There’s a science to doing business, and in Quesnel there’s also an art.
Shops, boutiques, cafes and offices in the city will soon be small galleries, as they showcase the artists of the area in their public spaces during the Quesnel Art Trail, a city-wide art exhibition Sept. 23 to Oct. 15.
“We believe that art, in all its forms, is a positive force in our community. It enriches our culture, enlivens our community, and strengthens our ties with each other,” says the Community Arts Council.
In fact, since the initiative has grown beyond just the downtown core, the program was renamed. It had been called the Art Walk since its inception in 2020 and last year it became the Art Trail to reflect the growing scope.
Pairing the artists with the businesses was coordinated by one of the city’s active painters, Keith Prestone.
“I have really enjoyed working with our community-minded businesses this year, to connect and also to showcase their businesses and local visual artists’ work,” Prestone says.
The interest was significant for both sides of this ‘artnership.’ Both artists and businesses were eager to meet one another and share this local tourism opportunity.
“As artists, it’s often very difficult to make that step forward and to ‘put yourself out there’ and let others see what is often a very personal and vulnerable piece of you,” Prestone says. “Because often art is almost that bare-naked feeling, of others seeing into that secret place, your own private niche. It has been a struggle for some local artists to make that step. However our numbers are up again this year, and it looks like at least 50 businesses are taking the plunge and revealing their artwork, thanks to wonderful community-minded business in the Quesnel area.”
The Quesnel Art Trail is a feature element of BC Culture Days which showcases British Columbia artists and performers of all sorts, and this year kicks off in our city.
Prestone says the tour is a brilliant chance for people to discover businesses though the appeal of art, and to discover art by patronizing local businesses. The public will make some exciting discoveries, he says, just as he did.
“We really wanted to see what new things we might bring forward, and we have actually found some pretty amazing, almost unbelievable discoveries,” he says. “One in particular is thanks to local artist and gallery owner Maureen Wheeler, who has found a local 88-year-old artist with an absolutely stunning number of beautiful art works … who has never shown them. And when I say beautiful, I mean these paintings have been hidden because this artist wasn’t sure that they were ‘good enough’ and yet there is a level of creative ability that shouts to you from the canvas and made me a believer almost instantly.”
More information will be unveiled soon on who these artists are and where they will be displayed. After that, it is up to you to ride out on the colourful trail of artistic discovery.
Learn more at culturedays.ca
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