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Artists reconnect with their creativity in new exhibit at Quesnel Art Gallery

“Down To The Wire” (Fences Gates n Country) is on display until Nov. 6

Quesnel artist Maggie Ferguson-Dumais has always wanted to do an art show which is why she has teamed up with some of her friends for the latest exhibit, “Down To The Wire” (Fences Gates n Country), showcasing fences at the Quesnel Art Gallery.

Some time ago, she reached out to her artistic friends to see if they would be interested in joining her, realizing most of them had put their creative abilities on the back burner.

Five of them pulled through with their paintings, sculptures and photographs now on display.

“Every one of the women that I’ve talked to they’re mothers, they’re grandmothers — they’re everything, and art comes last, Ferguson-Dumais said, noting they are already thinking of what their second show will entail.

“So we’ll see if the next one grabs, but this one did because all of them are gardeners, ranchers or farmers as well as being artists, so it kind of fit.”

Joan Bourke lives in the Bouchie Lake area on Blackwater Road.

While she enjoyed drawing and painting when she was younger, she says she left it behind after leaving high school to focus on raising a family and working as an emergency and intensive care nurse.

“In the mid-2000s, I started painting again and dabbling in art and I just kept getting better and better,” Bourke said.

“I have a passion for horses, so a lot of my paintings are horses,” she added pointing to a painting of her daughter, now a nurse herself, when she was 18 years old and qualified for the Canadian National Dressage Championships on her horse “Princess Le Temeraire” (Tess).

Louise McKillican was also passionate about art at a young age and remembered as a child wanting to do nothing but paint on Christmas Day after receiving an oil painting set from her parents.

“Art has always been a part of my life, and then as time goes by you have kids and work, and this and that, and art got put on the side,” McKillican said.

“Fortunately, Maggie said you’re going to participate in an art show with me, so hopefully, that’s the beginning of painting again for me.”

Denise Wellband meanwhile discovered her artistic talent much later in life when she took a drawing course at the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre where she worked as a lifeguard for 30 years.

She found inspiration for her five graphite drawings from reference photographs from an instructor teaching watercolour and others attending a Thursday artist group that she says has greatly impacted her self-esteem.

“I can pretty much draw anything I see,” Wellband said. “I didn’t know I could do that, so it’s kind of cool.”

“Down To The Wire” (Fences Gates n Country) runs at the Quesnel Art Gallery until Friday, Nov. 4.

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