Kootenay Lake Art Connection features two dozen artists on East Shore

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(Above) Neils Elris's dragonfly is on a shed across Highway 3A from the Lakeview Store. (Below) One of Geri Gomola's raku fish.

There are just over three weeks left in the inaugural Kootenay Lake Art Connection, which features artists along Kootenay Lake’s East Shore.

Emerald Eastcliff Gallery owner Geri Gomola started the driving tour, which runs through Sept. 3, when she discovered that there would be no Artwalk this year. Artists from Wynndel to Riondel — with the exception of Erickson’s Laura Leeder — were quick to sign on, and 24 artists/venues are highlighted in the KLAC brochure.

Among them are a few whose work has either never been shown or haven’t been part of an art tour. One of those, Jennifer Moore, is showing her paintings, which range from representational to semi-abstract, at the Junction Hub Pub and Grill in Crawford Bay.

“She’s never exhibited any of her paintings before,” said Gomola. “She’s been sort of a closet painter.”

Gray Creek’s Sacred Journey displays the painting, photography and creative writing of Emily Carr University of Art and Design graduate Charlotte Erlandsson; and in Crawford Bay, newcomers Susan Snead (recycled paper art) and Jade Ehrler (inspirational paintings) are on display at, respectively, Wedgewood Manor B&B and Kokanee Chalets.

And a large metal dragonfly by Neils Elris is easy to spot on the hill across Highway 3A from the Lakeview Store.

“That’s like a landmark,” said Gomola.

With a visit to any of the 24 stops, visitors can have their brochure initialled by the proprietors or staff, and once they collect 10 initials, they can be entered in a Sept. 3 closing day draw for a $200 voucher to put toward a favourite piece of art. (Brochures are available at participating locations, on the Kootenay Lake ferries and at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.)

While driving on the tour, art lovers will have a chance to see Gomola’s work twice, at both her Emerald Eastcliff Gallery and at the historic Gray Creek Store. The former real estate agent has been painting since she was 10, and now works with a range of media — her gallery offers raku, paintings and repurposed items as jewelry.

But there’s so much more to see, and she’s already looking forward to putting together next year’s Kootenay Lake Art Connection.

“My goal is that people will stop all the way to the ferry landing,” she said.

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