Exploring art group still going strong

After 40 years, The Exploring Art Group in Dawson Creek is going strong, with members meeting every week to paint and socialize. 

If you come to frequent the group, you’ll be greeted by local artists such as Payge Fortier, Sheila De Costa, Susan Lupo, Joann Nelson, and their current President, Janet Loiselle. 

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“We’re a very collaborative group, everyone helps each other,” said Loiselle. “Other art scenes can be very competitive.”

Most if not all of the group are self-taught, added Loiselle. The group works with a variety of mediums, from acrylic to watercolour, oil, and charcoal. 

“Some days there’s lot of chatter, other times you can hear a pin drop, since everyone is focusing on their art,” said Lupo, known for her detailed watercolour pieces. 

The group was created by local artist and community activist Edna McPhail, a member of the South Peace Art Society since 1956. The members carry on her spirit, after she passed away in 2008. 

The group is also home to a Federated artist, Mary Parslow, who is a member of The Federation of Canadian Artists, which was formed in 1941 as a non-profit to promote visual arts. 

Parslow says she’s been enjoying phone apps that can apply art filters over photos. Many of the artists in the group use photos as reference material. 

“It’s a good way to get the values, you can get a lot of contrast,” said Parslow. “Right now I’m just adding in my charcoal lines.”

The group meets on a weekly basis, and currently is set up at the aviation building at Northern Lights College. 

Each spring the Dawson Creek Art Gallery hosts the group’s annual art show, showcasing the many impressive pieces created by the members. 

The group is open to taking on members, with anyone interested encouraged to reach out to Loiselle at 250-784-7142 or jloiselle61@gmail.com





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