Vernon wildlife artist recognized with awards

Michael Jell receives a gold award from the Federation of Canadian Artists and is named Artist of the Year by the B.C Wildlife Federation.

Vernon artist Mike Jell

Vernon artist Mike Jell

When not prepping for his annual Art in the Garden show, local artist Mike Jell has been busy at the easel. And the work has paid off.

The Vernon-based landscape and wildlife artist recently won a gold award for his painting, Back to the Beginning, featuring salmon swimming to their spawning grounds, at the fifth annual Federation of Canadian Artists  (FCA) open show held by the Thompson-Nicola-Shuswap FCA chapter.

“The show, which was held in Kamloops, featured more than 75 juried entries from across B.C., Alberta and Alaska,” said Jell, adding that fellow Okanagan FCA member Colleen Dyson also won an award of excellence.

Jell had no time to bask in the glory as he was off to Vancouver Island, where he received another award, this time from the  B.C. Wildlife Federation at the organization’s annual general meeting in Courtenay last weekend.

Jell was named the 2012 Artist of the Year, and was also recognized for his watercolour of a great grey owl. The painting was chosen from 30 entries submitted to the B.C. Wildlife Federation’s annual art competition, which is intended to raise the profile of resident B.C. artists whose work exemplifies the beauty of the province’s fish, wildlife and habitat.

Jell is currently showing his landscape work in downtown Vernon at Crush Bistro, and is getting ready for the third annual Art in the Garden with fellow artists on his BX Road property.

“We are in the process of incorporating an art walk with the Caetani Cultural Centre as well as the B.X. Day Lilies and other locations,” said Jell, adding more details will be released this summer.