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A closer look at 2023 Skeena Salmon Arts Show featured artist Lynn Cociani

Cociani’s work is rooted in connections to our shared environment and keystone species salmon

The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society not only held the official opening of its annual show at the Terrace Art Gallery Aug. 4, one of the many events surrounding Riverboat Days, it is also taking the art on the road.

Dedicated to depictions about the role salmon play culturally and historically in the region, art lovers in Kitimat and in Smithers will also be able to enjoy this year’s offerings.

The show’s run at the gallery ends Aug. 31 followed by a move to Kitimat Sept. 8 to Oct. 7 and then to Smithers from Oct. 10 to Nov. 11.

Lynn Cociani is one of the show’s featured artists and is the first to be profiled in an ongoing series in The Terrace Standard.

Cociani’s artistic journey began in 1985 when she received her Diploma in Fine Arts from Okanagan College followed by honing her skills in a range of art-related roles including airbrush artist, sign painter, and custom framer.

It was not until 2005 that Cociani pursued a full-time career in the arts, a move that has seen her work showcased across the province.

READ MORE: Skeena Salmon Arts Fest celebrates 100+ artist submissions, preps for annual art show

Among her exhibitions were those at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, Island Mountain Arts in Wells, Smithers Art Gallery, Terrace Art Gallery, and the Ruth Harvey Art Gallery at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert. The latter also houses her work in its permanent collection.

Cociani’s artwork frequently explores themes of connection and the significance we attribute to our surroundings.

She is known for her minimalist realism style and is constantly pushing the envelope by experimenting with the contrast between light and dark, and the exposed versus the hidden.

In doing so, she manages to convey intricate truths about expansive spaces.

The Skeena Salmon Arts Show, Cociani explained, provides a fantastic platform to highlight the importance of salmon as our ecosystem’s keystone species. “This year, I wanted to create a piece that mirrors the extensive influence salmon exert on the entire ecosystem,” Cociani said.

Inspired by this thought, Cociani chose to paint a bouquet of local flora for this year’s show. She expressed, “It’s hard to envisage anything growing along the river that isn’t touched by the presence of salmon.”

The Terrace Art Gallery is located in the basement of the Terrace Public Library, at 4610 Park Ave., and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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