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Local artists organize Picasso inspired exhibition

A new art show will run at the Old Kamloops Courthouse from July 23 to Aug 14
 | July 21, 2021
Check out the Chromotopia display at the Old Kamloops Courthouse from July 23 to Aug 14. Photo provided.

July 22, 11:45 a.m. update – The end date for the show has changed to Aug 4.

The new “Chromotopia” art exhibition was coordinated by two Sun Peaks ArtZone members and fibre artists, Janet Scruggs and Victoria Gray, who thought of the idea four years ago during a long drive to northern Alberta.

The exhibition will travel for three years, kicking off at the Old Kamloops Courthouse in the main and hallway gallery from July 23 to Aug 14 before moving onto Vernon, followed by Chilliwack.

Chromotopia will display 94 art pieces from 47 artists, including Gray and Scruggs, who all provided pieces subject to two randomly assigned colours.

“The theme of the whole exhibit is colour, and Jan and I are doing black and white. The rest of the exhibit is the whole [colour] wheel,” said Gray.

Each piece of art is presented on a 12 inch by 12 inch canvas and will be displayed in two rows so the colour wheel is presented in parallel rows from left to right on the top row, and vice versa on the bottom row.

“For example [Victoria’s] white is on the top, black is on the bottom. It moves through the spectrum on the top and then the opposite way on the bottom so by the time it gets back to me I’ll have black on the top and white is on the bottom,” explained Scruggs.

The Chromotopia show was inspired by famous artist Pablo Picasso’s blue period, when he would paint using shades of only a single colour.

“Everybody can only stay within that small section of tint and shade with the colour they were given and they can’t go outside of that or even add a neutral colour,” said Scruggs.

“And that’s quite a challenge,” said Gray. “You really have to rely on the value of the colours in order to make subject matter show up. There has to be a lot of contrast between them but only within that colour.”

The show will have a variety of themes as the artists’ were allowed to choose their own. Scrugg’s was inspired by lichen, which she has always really enjoyed working with.

“I took a photograph of lichen and then I changed it into a darker value of black, and lighter value for white. Then I sent those away and had them printed on cotton,” Scruggs explained.

Scrugg’s piece was created using a trapunto method, making the central theme of lichen pop on the canvas. Photo provided.

She then used a fibre art method called trapunto.

“It’s sort of like adding extra padding in that one area, so in the piece that lichen will have more loft [and] it’ll stand out more from the rest.”

Gray’s piece will be a crazy quilt style of fibre art.

“You could say it was inspired by Sun Peaks because of all the crazy people up here,” Gray joked.

For more information on the “Chromotopia” art exhibition, click here.

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