Cherryville artist Gary Whitley shows his painting Emblems. The piece has been chosen to be used on the carton of Innis & Gunn’s special edition Canada Day 2012 Scottish oak-aged beer.

Cherryville artist Gary Whitley shows his painting Emblems. The piece has been chosen to be used on the carton of Innis & Gunn’s special edition Canada Day 2012 Scottish oak-aged beer.

Drink in artist’s Emblems

Canadians can toast to Cherryville's Gary Whitley, whose painting is on the package for Innis & Gunn's Canada Day 2012 Scottish beer.

It’s something to be able to drink in art, but for one Cherryville artist, those 19 and over will literally be able to enjoy a tasty beverage while admiring one of his paintings.

Entitled Emblems, the painting by Gary Whitley is currently featured on the carton that contains Innis & Gunn’s limited edition Canada Day 2012 Scottish beer.

Now on shelves in fine beer, wine and spirits retailers across the country, the special beer is released every May to celebrate Canada’s birthday and to recognize the country’s special contribution to the Innis & Gunn story.

This is the second release from Innis & Gunn to feature original Canadian artwork.

“When I received word that Innis & Gunn was searching for artwork for its Canada Day beer packaging, it was instantly clear that I had to submit Emblems – a painting of sugar maple saplings I created years ago and had kept at home,” said Whitley. “As a born and raised Canadian, I couldn’t think of a more iconic symbol of this fine country.”

Innis & Gunn Canada Day 2012 limited edition beerWhitley’s design was chosen from a group of more than 60 members from the Society of Canadian Artists (SCA) by a judging panel that included 2011-featured artist, Deborah Colvin.

In December, members of the non-profit artists’ organization dedicated to expanding the visibility and stature of visual arts in Canada were asked to submit original artwork that best reflected the country’s rich tapestry.

“We were very delighted to once again receive so many beautiful pieces of artwork from the members of the Society of Canadian Artists,” said Innis & Gunn international brand manager Nicol Rennie. “Gary’s design garnered the most votes or our Canada Day 2012 packaging and captures a scene so prevalent across the country that Canadians can truly connect with.”

“We are very proud to again spotlight a member of the extremely talented Canadian art community,” added Innis & Gunn owner and brewer Dougal Sharp. “We feel Gary Whitley’s work perfectly reflects the pride and spirit of Canadians and we are excited to share this specially crafted, oak-aged brew with our largest export market.”

Whitley, who is also a long-standing member and former North Okanagan chapter president of the Canadian Federation of Artists, will next show his work with fellow local artists at the PV – Art and Garden Trail at 1701 46th Ave., on July 21.  His work can also be currently seen as part of the group summer exhibition at Nadine’s Fine Art and Frames in downtown Vernon.