West Fine Art Show honours the legacy of Langley artist Peter Ewart

Upcoming show, which benefits the Langley School District Foundation, will run March 6 to 8

The West Fine Art Show will present an array of work from local artists on March 6 to 8; portions of painting sales will go towards the Langley School District Foundation.

There will be 22 featured artists in attendance at Peter Ewart Middle School, 7755 202A St., with each one offering interpretations of western Canada lifestyles while engaging with the public.

Brian Croft, president of the West Fine Art Show society, said this specific show will feature a special exhibition to celebrate Ewart’s artwork.

“I didn’t know who he was until the school asked if we were going to do anything about him,” Croft said. “I managed to get a hold of some of his art, his easel, and some brushes after talking with a close family friend.”

Ewart, who passed away in 2001, was an internationally renowned artist whose work often focused on the Canadian landscape.

He lived and worked in Langley for many years and was instrumental is opening the Langley Community Music School.

Croft said that a friend described his artistry as if the man made only four brushes strokes to create a quality image like a horse.

He added that there are plans to set up Ewart’s easel and put storyboards that fit between paintings to explain and explore his life.

“We’re going to make it seem like he was right there,” Croft said. “I did a lot of repairing and studied his life; I put a lot of myself into it too.”

The portion celebrating Peter Ewart’s work will be set up on Thursday, March 5, to commemorate the artist during a name celebration assembly.

Peter Ewart Middle School was converted from R.E. Mountain Secondary to help address concerns about capacity at Yorkson Creek Middle School.

“He’s been gone for 20 years, but people will be transfixed when they come. It will be like he’s alive again,” Croft added.

READ MORE: Langley artist earns first place in Southwest Art Magazine’s Artistic Excellence competition

Among the artists are Croft, Drew Keilback who recently earned first place in Southwest Art magazine’s’s 2019 Artistic Excellence competition, and first time participant Alison Philpott.

Philpott has won international awards for her coloured pencil work, and has pieces in private collections in four continents.

She was born in Northern Ireland and fostered her love and learning of art and after moving to Langley with her family.

“I hated school except for art,” she laughed, explaining that the minute details and the allure of different textures is what has always inspired her.

“As far as subject matter goes, I’m interested in anything that doesn’t move – the ordinary like pebbles. I do macro-close-ups because I like to get lost in the details,” Philpott explained. “At art school, they used to tell us to use your whole arm to paint wide but I always wanted to zero right in on the eye.”

Philpott discovered coloured pencils and never looked back; she said they gave her the ability to work in colour while the tangibility of the pencils also attracts her.

“It’s only being taken seriously as a fine art,” she said. “There is a whole community of us artists and people are finally viewing coloured pencils as something more than what children drawing with Crayons.”

After years of working with realtors to produce gifts for clients and rediscovering a passion for the arts, she visited the West Fine Art Show for the first time last year.

A chance conversation with Croft and an enthusiasm for her work led to her signing up for the spring show.

“It’s a mixture of excitement and nervousness,” she admitted. “I’ve never done anything like this before, but I love the process of getting it all done and working hard and I’m looking forward to the camaraderie.”

She’ll present 38 different original paintings that will all be up for sale.

While she hopes to raise money for Langley School District Foundation, Philpott said she hopes to inspire others to take part in artistic mediums.

Also taking place at the West Fine Art Show will be a special display called Emerging Young Artists, which features Langley student artwork that will be adjudicated and awarded cash prizes.

Kids Art Centre is a spot for youngsters to create masterpieces of their own while Mom and Dad enjoy the show.

Acclaimed musician John Gilliat will also perform on guitar all weekend.

Show hours are Friday, March 6 from 7 to 9 p.m., March 7, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and March 8 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission and parking is free.

“I invite all of Langley to come see the work,” Croft said, adding that there will be a chance for guests to win various prizes like Ewart’s original CPR rail car poster.

The West Fine Art Show has helped a variety of causes over the years including Langley hospice and youth homelessness.

The Langley School District Foundation was established to support and provide programs for Langley students, not funded or fully funded by the Ministry of Education.

More information on the West Fine Art Show and the participating artists is available at www.westart.ca.

More info on Philpott is available at www.alisonphilpott.ca.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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