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Langley artist’s banner design captures many moods of jazz for upcoming festival

Molly Gray’s artwork will be displayed on Fort Langley street poles for jazz fest
Molly Gray’s artwork was selected for the banner design of the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival this year. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Fort Langley resident Molly Gray stepped out of her comfort zone when she designed a piece to submit for the jazz fest banner contest.

Her work is typically influenced by animals and nature, so it was an unexplored challenge when she had to design something related to jazz music.

“When I read the criteria, I was like, ‘wow, how do you fit all of that together cohesively?’ It was such a vast challenge, and that’s what drew me to submit,” Gray shared.

Gray credits her niece for the piece’s inspiration, who is enrolled at the local fine arts school majoring in music.

“It’s been so amazing to watch her musical skills grow over the years. Her dedication and passion are inspiring, and the way she speaks about how the different types of jazz emote different colours and the importance of each instrument really brought my submission to life,” she explained.

Along with the festival banners, Gray’s work will be featured in all festival-branded materials including posters, programs, the website, social media, and T-shirts.

“Molly’s original piece was selected by the festival art committee for its creativity, originality and bold colours,” said Dave Quinn, artistic director. “Her layering of instruments and colours gives the piece depth, and we’re excited to use it in our materials.”

Now, Gray is working to convert her digital art piece into a physical painting.

“It’s a reverse situation where the original is digital and now I’m painting it. It’s such a fun challenge and something I’ve never done before. It’s really good practice for my colour-matching.”

Gray has been a full time artist since 2016. Her current work, titled ‘Avifauna’ features to-scale, limited-edition, and lino-cut relief prints with watercolour. The series features birds of the Pacific Northwest, and she currently has 56 completed.

“I have barely scratched the surface of species within the regional area of the Fraser Valley.”

Her goal for the series is to create a hybrid book that is part field guide, part journal, and part colouring book, she said.

Gray shared her many thanks to the festival, and said she is excited to participate in this year’s events.

The Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is scheduled for July 25 to 28.

Tickets for the Cool Blues Show are on sale online at

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm honoured to focus my career in the growing community of Aldergrove and work with our many local organizations.
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