China has a view of the North Okanagan through local art

Artists Gary Whitley and Michael Jell among other B.C. artists showing their paintings at Pacific Rim Arts Exchange Show in Tianjin, China.

Visitors enter the 15

Visitors enter the 15

Some striking scenery of the North Okanagan has shown up at an international group art exhibition in China.

Cherryville’s Gary Whitley and Vernon’s Michael Jell are two of 12 B.C. Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) members who are currently showing their work in the Pacific Rim Arts Exchange Show in Tianjin, China.

“I have had my work shown in Canada and the U.S., and now it’s in China. It’s an opportunity to showcase my work internationally,” said Jell.

The artists’ work was purchased and then shipped over to China to be displayed in a 5,000-square metre ground floor hall in the city’s 15,000 square-metre Art and Technology Museum.

“The  show consisted of more than 100 paintings and was sold out before it opened,” said Mila Kostic, Vancouver Art Fair Director, who arranged the B.C. exchange.

The work sent to China was accompanied by a letter from B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

The show opened Sept. 20 and was attended by 300 invited guests, including numerous Chinese dignitaries, and will continue until the end of the year.

Included in the exhibition are nine of Whitley’s paintings, which show mostly local valley scenes including Duteau Creek, Echo Lake, McIntire Lake and the Monashee Mountains.

A professional artist for more than 35 years, Whitley is an associate member of the Oil Painters of America, an associate signature member of the FCA, and an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists.

Although his subject matter varies greatly, Whitley says he has a particular interest in painting florals and landscapes.

“For me, painting is an obsession,” he said. “Many of my landscapes are of the area, however, some are derived from long hours on horseback in remote high-elevation back country that few people have the opportunity to see.

“My wife and I spend considerable time riding in the summer, all over B.C. and Alberta. My florals are a result of the extensive flower garden she has created. I also paint subject matter that I simply find interesting.”

Having grown up in Southern Rhodesia (the Southern African nation now known as Zimbabwe), Jell’s interests in the outdoors have led him to paint ranch life as well as wildlife and landscapes since moving to Canada more than 35 years ago.

A longtime resident of Vernon, many of Jell’s paintings – done in oils and acrylics – depict Okanagan scenery.

“I sent a lot of paintings of scenes from around the country for selection and, funny enough, they picked all the ones from the North Okanagan,” said Jell, about his works that were selected for China. “I have six paintings in the show that feature scenes from  Kal Lake, Bolean Lake and elsewhere from this region.”

Jell has also donated artwork to numerous local  fundraisers and non-profits including the North Okanagan Community Life Society, O’Keefe Ranch, Allan Brooks Nature Centre, and Ducks Unlimited.

In 2012, the B.C. Wildlife Federation named  him the Artist of the Year for his painting of a great gray owl.

Whitley and Jell have also been a part of the Artists in the Garden show, which has been held annually the past five summers at Jell’s home garden in Vernon.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Vernon man's faith in humanity has been restored since his lost wallet was returned, credit cards, cash and all, to the RCMP station. (Contributed)
Good Samaritan turns in cash-filled wallet to Vernon Mounties

Owner’s faith in humanity restored following a tough few weeks

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)
Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read