A Mighty Wind by Patricia Peters. (Patricia Peters)

Fraser Valley Biennale makes stop in Chilliwack

The show is travelling from Abbotsford to Harrison and is in Chilliwack for the month of June

Some of the Fraser Valley’s most talented artists have come together for a travelling exhibition which will be making a stop in Chilliwack for the month of June.

The Fraser Valley Biennale is a year-long art show displayed every second year. It’s a dynamic, collective representation of exceptional artwork produced by 24 artists in the Fraser Valley region over the past two years.

Small, tailored iterations of the exhibition will be presented at multiple venues (Abbotsford, Harrison, Chilliwack and Mission) throughout 2019, culminating in a full showing in Abbotsford at the end of the year. Here in Chilliwack, it is hosted by the Chilliwack Visual Artists Association (CVAA) June 6 to 29 and will feature 19 of the 24 artists.

“The CVAA is very excited to bring the Biennale to their area,” says CVAA president Patricia Peters. “It shows the community who is making art here in the Fraser Valley.”

Peters is also one of the Chilliwack artists in the show and this is her second time taking part in the Biennale. She, along with Chilliwack artists Krista Kilvert and Karlie Norrish McChesney, will have their work on display in the 2019 Biennale at the O’Connor Group Gallery in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Peters’ oil painting ‘A Mighty Wind’ is a bright, colourful portrait of a tree standing in the wind.

“It’s something that everyone in B.C. will certainly relate to… we’re an area of tree-huggers, we love our trees,” says Peters. “You feel the wind you feel the action. You feel the coast breeze for sure kicking up nicely. It’s a very happy painting.”

She finished the piece in cold wax which gives the piece a special, matte surface.

Norrish McChesney’s piece ‘Box Patterns’ is a series of textile squares featuring origami boxes.

“My work explores how 3D models can be represented in a 2D format. ‘Box Patterns’ depicts seven of my favourite origami boxes accompanied by the unfolded paper pattern to assemble the box,” says Norrish McChesney.

“All things mathematical inspire me. I love to solve puzzles especially those with 3D form, like origami modulars,” she adds. “I am drawn to the accurate meticulousness required to make origami. It has a simple complexity; simple because it is paper folded and creased, and complexity because intricate shapes are constructed.”

Norrish McChesney is a retired art teacher who taught at Rosedale middle for 29 years. This is her first time in the Fraser Valley Biennale.

Conceptual mixed-media artist Krista Kilvert will be presenting a diptych of digitally woven tapestries called ‘Moments Re-imagined.’

The process involves the “deconstruction, manipulation and reconstruction of one of my photographic images into an abstracted version of itself.”

“While traces of the original photograph remain, the outcome is a fusion of details within an entirely new context. I find the process itself very liberating, spontaneous and unpremeditated in outcome,” says Kilvert.

She refers to her more recent work as “foto-painting” where she creates “imagery working with a ‘photographic’ not traditional ‘paint’ palette.”

This year will be Kilvert’s fourth time participating in the Fraser Valley Biennale.

READ MORE: Chilliwack artists represented in Fraser Valley Biennale

This year’s show has already been on display at the Kariton Art Gallery in Abbotsford (Jan. 5 to Feb. 5) and the Ranger Station Gallery in Harrison (Mar. 2 to 31). After it leaves Chilliwack at the end of the month, it will move to the Rock Family Gallery in Mission (July 20 to Aug. 17) and will close at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford (Oct. 3 to Jan. 5, 2020).

Chilliwack artist Sylvie Roussel-Janssens also has a piece in the 2019 Biennale. Her light sculpture ‘Archipelago’ will be on display in the final show in Abbotsford.

The 2019 Biennale is curated by Adrienne Fast, curator of art and visual culture at The Reach.

The 2019 Fraser Valley Biennale runs June 6 to 29 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Opening reception is Saturday, June 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. Gallery hours are Wednesdays through to Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.



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Karlie Norrish McChesney’s textile artwork, entitled ‘Box Patterns,’ shows both constructed origami boxes (bottom row) and what they look like unfolded (top row) in the Fraser Valley Biennale. (Karlie Norrish McChesney)

Karlie Norrish McChesney’s textile artwork, entitled ‘Box Patterns.’ (Karlie Norrish McChesney)

Krista Kilvert’s diptych ‘Moments Re-imagined.’ The process involves the “deconstruction, manipulation and reconstruction of one of my photographic images into an abstracted version of itself,” she says. (Krista Kilvert)

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