A shared love for the Cariboo is the theme of a new show at the Parkside Gallery this month.
Called Reflective Visions, the show features work by Penny Bailey and Tracy McAvity, two of the most active members of the 100 Mile House art community. Both women said their artistic output exploded after they moved to the community and found inspiration from the natural beauty of the area.
“For the show, the beauty of the Cariboo is first and foremost in our minds,” said Bailey, an oil/acrylic painter. “My inspiration was my home. I have the lake out front of my house and in the back, there’s a small farmer’s field where there’s usually some cattle so I literally have inspiration right at my doorstep.”
Two of Bailey’s pieces depict her back porch view. A Full House shows a group of steers grazing in the field while Sundown on the Hash is the latest in a line of paintings she’s done of a beautiful sunset she witnessed from her property.
Meanwhile, McAvity, a mosaic glass artist, took inspiration from the broader Cariboo landscapes.
“Throughout all of the years I’ve lived up here in the Cariboo I’ve spent a lot of time hiking into lakes and just going for walks in Crown land,” she said. “That’s reflected in a lot of my artwork and the main piece I made for this show.”
McAvity has created a large mosaic of a turquoise river landscape entitled Cariboo Gold. While it’s somewhat modelled from the Chilko River, she said it is meant to be a celebration of rivers found across the area.
“(My work) is like fitting a puzzle together because you have a lot of small pieces and are trying to fit them all together,” McAvity said. “As you see it comes together, though, it’s really inspiring and motivating. I love it.”
Complementing that work is Bailey’s Liquid Light, a painting of colourful river rocks submerged underwater. McAvity said their shared love of water bodies and sunsets mesh well together.
“We worked apart for this show but at the same time we’ve worked together every step of the way,” Bailey said.
McAvity noted there was a lot of “texts at one o’clock in the morning,” to ask each other what they were working on. Throughout the painting and mosaic process, they said they grew together and share ideas. Even the summer wildfires didn’t derail their progress, as the two of them simply took their art with them.
Reflective Visions runs at Parkside from Oct. 8 to Nov. 6 from Tuesdays to Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.