Canada’s west coast always hosts a myriad of talented artists of differing backgrounds, many of whom are from Vancouver Island or have relocated here. Lake Cowichan is no different and the small community boasts its own reserve of painters, wood carvers and writers.
Resident artists, Darlene Tully, Trudy Kungold Ammann and Wayne Brown are preparing to showcase roughly 100 of their various works at an art show in Duncan Nov. 30-Dec. 10. The show is family oriented but will cater to Cowichan Valley’s art community as well.
Books, paintings, cards, prints and wood carvings will be the artworks on display. Darlene Tully is Cowichan Lake’s Community Services’ family counsellor and art therapist. Simply put, art is Tully’s life. When she’s not helping counsel families and children of Lake Cowichan through by incorporating art into her therapeutic approach, Tully is busy producing acrylic and watercolour paintings.
The Duncan art show is slated to unfold at Portals, the CVAC Centre for Arts, Culture and Heritage, located in the Island Savings Centre, near the city’s public library.
An Ontario product, Tully moved to British Columbia in 2003 after attaining a graduate diploma in art therapy from the University of Western Ontario. She then pursued her Master’s of education in counseling psychology at the University of Victoria.
She is eagerly awaiting the Duncan show.
“I’m very excited. It’s going to be my first formal art show I’m thrilled. I love the space that we’re going to be in. I’m excited about sharing my work with these other artists,” said Tully, who now counsels at Lake Cowichan Community Services.
Tully has always painted, but lately she has taken up children’s fiction. Her recent publication, You are the Apple of my Eye, intertwines vibrant watercolour paintings with her writing. You are the Apple of my Eye was printed in Lake Cowichan and Tully actually hand-bound the book herself.
Although Tully doesn’t have any children of her own, she has many nieces and nephews who are a big part of her life and she claims they are the major inspiration her latest book. She will be doing readings of her book at the Duncan show.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Ammann was raised in Victoria. She spent 24 years as a graphic artist before transitioning into fine art and also has dabbled in Chinese brush painting, Intaglio printing, sculptures and multi-media pieces constructed from found recycled materials.
“I’m inspired by nature,” Ammann said.
Using recycled materials as a medium, Ammann forces the viewers of her work to see beyond the rejected form of the recyclables. She thinks her work embodies Vancouver Island.
“Most of my work has some sort of west coast element or natural theme running through it. I do all sorts of different things. You can’t really nail me down to anything in particular” she added.
Ammann also has her own studio, Hen House Art Studio, outside Lake Cowichan and she, too is ecstatic about the approaching art show with Tully.
“I’m very excited about this show primarily because it’s the only show I’m featured with only one or two other artist. I’ve taken part in a lot of group shows but this is a biggie where I’m having more of my work shown than ever before.”