The Island Mountain Arts Public Gallery at 2323 Pooley Street in Wells is celebrating the artistic talents of the community this month with its annual ‘Wells Works’ exhibition. The exhibition opens Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. with a coffeehouse, as well as a pop-up by Morsels Moveable Feast. ‘Wells Works’ runs until Jan. 20. Lindsay Chung photo

‘Wells Works’ exhibition opens at Island Mountain Arts Public Gallery

Annual exhibition celebrates the artistic talents of the Wells, Cottonwood and Bowron Lake community

Lindsay Chung

Observer Contributor

An exhibition devoted to sharing and celebrating the work of community members opens this week in Wells.

The annual ‘Wells Works’ exhibition is returning to the Island Mountain Arts (IMA) Public Gallery, and it opened yesterday (Dec. 7).

“It gives locals who maybe wouldn’t call themselves emerging artists or professional artists a chance to showcase their work in a gallery setting,” explains IMA community outreach manager Ksenya Dorwart. “We usually keep it Wells local, but we’ve opened it up to Cottonwood and Bowron Lake too.”

This is the second year Dorwart has taken on the ‘Wells Works’ exhibition, which has been running annually for more than 20 years, and she loves to see community members step forward to share their work.

“It’s pretty special to be part of it,” she says. “Once the show is hung and you see all the artwork and the catalogue is printed with everyone’s names, it’s special to see how talented everyone is in our town and how we are such an arts community.”

Dorwart says in previous years, they had about a dozen artists showcasing work during ‘Wells Works’, and last year, they had 21 artists.

“I’m hoping to have close to 20 artists,” she says of this year’s exhibition. “It’s a packed show. There’s almost no wall space left.”

Works can be three-dimensional as well, and last year’s exhibition even featured a bent-frame bicycle hanging from the ceiling.

Dorwart hopes the exhibition encourages artists to share their work, and reminds those who don’t think they are emerging or professional artists that there are opportunities to have their artwork in a gallery, and they shouldn’t be afraid to take those opportunities. She says she hears from many people who say they feel nervous about putting their artwork in a show, but with an exhibition like this, knowing they’ll be among other artists, can help alleviate those nerves.

The ‘Wells Works’ exhibition opens Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the IMA Public Gallery at 2323 Pooley Street, with a coffeehouse to follow.

Artists include Lindsay Kay, Janet Aitken, Valerie Anne Schmidt, Danette Boucher, Caroline Zinz, Poppy Candy Anders, Amanda Preston, Norma Collins, Karen Jeffery, Holly Mcrae and Teresa Higgins.

During the opening, wine and light snacks will be served, and there will be performances by Bob Campbell, Larry Fourchalk, JP Winslow, Danette Danes, Lindsay Kay and Geran Koornhof.

Dorwart says there are opportunities for people to sing, perform, play instruments and read poetry, and children have an opportunity to recite and share as well.

During the opening night coffeehouse, Morsels Moveable Feast will be having a Christmas Pop Up, offering treats such as cupcakes, candy cane meringues chocolate bon bons, tarts and cookies, and freezer-friendly treat boxes.

Following Friday’s opening, anyone can stop in and see the ‘Wells Works’ exhibition daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition closes Jan. 20.

READ MORE: Barkerville’s Old Fashioned Victorian Christmas takes place Dec. 8-10

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