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VIDEO: Winner of Langley Arts Council B.C. wide portrait competition surprised and pleased

Nine artists, three sitters and four hours

For a second year, the B.C. Wide Portrait Competition returned to the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre, with nine artists competing for top honours at the Sunday, Feb. 5, event, hosted by the Langley Arts Council (LAC).

The event featured nine B.C. based artists who randomly selected one of three sitters as live models for the artists; David Williamson, president of Langley Little Theatre, Diane Gendron, Langley Arts Council director and musician, and Karyna Barros, a celebrity stylist and costume designer.

Artists had four hours to complete a portrait in their chosen medium.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A black and white portrait of Langley councillor wins B.C. portrait artist of the year award

After two-and-a-half hours, the event was opened to the public, with an estimated 250 attendees dropping by to see artists John Hall, Kaiden Alford, Susannah White, Molly Gray, Juan Pablo Vega, Shannon Thiesen, Alex Greghi, Doris Biddle, and Carla Maskall battle it out.

Coquitlam resident Shannon Thiesen won the B.C. Wide Portrait Competition hosted by the Langley Arts Council at the Aldergrove Kinsmen hall gallery on Sunday, Feb 5. (Freda Lombard/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Coquitlam resident Shannon Thiesen won the B.C. Wide Portrait Competition hosted by the Langley Arts Council at the Aldergrove Kinsmen hall gallery on Sunday, Feb 5. (Freda Lombard/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Shannon Thiesen won for her portrait of Karyna Barros, with honorable mentions awarded by the jury to artists Alex Greghi and Carla Maskall.

Thiesen was pleasantly surprised by her victory, saying she took part for the experience.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for artists [who don’t usually have the chance] to work with live models,” Thiesen told the Langley Advance Times.

While the Port Coquitlam resident has won other art competitions, this was her first live portrait event.

Thiesen commented that she has two “full-time jobs,” artist, and grade school teacher.

Her win came with certificates for art supplies and framing, and entry into an art exhibition.

Thiesen said she developed her love of art at an early age, courtesy of copying from a classmate who was a talented artist.

When the classmate left, Thiesen continued to make art.

“I realized I had some skills,” she recalled.

A portrait of Karyna Barros won the the B.C. Wide Portrait Competition hosted by the Langley Arts Council at the Aldergrove Kinsmen hall gallery on Sunday, Feb 5. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
A portrait of Karyna Barros won the the B.C. Wide Portrait Competition hosted by the Langley Arts Council at the Aldergrove Kinsmen hall gallery on Sunday, Feb 5. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Freda Lombard, Langley Arts Council’s event coordinator, expects the Aldergrove event will return for a third year.

“We are thrilled to put on another edition of the BC-Wide Portrait Competition in Aldergrove, and look forward to building on this event in 2024,” Lombard said, thanking all who attended.

LAC Staff and Board of Directors thanked the community for their support, the artists for participating, and sponsors for their generous donations, including Kroma Artists Acrylic, Opus Art Supplies, the Downtown Langley Business Association, and Willowbrook Art Gallery.

READ ALSO: No horsing around for Langley artist who got serious about painting post-retirement

Anyone looking to be a part of the event in 2024 as an artist, sitter, or sponsor should email events@langleyarts.ca.

More images from the event can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.


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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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