Fort Langley artists Judy Nygren

Fort Langley brings art to the waterfront

There is an array of arts events in Fort Langley this weekend.

Three of the 11 work-live spaces in the Flatiron Building in Fort Langley are occupied by aspiring artists, and it’s those three women who are collaborating for the first time in an Art in the Park show in Bedford Landing Saturday, Sept. 19.

Oil and acrylic painter Judy Nygren, acrylic and watercolour artist Pat Barker, and oil painter Susan Galick open their studios to the public, from noon to 5 p.m.

“We are excited about our first collaborative show,” says Barker. “As work-live studio artists, we have slightly different hours, so this is a chance to catch all of our studios open at the same time.”

The event will feature art demonstrations, and the artists will showcase some of the past and in progress pieces, Barker explained.

The show will also feature audible art from local jazz musician Dave Quinn (of RazzMaJazz), who is a regular Saturday night performer across the street at Lelem Arts & Cultural Cafe. The Flatiron Building is located at 23230 Billy Brown Rd.

Nygren of Nygren Studio Gallery is a long-time Fort Langley resident known for her whimsical, contemporary paintings in oil and/or acrylic. Her love of dance and the sense of movement can be seen in the semi-abstract subjects of her pieces.

“I look forward to sharing a current series of paintings that are very close to my heart,” Nygren said.

She was referring to a series of paintings of little girls’ dresses collected from friends, suspended in light and painted from the life image.

The series is called, When I Grow-Up, There Will Be NO Breast Cancer.

“This is a very personal topic for me and for all those who are raising little girls,” Nygren said.

Barker, of The Pencil Studio (www.thepencilstudio.com), works mostly in acrylic and watercolour pencil crayons. A graduate of Emily Carr University, she started out doing commissioned pieces while she was a firefighter.

Recently, Barker has been drawn to creating imagery built-up of acrylic fortified with plaster and broken mirror. She will be working on a commissioned watercolour painting during the art showing.

“We are excited about our first collaborative show,” Barker said.

“As work-live studio artists, we have slightly different hours, so this is a chance to catch all of our studios open at the same time,” she added.

Galick, of Susan Galick Fine Art Studio Gallery (susangalick.com), works primarily in oils with emphasis on bold, brilliant colour and expressive, loose brushwork.

She is known for her diverse subject matters and “enjoys painting subjects with character that put a smile on people’s faces.”

Galick will be showcasing her recent works of local landscapes and buildings and the West Coast.

“I’m looking forward to introducing Flatiron’s artists to the local community,” Galick said. “The building, filled with places for artists to live and work in one place, is such a wonderful concept.”

Art in the Park will also feature the music of local jazz musician, Dave Quinn of RazzMaJazz, who started Saturday Night Jazz & Blues at Lelem Arts & Cultural Café located across the street from the Flatiron art studios.

Working out of ground level studio spaces, the artists create and sell their own original artwork.

(Story continues below)

Hall alive with music and more

For the fourth year running, the village is preparing for a three-day Fort Langley Celebration of the Arts, expecting to bring hundreds out for diverse performances.

Festivities kick off with a concert on Friday night, followed by arts and crafts workshops, readings, a poetry slam, and community dance on Saturday, and even more musical presentations on Sunday at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

The weekend festivities, which take almost a full year to organize, are being coordinated by Celebration founder David James and a committee of five working under the Fort Langley Community Improvement Society.

For tickets and more event specifics, people can visit fortlangleycelebrationofthearts.com.

“In the words of Elizabeth Winde, a member of the committee, we are able to do so in a community hall which serves as the living room of our village,” said Celebration founder David James.

He recalled how events used to be spread around downtown Fort Langley and some bad weather and lack of publicity kept attendance low.

Since the society came aboard and the events were brought together under one roof, James said interest and attendance alike have grown.

“They’ve recognized the significance of what we’re doing,” he said.

Today, organizers note that art lovers from throughout the Lower Mainland – including White Rock, Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Abbotsford – will join the fans from the village and surrounding neighbourhoods of Langley who come out for the festivities.

“This year we are also fortunate in having the partnering support of our Langley Community Music School, as well as of the Langley Arts Council; this is an indication of our growth and significance as a community event,” James said.

“ This year’s roster includes talented young performers from our Langley Community Music School as well as a talented performer enrolled in the faculty of music at the Langley campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University,” he said.

This year’s program presents an exciting group of performers which includes gifted local artists as well performers of international stature.

Performers on this year’s roster include Amanda Tosoff, Andrea Pedro, Colin Goldie and the Backspin, David Denault, Ed Henderson and Jon Washburn, Liam Macintosh, Lindi Nolte, Marcel Bergmann, Tom O’Shanter Dancers, the Willie MacCalder Band, and students from the Langley Community Music School.

“Performances will feature the spoken word, as well as music, and – inevitably –  will lead to dancing. So please join us in our village, a jewel of the Fraser Valley, a child of the Fraser River, as we celebrate the arts,” James concluded.

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