Donna Bilyk showcases Fernie using a variety of mediums. Her collection is on show at The Arts Station until May 28. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Lethbridge artist opens exhibition in Fernie

Donna Bilyk is showing at The Arts Station until May 28

Fernie is Donna Bilyk’s getaway.

It is this visitor’s perspective that has helped her pick out the best features of the town and capture them with her artistic eye.

She has worked to communicate the feeling she gets when she comes to Fernie and decided after many years that she wouldn’t just stick to one form of art.

Her latest show, on display at The Arts Station, showcases Fernie through oil, charcoal, photography and sculpture art.

“A little bit of this, a little bit of that,” she said. “I think as a creative person it’s whatever you’re being pulled to do.”

Bilyka says this show was a challenge. As she started she realized that most of her work was photography and had to work diligently to prepare several more paintings to show. But, she says, this was a welcome challenge.

“As a visual artist, I’m always pushing myself to do things that I don’t do or haven’t done,” she said.

Bilyk believes she was born an artist. In high school, she was known for her creativity, going on to win art awards and pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

In the 1980s, the Saskatoon-born artist dropped out of university and moved to California and started drawing people in one-minute sketches.

She continues to do this to this day, as well as running Artist’s Touch, a studio out of Coleman, Alberta. Bilyk later returned to school, finished her Bachelors degree and completed a Master of Fine Arts degree. She now resides in Lethbridge.

At her roots, Bilyk is a sculptor. However, her medium of choice is charcoal.

“I’m quick on the draw,” she said, laughing.

In the summer of 2018, Bilyk opened a show based on the Crowsnest Pass during its heyday in Frank, Alberta. This featured 11 six-by-four foot charcoal drawings, created with a sculptor’s style.

Using large pieces of rag paper, Bilyk covered the sheets with charcoal, smudging it in to make the sheets a mid-grey tone. She then ‘drew’ with the eraser, pulling out all the white of the image then putting the charcoal back in to emphasize the shadows.

The drawings on display in Fernie were created using a similar technique. Starting with a toned paper, she would eraser draw through and add colour at the end.

“It’s a visitor’s view. It’s my little getaway,” she said.

“For me, I’m drawn to the past. When I come to Fernie I’m just like a magnet to the old main street that is downtown. For me, it’s about craftsmanship, the old days. How things were ornate, hand done… back alleys with the decay.

“Trying to find the beauty in the rough.”

Bilyk’s work is on display until May 28. Up next at The Arts Station is the photographic work of David Pantuso, opening Thursday, May 30.


Just Posted

Stetski talks up NDP election platform

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia riding outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Structure fire near Elko quickly contained, spreading prevented

A quick response by local firefighters today prevented the spread of a… Continue reading

Huckleberry harvesting restricted to protect grizzly habitat

The Province is restricting commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting to protect grizzly bear habitat… Continue reading

American Kevin Sheehan crowned champion at Fernie disc golf tournament

Close behind was Calgary’s Bogdan Szafranowicz and American Brian Bjortomt

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read