Like most Millenials, I caught myself scrolling on Instagram for what was probably an hour, looking at art. There were murals in L.A., installations in Detroit, graffiti in New York and contemporary in Vancouver. After I noticed how long it had been, I stopped and put my phone down because I realized instead of sitting inside and staring at a phone screen, I could get up and go see it for myself.
The South Cariboo is home to many creative individuals – painters, sculptures, woodworkers, musicians and more, but it is also home to many unique galleries that showcase the array of talent in this small region of the province. I have always been fascinated by art and culture. Perhaps it is because I am a writer and I understand and appreciate the creative process. For such a small community there is so much talent, which was quite shocking to me when I first moved to 100 Mile House, but now, I find we are quite fortunate to have so much of it.
In 100 Mile, you don’t have step foot inside of an art gallery to view art on public display. Around town, you will find many murals painted on buildings and in the alleys. All of the murals around town have a historical value which I find pretty fascinating. It’s not just a cool mural on the side of a building, but a piece of art that tells a story of significant individuals of the South Cariboo.
After observing the murals around town, I made my way to Parkside Art Gallery. Often, I interview members of the Artist Guild at the Business Centre where selected artists each month will showcase a collection of their work on the first floor. I never had a chance to go into Parkside to see it for myself, so I was quite excited. As soon as I walked in, I noticed it wasn’t like any gallery I was used to. It has two levels, the upper is where the main gallery is, which includes a shop and a few separate rooms where more art is on display aside from the main showcase. I noticed there was more art to look at downstairs as well. The gallery is bright and has a lot of natural light, which I think is the best lighting to have when you’re looking at art.
I learned that the gallery offers more than just space for artists to showcase their work. You can take art classes and workshops but also yoga and dance classes. I thought that was pretty cool.
I finished up at Parkside Gallery and was ready for the next spot to see some more art which was the More Than Wood Art Gallery. The shop had a lot of pieces crafted out of wood, from statement pieces to functional furniture. It was nice to see something a little different than your standard canvas or photograph. The gallery showcases work from Artists around British Columbia, but there was a significant amount of work crafted from artists in the South Cariboo.
While I was at Parkside Art Gallery, I saw a book of photographs from a South Cariboo photographer named Chris Harris. I was told his personal gallery wasn’t too far from town, about a ten-minute drive. I got in my car and decided to visit his gallery. I saw paintings, I saw art crafted from wood, so why not see some photography. Harris has spent a lot of time capturing the vast landscapes of the Cariboo-Chilcotin and other places around the province. His work was quite mesmerizing, giving you an idea of how beautiful the province really is and what it has to offer. Harris has published many books, which most were available to be purchased at his gallery. It’s one thing to be in a busy gallery for an opening reception, but to be able to view art alone without any distractions is something else.
The South Cariboo has about five art galleries in total. If you are someone who appreciates art, I definitely recommend taking some time out of your day to visit the various galleries in and around town to see for yourself exactly how much artistic talent is right in your own backyard.