The Creston Valley Art Walk and Galleries Tour is returning for its 18th season. After a year in hiatus, the Art Walk is returning June 28 for a two-month run.
Over its 17-year run, the Creston Valley/East Shore Art Walk became too unwieldy, a victim of its own success. Often with over 60 venues and up to 80 artists, the Art Walk took three days to successfully complete. It was reluctantly decided that this was too large an event, so it was split in two — the Creston Valley and the East Shore of Kootenay Lake areas. Last year, for the first time, the East Shore ran its own successful Kootenay Lake Art Connection, while Creston artists took a year off to regroup.
Launching a summer celebration to celebrate the work of local artists from Yahk and throughout the Creston Valley, Art Walk will run the entire summer from June 28-Sept. 1. Art Walk supports professional artists and artisans working from either their own galleries or studios and links emerging artists who do not have their own venues with businesses interested in promoting local talent, and through this support these businesses all receive publicity.
Art tours throughout the entire Kootenay region continue to be a destination for the arts. The vision of the Creston Art Walk is to continue to develop more awareness within the local community of the Creston Valley for a continued appreciation of the creative spirit behind original true art forms.
The Creston Valley Art Walk and Galleries Tour is divided into two easy to complete tours. The gallery tour needs motor transportation but can be completed in a leisurely afternoon drive.
Why not start your tour at Yahk About Art, where Penny A.P. Anderson and invited artists display a wide variety of fine art? The studio is about one kilometre south of the junction of Highways 3 and 95 on the banks of the Moyie River.
As you enter the valley from the east, you will find the always exciting Alfoldy Gallery, which features the watercolours, paper batiks, miniatures and cards of husband and wife artists Andy and Elaine Alfoldy. These artists have been longtime supporters of Art Walk.
Also in Erickson is Bluemoon Galley on Haskins Road. This is the home gallery of Andrea Revoy, who produces a variety of, and often whimsical, clay sculptures. Her clay chickens have proven to be very popular with patrons of the arts.
A third gallery in the Erickson area is Jenny and Emmie’s Art Gallery on 33rd Street. This gallery features the oils, acrylics, and mixed media paintings of Jenny Steenkamp and Emmie Roelofse.
On 16th Street in Lister is Kootenay Meadows, where you can not only pick up some of their fresh, grass-based organic dairy products, including their famous handcrafted mountain cheese, but you may also find local artist Ute Bachinski hard at work on her latest pastel or mixed media creation.
Not far away on 37th Street is McDowell’s Hilltop Gallery, where you will not only get a fantastic view of the valley, but also the acrylic paintings or garden sculptures of James McDowell or the rustic birdhouses or mixed media art of Nora McDowell. Birds are ecstatic when they get to move into one of Nora’s creative birdhouses.
As you travel north out of Creston, you can visit three more galleries. On the northern edge of downtown is the Krazy Kat Lady Studio and Gallery, which exclusively exhibits the work of Margaux Allard. Whether you’re looking for acrylics, pencil art, jewellery, prints or cards a visit to this gallery is well worth your time.
Taking the Lower Wynndel Road will bring you to the Hirota Gallery on Indian Road. In this gallery are Eileen’s original mixed media paintings, prints and cards, and porcelain earrings along with Jackson’s wood-fired pottery. After nearly 10 years in the valley, Eileen is still inspired by the beauty of the birds, flowers and the creative energy she finds here. Her mixed media paintings focus on what she sees and also what she feels which result in some realism and some abstracts. The Hirota Gallery also hosts the fibre art of Annie Miller.
On Cory Road in Wynndel is Mellowood Studio and Art Gallery where you can find the wonderful watercolors of Val van der Poel. Her studio is also part of the Kootenay Lake Art Connection, so be sure to pick up a brochure from her and continue your art exploration along the Kootenay Lake East Shore to Crawford Bay.
The Art Walk section of this summer-long celebration of the arts, which features downtown businesses and galleries, will be featured in a later article in the Creston Valley Advance.
A colourful brochure listing all the artists and their venues, as well as a detailed map that locates studios, galleries and supporting business, is available at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce and all venues. This year, an added feature will be geo-mapping, and information is available at the chamber. Also at the chamber will be a video highlighting the art on display at various galleries and studios.
Whether you are just beginning your art journey, learning and appreciating art or a seasoned art connoisseur, you will find plenty for your individual tastes in the Creston Valley Art Walk and Galleries Tour.
—CRESTON VALLEY ART WALK