Caetani/Allan Brooks Nature Centre welcome latest artist

Ilyana Martinez s in town as the latest Fresh! AiR (artist in residence) at the Caetani Cultural Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre.

The public is invited to join visiting artist Ilyana Martinez for a presentation on both her past and present work when she gives a talk at Vernon’s Headbones Gallery Thursday.

Martinez is in town as the latest Fresh! AiR (artist in residence) at the Caetani Cultural Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre.

Based in Toronto, Martinez is staying at the Caetani centre while working at the ABNC and at various locations around Vernon.

Know primarily for her drawings and paintings, Martinez combines watercolour, gouache, ink and pencil, and prefers to work in smaller, intimate formats on paper. Using imagery from the natural world (plants, branches, seeds, rocks, roots, bodies of water), she merges these with images from urban environments (buildings, roads, structures, grids). Layered in with these are depictions from the imagination.

“To create my drawings, I play at being an archaeologist, a gardener, a builder, a cartographer,” said Martinez, adding her works communicate a concern about human’s tenuous relationship with the environment.

“A significant part of my studio practice involves a study of the natural world as a starting point: a collection of objects found while walking and hiking such as rocks, pinecones, seeds, leaves, and fragments of roots and branches are examined, sketched, and used directly as sources for the final drawings. Landscapes sketches are also an essential element of the work.”

While in Vernon, Martinez hopes to bring attention to the unique landscape and topography of B.C.

“The works allow the viewer to experience the landscape and in a sense, to take a journey there. They are given a chance to interact with nature in an innovative way, in these tranquil spaces for reflection and meditation,” she said.

This is not the first time Martinez’ work has been exposed to the North Okanagan public.

In 2007, she and fellow members of the Z’otz Collective, based out of Toronto, showed their work at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo.

She also exhibited at Headbones Gallery, when it was located in Toronto several years ago.

Her works have also been shown internationally in Honduras, Mexico, New York, Guatemala, Croatia, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Italy, and in Canada at many Toronto venues and also at the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Martinez has a certificate in advanced visual studies from Florence, Italy, and has studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Yale University, and in Switzerland. She also took part in the exchange program at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in the U.K.

In 2013, she was the recipient of the Pollock–Krasner Foundation Grant, and has received many awards and grants for her individual work and also with the Z’otz Collective. In 2007, she was the selected artist for The Viewing Program at The Drawing Center in New York City.

Her work is also part the Donovan Collection at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.

Martinez presentation at Headbones Gallery, 6700 Old Kamloops Rd., takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information, contact the Caetani Centre at 250-275-1525 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday), or visit


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