Check out the Revelstoke Visual Art Centre’s newest exhibitions

Four new art exhibitions are on show at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. We stopped in at the Friday night opening event to get a first look.

Michelle Spragg's 83-inch saw blade that has been given new purpose. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer

Impressive crowds gathered last Friday for the opening night of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre’s newest exhibitions. The works of three diverse artists filled the walls of separate rooms, showcasing a plethora of visual treats.

Michelle Spragg showcased a new mixed media style that up-cycles scrap saw blades to pay tribute the trees and forests of the Columbia-Kootenay Region. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer.

The works of photographer Robert Sim, painter Michelle Spragg and ceramic-artist Susie Kathol were being snapped up by eager buyers all evening long.

Each artist told a different story through their work. The white gallery walls were treated as blank canvases — each had a completely different layout and feel.

The first room celebrated nature and a tradition of forestry. Michelle Spragg is a Golden-based artist who has been working with ArtFirst! for the past three years. Her work involves giving new life to old metal saw blades.

Spragg starts by cleaning the blade smooth, she then applies alcohol inks in multiple layers, followed by a UV spray and resin. Once dried, she can add further details to her naturalistic designs using acrylics and alcohol inks.

Michelle Spragg holds her 10-month-old son in front of her main piece: an 83-inch saw blade that has been given new purpose. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer

Her standout piece was an 83″, 665 lb. metal saw blade that she had repurposed into a vibrant forest landscape. The wheel had to be separated into multiple parts in order to make it easier to work with and transport.

Spragg received a grant from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and was given less than one year to complete the entire project.

“It took a lot of planning, organization and execution to do within the time restraints that were present,” Spragg commented.

If we can gauge her success by the number of people gazing at her work and quickly reserving it — it seems that she pulled it off.

The hallways between the galleries became increasingly busy as the evening unfolded. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer.

The second room was transformed by Robert Sim. A backcountry guide, writer, and adventure photographer; Sim decided he would transform his space into a novelistic journey whereby the viewer could travel alongside him throughout his Himalayan epics.

Robert Sim is a Revelstoke-based backcountry ski and alpine guide, photographer and writer. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer.

His framed photographs were accompanied with scrolls of aged paper which disclosed various information about the mountains and villages, as well as important cultural figures of the remote areas that he and his team visited over the course of two years.

READ MORE: Step into the Valley of Gods with Robert Sim
Framed photographs on metallic paper created a 3-dimensional effect. Photo: Robert Sims.

The final gallery was home to the ceramic creations of Susie Kathol. Her intricately detailed and seamlessly executed designs make it hard to believe that she has only been trying her hand at ceramic art for the past two years.

Crowds admiring the ceramic works of Susie Kathol. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer.

She draws her inspiration from nature. Namely from animals such as owls, ducks, rabbits, and foxes.

Intricate details on a ceramic owl by Susie Kathol. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer.

She commented that she does have a growing personal collection of her own art. It’s not deliberate. Due to its fragile nature, there have been many instances where hours of work have gone to waste when a plate or a bowl is dropped to the floor and smashed.

Susie Kathol stands proudly in front of her work. Photo: Louise Stanway/ Revelstoke Mountaineer.

Did you miss out on the opening event? Not to worry – the galleries will still be open for viewing until April 26 at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre.