Fernie-based artist Melanie MacVoy recently had the opportunity to participate in the Art in the Park program. MacVoy, along with 11 other artists, explored the park for four days, from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6 before creating art that reflects the experience. The program, which is a collaboration between Parks Canada and the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, started in 2008.
According to MacVoy, Art in the Park was a “perfect opportunity” to concentrate on her artistry.
“We had three full days to explore the park and to immerse ourselves in our work undistracted from the commitments of day to day life. As a mother of an active four year old, it is sometimes difficult to concentrate for an extended period of time on my work so this program was a perfect opportunity for me,” she said. “I was keen on exploring as much of the area as possible and getting into the alpine to see the glaciers so I hiked with the more ‘hard core’ group. We spent over nine hours per day in the wilderness, hiked over 35-kilometres and almost 20,000 feet up and down the mountain trails in total.”
MacVoy hiked three trails in Glacier National Park, including Abbott Ridge, Glacier Crest Trail, and Perley Rock.
The artists have three months to complete three different pieces of art for an exhibition of all of the works. The exhibition will open at the Revelstoke Visual Art Centre on Nov. 4 and the exhibition will tour throughout western Canada in 2017, in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
“I plan to create at least three large scale landscape paintings through which I may or may not incorporate some stream of consciousness writings and photographs from my experiences in Glacier National Park,” said MacVoy.
There is a rigourous application process for the program, as applicants are expected to send in a current resume along with numerous portfolio pieces. According to MacVoy, the artists were selected on the following criteria: quality of application, creativity and originality, quality of composition and style, control of medium, and overall impression.
“In addition, the selection panel chose artists representing a variety of media and from diverse locations. I was honoured to be selected as one of twelve artists,” she said. “Professionally, as an artist, being part of the program enables me to network with other artists, expand my portfolio by being exposed to new subject matter, and to expand my audience and resumé by gaining exhibitions in new galleries and venues in Western Canada.”
MacVoy said the artists all gelled together well and would recommend the program to any interested artists.
“Everyone connected and got along better than expected considering we were all strangers before the program. It was relaxing to hike alongside other artists who liked to stop as much as I do to take photographs, sketch together and admire the artistic elements of the landscape,” she said. “I would definitely recommend this program to other artists from Fernie.”