A cropped image of Bernadette Kroft’s work. Kroft is the feature artist for September and October at the Village Gallery in Lumby. (Photo submitted)

Multi-disciplinary artist takes the Village

Looking at the finished artwork of Bernadette Kroft leaves one wondering “how did she do that?”

Looking at the finished artwork of Bernadette Kroft leaves one wondering “how did she do that?”

The transformation of tiny pieces of fabric glued onto a substrate creates magic and beauty.

Born into a working class family 47 years ago, Bernadette has traversed many hills and valleys. Kroft is originally from Calgary and later Vancouver and attended high school in Lumby.

Although she missed being taught by Sveva Catetani by only a year, Caetani encouraged Kroft as did other teachers along the way.

At age 16, she was the president of the Okanagan Artists of Canada and attended Okanagan College in Kelowna where she studied painting, drawing, pottery, print making, and instruction in abstract art. Her pottery teacher wanted her to specialize in the craft, and the printmaking instructor was also very encouraging.

She married her high school sweetheart at 21 and got caught up in farming, marriage, and parenthood with her dreams of being an artist still intact. She produced a masterful series of prints illustrating old buildings around Coldstream.

Parenthood, however, turned her world upside down. Her son was diagnosed with a life threatening illness, and a daughter came five years later with health challenges that were fortunately corrected.

After these harrowing developments in her children’s lives, Kroft admits that she suffered from nervous breakdowns on a cyclical basis.

“My pre-disposition to creativity was frustrated…I didn’t exist for myself,” Kroft said.

She didn’t know if her children, especially her son, would make it. As a perfectionist, she admits that she put pressure on herself. Her artistic endeavors were put on hold for 22 years.

Her family and the mental health community supported her journey back to health. Her husband sold the dairy farm and leased out other parts of their acreage. Her children, who are now as young adults, have survived and thrived.

Kroft still gets anxious, but she finds the creative process of art calming and satisfying. Her inspirations are nature, the environment, and people.

She is not going to give her art away, although she doesn’t feel that she is a business person, she said. Recycling materials from upholstery and wallpaper samplers is important to her ethos.

Kroft is one of the few artists featured in the Village Gallery that was accepted as an Associate Member without jurying. She will be the feature artist for the month of September and October, and other works of hers can be seen concurrently at the Lumby Library.

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Traffic delays between Vernon and Coldstream

Work on Kalamalka Lake Road may slow motorists down

Woman faces second impaired driving charge

Vernon woman came in to deal with first charge from May when a strong odour of liquor was detected

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Inmate suing Okanagan Correctional over alleged assault

Inmate claims an officer grabbed him by the throat and threw him onto the bed

Most Read