There will be a real celebration of community Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre, as the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council (QDCAC) and the Quesnel Art Gallery honour community arts champions during the Eighth Biennial Gallery of Honour presentation, and the gallery’s Art From the Heart community art exhibition opens.
At 6 p.m., there will be a special presentation in the atrium of the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre honouring the Gallery of Honour award recipients.
The Gallery of Honour recognizes those who “have made significant contributions to the community through the arts over the years as visual, performing, support, educational, advocacy, artists, friends and advocates for the arts,” according to the QDCAC.
Three individuals who were nominated by the community will be recognized this year.
The Adult Award will be presented to Bert deVink.
Bert deVink is an internationally known media artist. He sculpts in metal and carves in wood and stone, but steel is his preferred media, according to the QDCAC’s program for the Gallery of Honour, which notes that deVink uses natural rocks in his sculptures inspired by a rock that he found on the banks of the Cottonwood River.
“Bert’s work can be found internationally and locally,” according to the QDCAC. “He is best known for his wonderful sculpture ‘The Musicians,’ on display in the city.”
deVink is from Holland, and he came to Canada in 1954. He became a Canadian citizen in 1960, and he lived and worked for many years in Barkerville and had a home on the Bowron River prior to moving into Quesnel.
“He is an environmental and social activist and a member of the Council of Canadians,” according to the QDCAC. “He is a regular Quesnel Cariboo Observer contributor with his many opinions and ideas. Bert is proud of being the president of the first Environmental Group in Quesnel.”
deVink is also known as a wonderful harmonica player, and he has jammed with many local musicians and is a member of Windy Reeds, the harmonica band, according to the QDCAC.
The Gallery of Honour will be honouring Jack Nelson with its Posthumous Award.
“Jack Nelson was a many-faceted individual; an author, artist, musical theatre performer, traveller, photographer, politician, minister, a people person, whose passion was B.C. history but specifically the Cariboo and Quesnel,” according to the QDCAC. “Whether met through his work, his church (United), his community endeavours, his newspaper articles, the pages of his two books — A Walk Back in Time, Quesnel in the 1950s and A Baker’s Dozen — or a chance encounter, you soon discovered he always spoke his mind.”
Nelson starred in Little Theatre productions and also wrote many reviews for Little Theatre and created many greeting cards for family and friends. In 1998, he was named the Quesnel Citizen of the Year, and in 2002, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal after being nominated by the City of Quesnel.
The Youth Award will be presented to Destinee Boyd this year.
Boyd is a proud member of the Lhtako Dené Nation.
“At the age of six, the Elders chose Destinee as the Nation’s lifetime Pow Wow Princess,” according to the QDCAC. “Hoop Dancing is a form of storytelling which creates both static and dynamic shapes and forms representing various animals and symbols, which Destinee began learning at the age of six, working with five hoops. She now works with up to 30 hoops, and she teaches others Hoop Dancing, as well as Jingle and Fancy Dance.”
Boyd has performed all over B.C. at various events and Pow Wows, and she volunteers at many events in her community.
“She is learning her Language and to drum and sing,” according to the QDCAC. “She is an excellent role model for youth in the community, as she follows the Red Road, living a life free from alcohol and drugs while she practises her Culture. Destinee plans to study Fine Arts in her post-secondary education. She dreams of inspiring youth to follow their passions as she is doing.”
Following the Gallery of Honour presentation, the Quesnel Art Gallery will celebrate the opening reception of the Art From the Heart “Cold Days, Warm Hearts” exhibition at 7 p.m.
There will be refreshments and music by Mary Ann Sturdy.
Tanya Nielsen of the Quesnel Art Gallery says any artists can contribute to the annual Art From the Heart exhibition, and this year’s show features a great variety, including painting, photography and works that may have already caught visitors’ eyes in the gift shop.
“We have some new artists who are showing, like Keith Prestone and Justine Bouchard — she just moved to the community a few months ago,” said Nielsen. “We’ve actually had a few new artists come in this year. Then we have the favourites, like Heather Armstrong, Bobbie Crane, Pearl Mayhew.”
Nielsen says in the past, they’ve usually had about 15-20 artists participating in the Art From the Heart show.
“It’s nice to do community shows because for some of them, it’s the only time in the year they exhibition because they don’t have enough for a full show but they can do one or two pieces,” said Nielsen. “And it’s a good way to introduce yourself to the community. I think it’s going to be an excellent show.”
Doors open for the Gallery of Honour presentation at 5:30 p.m. at 500 North Star Rd.