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Italy and northern B.C. combine

Two artists showing their work this month at the Smithers Art Gallery
One of Perluigi de Lutti’s works. His art and that of Diana Buri Weymar are on display at the Smithers Art Gallery this month.

July’s exhibition at the Smithers Art Gallery showcases the large, dramatic oil paintings of Italian artist Pierluigi de Lutti juxtaposed with the delicate, incredibly intricate works of Diana Buri Weymar.

Pierluigi de Lutti’s large canvases are infused with colour and chiaroscuro, alternating dark and mysterious hues with shining and bright backgrounds.

Formerly a primarily abstract painter, de Lutti’s themes have changed in recent years as a result of his stays in Canada – he spends the summers on Lake Kathlyn just outside Smithers– and his subject matter and style has made the transition to a more figurative, pictorial style inspired by the pristine natural environment around him. In contrast to the experience of most artists in northern B.C., nature is a newly discovered source of inspiration for de Lutti and the atmosphere of slowness and serenity in his paintings reflects the feelings that this landscape inspires in him.

De Lutti was born in Monfalcone, Italy, in 1959 and is a graduate of the Friuli Art Academy. His interest in art blossomed when he was in his 20s and his artistic development through the 1980s was influenced by his attendance at the studio of the Italian neorealist painter Giuseppe Zigaina.

It was at this time that he first came to the attention of art critics and the public. During the 1990s he attended abstract art courses for many years in Los Angeles and New York, and his work has been exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the States and Europe. De Lutti lives in northern Italy near the shores of the Adriatic Sea and spends his summers in the Bulkley Valley on the shores of Lake Kathlyn.

Diana Buri Weymar’s work is concerned with the narrative quality of objects as it relates to memory, hand-building, text-making and nature. She uses and reinterprets objects from daily life that have historical and personal significance to her family in particular but also to family life in general.

The alteration of these materials is achieved by using methods with domestic resonance – stitching, knitting, cutting, dyeing, and waxing – in non-traditional ways. Weymar is primarily concerned with how art objects connect us to unspoken memories, emotions and interpretations of our purpose.

Her work documents the passage of time through art making. Though it’s been just over 25 years since she lived in Smithers, it’s still home. However, she thinks of trying to “return home” as a kind of transgression, against the natural order of time. The materials she uses and the way in which she uses them are heavily influenced by her appreciation for her rural and wilderness childhood in northern British Columbia. One of the many things she learned from growing up in northern B.C. is how to make something out of the materials at hand.

Whether it was a log cabin, a trail in the woods or a dog sled, they were always making and building a reality based on and intricately connected to where they came from and where they were going. Weymar’s pieces address how we build and take things apart when they no longer serve a practical function but hold a place in our memory and personal narratives.

Buri Weymar grew up in northern British Columbia and has studied art making at Cooper Union, the Arts Council of Princeton, and Vancouver Island School of Art. She has exhibited her work in Victoria – where she lived until recently – at the Ministry of Casual Living, the Midwives Collective, the Victoria Legislature Building, the Greater Victoria Public Library, the Victoria Writers’ Festival (2012- 2014)  and Xchanges Gallery (April 2015).

She completed a B.A. in English/Creative Writing at Princeton University and worked in publishing and film in New York City. She is working on an embroidery project based on John McPhee’s pieces in The New Yorker magazine on the craft of writing and is taking her prerequisites for NYU’s Masters in Art Therapy program.

There will be an artist talk and demonstration at the gallery on Wednesday, July 15 from noon to 1 p.m.

“Text and Textile” by Diana Buri Weymar: a lunchtime demonstration and discussion about stitching narratives and documenting nostalgia in contemporary embroidery.

Weymar will talk about how we translate personal objects, history, and experiences into different forms that are available to others. Free and open to everyone.

The exhibit is now open and run until August 8.


The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.