Victoria-based artist Zoe Cilliers presents A Natural History of Vacant Lots, Found Stories, Plants and Prints, a pop-up artshow at the Caetani Centre Oct. 29. (Submitted Photo)

Vernon’s vacant lots reveal natural history

Victoria artist presents artshow while staying at Caetani Centre

The story of Vernon, told through multi-colour woodblock prints of plants and landscapes, is being told by Victoria-based artist Zoe Cilliers.

“I do storytelling through found objects – weeds in sidewalk cracks, pressed flowers left in library books and the human altered ecologies we find in alleyways and vacant lots,” Cilliers said.

“There are stories that we tell about places, and then there are the stories that places can tell us about ourselves — if we start looking,” she said.

Her curiosity has guided her art-making. Between starting seed libraries, teaching environmental science and leading mushroom walks she creates artwork which encourages pause.

“I like getting people to re-examine the world around them and invite wonderment and curiosity into their everyday,” she said. “Sometimes I do public interventions like wheatpastes or beach clean ups, and at other times with smaller printed works and zines.”

Her art tells stories about people and place.

Cilliers studied printmaking at Emily Carr University and is currently completing a Diploma in Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.

Her work, which spans art and science disciplines from letterpress printing to the study of cryptograms (mushrooms and lichen), is driven by a passion for storytelling.

Come meet Zoe and experience her artshow during the opening reception, on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7-9 p.m., as well as during gallery hours on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Caetani Cultural Centre Studio Gallery.

Cilliers is the Caetani Cultural Centre’s Fresh!AiR Artist-in-Residence. The Caetani Centre’s Artist-in-Residence programs are available to artists working on creative projects anywhere from two weeks to three months in length.

The artist stays and creates at the Caetani Cultural Centre and is invited to share workshops, readings and exhibitions with the North Okanagan community. Zoe’s residency is a partnership with the Vernon Community Art Centre’s printmaking studio.

For more information visit or contact the Caetani Centre at 250-275-1525.

READ MORE: Writer in residence inspires next generation

READ MORE: Vernon photographer captures double rainbow


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