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Maple Ridge artists bending the rules

Lanaya Flavelle and Kris Kupskay competing for $25,000 HP Canada grant.
Kris Kupskay is one of three contestants in HP Canada’s Bend The Rules contest

Two Maple Ridge artists need you help to #BendTheRules.

Photographer Lanaya Flavelle, below, and master muralist Kris Kupskay are competing against one other talented “Rule Bender” for a $25,000 grant from HP Canada.

A graffiti artist whose work graces spaces from Maple Ridge to Whistler, Kupskay challenges the status quo with his bold and vivid murals.

He transforms public spaces with acrylic and aerosol, finding a canvas in the most unconventional of places. He’s also committed to having a positive impact on his community and the kids who live in it. Working with Zero Ceiling - an organization that helps kids make significant life changes – Kupskay uses his unique skill set to mentor and motivate. He merges art and advocacy. And the results are striking.

He recently painted a 2,000-sq. ft mural, blending First Nations art with images of baseball, for Port Coquitlam Minor Baseball’s batting cage. His work is also featured at the Greg Moore Youth Centre in Maple Ridge.

“Art just happens to be a better way of explaining myself,” says Kupskay in his artist statement.

“You never really know how an artist feels about something until they take the time to paint it for you. I see being an artist as a hidden form of expression. It is the emotion that an individual can sink into a piece and never need to disclose. The observer doesn’t need to understand me, or what I am trying to accomplish, in order to appreciate my work.”

Flavelle is a photographer whose work refocuses the lens of fashion photography. Flavelle has lived in Maple Ridge since she was three years old.

Dramatic and galvanizing, her images shift the perspective of the female form in popular culture.  She also publishes a semi-annual photography magazine called ReFashion Book. Each edition raises awareness and donates proceeds to a different charitable organization.

She harnesses the persuasive power of fashion photography to drive positive change.

She is best recognized for her reknowned ‘Woman’ series, gaining public attention and media coverage for her controversial photo of plus model Elly Mayday, pushing over a mannequin.

This photo has inspired a shift in Lanaya’s photographic work, as she plans to showcase body diversity and empowered women her future projects, 2014 forward.


Cast your vote for Kris Kupskay and Lanaya Flavelle at #BendTheRules.

For videos of their work, visit