Winter Art Show heals and inspires

Works of more than 40 artists will be at the Maple Ridge show.

Eric Darville prepares for the Vicuña Studio Winter Art Show called Colores Frios. Below

Eric Darville prepares for the Vicuña Studio Winter Art Show called Colores Frios. Below

Vicuña Art Studio is gearing  up for their Winter Art Show called Colores Frios.

The show will feature the art work of more than 40 artists who are exhibiting at least one piece each.

Vicuña Art Studio was opened in 2008 by local artist Maria Daley. It is a teaching studio supporting people with developmental disabilities that is owned and operated by the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living.

Goals of the program are based on an individual’s likes, abilities and expectations.

The program is therapeutic for participants and improves their self-esteem, self-confidence, concentration and motor skills.

New this year to the studio is a pottery class that takes place Monday mornings where students create figures, masks and bowls.

Ilse Phillips who has been the director of the studio for the last two years has continued to grow the program.

“People have ambitions. It doesn’t matter who we are, we all have ambitions,” said Phillips.

“They like it and feel really proud of themselves after,” she said adding that a lot of the artists want to show their friends their pieces as soon as they are finished.

“It’s recognizing people for a talent or a skill or an ambition that they have,” said Phillips of the program.

Artists at the studio have been working one hour a week since the spring for the upcoming show.

Brittany Tunshell, who is legally blind, will have a painting of a horse in a field at the show.

Phillips helps Tunshell with her work by outlining the shapes in black felt marker.

“She can see black and white contrast with the black felt marker. When she gets up close to the black marker then she knows that’s the edge of it,” said Phillips.

Tunshell is also working on a Christmas blossom painting dotted with reds and greens that will be made into cards.

Eric Darville, who has been attending classes for only one year, has painted a Group of 7 style acrylic painting of an autumn lake scene.

“A lot of them look at images from books and use that as inspiration. That’s the best way to learn actually, all the masters learned from other masters,” said Phillips.

Darville has just sold his first painting, a watercolour landscape.

Deneen Perry enjoys painting rectilinear paintings, abstract paintings with rows of squares.

Natasha Brayshaw who only started back at the studio a year ago after a three year hiatus, will have one brightly coloured painting of three horses galloping across a field and another acrylic that she has called The Older Beatrice based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Beatrice d’Este.

Brayshaw also enjoys painting cats and has just received a commission for painting a pet cat named Zola.

In addition to acrylics the show will also have masks and yarn bowls for sale along with prints and art cards.

There will be a participation canvas for visitors to paint on, a hot chocolate bar and door prizes.

Admission to the public exhibit is free.

The Vicuña Studio Winter Art Show takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 2 and 3 at No. 1-11491 Kingston St. in Maple Ridge.

For more information call 604-465-7526 or go to