Coldstream resident Ev McDougall plays with the myths of the west in a new painting exhibit at the Village Gallery in Lumby.
The exhibit, titled All Things West, opened on July 2 at 1975 Vernon St. and runs until Aug. 31.
While the subject matter of her paintings — ranching, rodeos and horse races — has historically been the domain of predominantly male artists, a release said McDougall’s art is “very natural and familiar.”
“It is not heroic, but friendly,” said Nina Westaway, Village Gallery events co-ordinator. “It is a type of production that seems to draw in female artists and viewers.”
An urbane former college instructor, McDougall seems an unlikely practitioner of western art, however, she has roots growing up in the prairies. Her daughter is a horse rider and she used to keep horses. She also used to attend small rodeos with her husband in the Okanagan Valley.
The inspiration for her pastel work Drinks, which is included in the exhibit, came at a small rodeo in Coldstream. The piece juxtaposes a catering truck with a cowboy on horseback.
“I was instantly struck by the inherent and amusing contradiction between a horse and rider – an image that dates from our pioneer days – casually stopping at the window of a modern-day catering van,” she said. “Even more amusing, the pony seemed to be checking out the menu as seriously as his rider.”
McDougall said the work underlines the human ability to adapt to change and help formulate our identity as western Canadians.