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Terrace Art Gallery showcases spectrum from surreal to queer nature inspirations

Local artists unveil captivating works, blending vivid surrealism with deeply personal reflections

The Terrace Art Gallery is proudly hosting three new captivating exhibitions on display until mid-October, celebrating the passion and resilience of local artists amidst recent challenges.

The upper gallery showcases a dual exhibit: Cassey Klie’s “Life is Surreal” and gallery coordinator Laura McGregor’s “All Things Felt.” The lower gallery houses the large acrylic pieces of Prince Rupert artist Chris Fraser, centered on sea life and birds.

McGregor detailed the unique journey of these exhibitions: “Klie and I opted to share the upper gallery due to logistical concerns. Downsizing helped manage the expenses and commitments associated with filling such a large space.” Fraser’s exhibit, McGregor shared, maintains a “northwest B.C. coast feel,” as they built their structures in Prince Rupert and crafted acrylic depictions of sea life and birds.

Supply chain issues have been a daunting hurdle for artists in recent years. “The past couple of years have seen challenges in sourcing necessary materials, either due to their unavailability in Canada, shipping constraints, or prohibitive costs,” McGregor lamented.

For her part, McGregor took a creative approach to these obstacles, employing wool roving in her pieces — a material she adores. Some of her pieces even feature lichen straight from her backyard. “The exhibit leans heavily on mixed-media, but the thrill of mixing colours remains a focal point,” she described.

READ MORE: Terrace Art Gallery unveils new exhibit by local artist Tracie Stewart

While McGregor has often painted large-scale patterns, she has now embraced painting smaller birds, using wool as an alternative medium. Despite her pivotal role in the gallery, McGregor hopes her exhibit will remind patrons that she’s not just an administrator, but a passionate artist.

“The duties at the gallery put high demands on our artists,” McGregor commented. “Feeling proud of this accomplishment, especially during these times, is a testament to our commitment.”

Klie, a Terrace native who previously worked at the gallery, expressed her excitement about her “Life is Surreal” exhibition. “I wanted to blend my love for nature with portraits,” she said. Drawing inspiration from friends and various sources, her journey culminated in her first solo exhibit, sparking hopes of future studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

For Fraser, the Prince Rupert-based artist, their work is a deep introspection into their experiences as a trans and non-binary individual. The art represents a fusion of personal reflections and the omnipresent power of nature.

Fraser elaborates, “Biological diversity in nature serves as a poignant reminder of purpose and evolution, while paralleling a personal quest for acceptance and belonging as a marginalized individual. I use dynamic colours that reflect the diversity of queer culture while my deliberate use of line work symbolized the ever-evolving and interconnectedness of all living things.”

These exhibitions serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of artists in the face of adversity, creating beauty and meaning even when faced with challenges.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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