Opening doors for artists in Penticton

Penticton Art Gallery opens its doors to arts students

Sandra Purvis traces a line in one of her paintings on display at the Penticton Art Gallery

While the act of creation may be the most important to an artist, being able to show that same creativity to others can somtimes be as important.

Thanks to the Penticton Art Gallery, many beginning artists have had a chance to show their work in a professional gallery, from the annual shows of works by students at local high schools, to special interest shows of works by people undergoing mental health care.

Or, as is the case right now in the gallery’s Tea Room, works by students of a local painter and sculptor. Kindrie Grove, a painter and sculptor who also teaches self-directed art classes, said curator Paul Grove is very encouraging of bringing student works into the gallery.

“As a fellow art educator in terms of what he does through the gallery here, we are very supportive of each other. It was just a matter of asking,” Grove said. It’s an important step, she continued, giving the student the milestone of having their work shown in a gallery, both presenting what they are doing and celebrating it.

“A lot of people who are just beginning don’t have any experience of what that’s like,” she said. “It’s a neat part of the process. Because often as an artist, you are driven or feel the need to share with other people.”

With this exhibition, the art shows a wide variety of styles and concepts, indicative of Grove’s self-directed approach to teaching. That involves her passing on concepts through demonstration and exercises, but also leaving time for the students to work on their own projects.

Sandra Purton picked a very personal project for her work. Working from old photographs of family members, dating back to the early years of last century, she is recreating the images as large paintings.

But seeing them hung on the wall of the gallery wasn’t something Purvis had planned on when she began the project. She is thankful that Grove was able to arrange it, but admits seeing two of her works in the gallery leads to some mixed emotions that she sums up in one word.

“Fear. I see all the mistakes, that’s the first thing,” said Purton. “But they are there and I am glad. It makes me want to go back and keep on, see if I can improve.”

“I am just there to help them solve problems,” said Grove, adding that her students work on what they want to work on, their own projects, their own subject matter, their own material choice, whatever they are interested in working on.


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