle Gazely poses beside the culmination of her Out of the Blooms exhibit the vibrant and lively piece Shine Through which represents where she and many survivors of sexual assault now are thanks to the #MeToo movement. Patrick Davies photo.

Two Smithers artists connect through Arterial exhibit in P.G.

Michelle Gazely and Sarah Northcott are part of the Fantastic5point0 Northern B.C. artists collective

Two Smithers artists are featured in a collective exhibit called ‘Arterial’ currently open to the public in Prince George, celebrating a commitment to art, Two Rivers Gallery announced on Aug. 12.

Michelle Gazely and Sarah Northcott are members of the Fantastic5point0, a northern B.C. group of five artists from various locations spanning east to west down Highway 16.

“It’s called arterial because we all live along this road, that is the main artery which connects all these communities of North,” explained Suzo Hickey, one of the group members who hails from Prince.

The central theme around the showcase is a coming together or the connection the group has created by their lives along the arterial road that stretches 718 km across the province.

“This show, Arterial, is very dear to me. In times where we’ve all been isolated from each other, coming together like this to exhibit around a theme of connection has been a really meaningful experience,” said Lynn Cociani another Prince Rupert group member.

The five artists from Smithers, Prince Rupert, and Prince George bring together a range of styles, from landscapes to florals, from abstract painting to myth and storytelling the gallery stated, in a media release.

The Fanstastic5point0 idea for the collaboration stemmed from a 2018 self-directed painting retreat where the artists met primarily to paint, share business and operational information, which can often be a struggle for isolated artists in the North, Hickey said.

The group got along so well the idea for an exhibit seemed a natural extension. Originally scheduled for 2020, the show which started in Smithers in April, was postponed due to COVID-19, Hickey said.

“The images and subjects in Aterial speak to the resilience of artists in the North, and of finding community and support,” the gallery stated.

For continuity and to continue the visual ‘through line’ all the works of art in the exposition have a 4.5 inch demarcation from the bottom that connects them and forms its own artery through the showcase.

“The show feels like a lovely metaphor for our friendship, and it’s significant that our final show is in Prince George, which is the terminus of the artery, the highway that connects us,” Cociani said.

“And I love that our paintings can hang out together even if we can’t.”

The other artists in the Fanstastic5point0 exhibit is Mo Hamilton from Prince George.


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
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