Two Prince Rupert artists are featured in a collective exhibit called ‘Arterial’ currently open to the public in Prince George, celebrating a commitment to art, Two Rivers Gallery announced on Aug. 12.
Lynn Cociani and Suzo Hickey are members of the Fantastic5point0, a Northern B.C. cumulative group of five artists from various locations spanning east to west down Highway 16.
“It’s called arterial because we all live along this road, that is the main artery which connects all these communities of the North,” Hickey said.
The central theme around the showcase is a coming together or the connection the group has created in their lives along the arterial road that stretches 718 km across the province.
“This show, Arterial, is very dear to me. In times where we’ve all been isolated from each other, coming together like this to exhibit around a theme of connection has been a really meaningful experience,” Cociani said.
The five artists from Prince Rupert, Smithers, Quick, and Prince George bring together a range of styles, from landscapes to florals, from abstract painting to myth and storytelling the gallery stated, in a media release.
The Fanstastic5point0 idea for the collaboration stemmed from a 2018 self-directed painting retreat where the artists met primarily to paint, share business and operational information, Hickey said which can often be a struggle for isolated artists in the North.
The group got along so well the idea for an exhibit seemed a natural extension. Originally scheduled for 2020, the show which started in Smithers in April, was postponed due to COVID-19, Hickey said.
“The images and subjects in Aterial speak to the resilience of artists in the North, and of finding community and support,” the gallery stated.
For continuity and to continue the visual ‘through line’ all the works of art in the exposition have a 4.5-inch demarcation from the bottom that connects them and forms its own artery through the showcase, the gallery stated.
“The show feels like a lovely metaphor for our friendship, and it’s significant that our final show is in Prince George, which is the terminus of the artery, the highway that connects us,” Cociani said. “And I love that our paintings can hang out together even if we can’t.”
Other artists in the Fanstastic5point0 exhibit are Michelle Gazely and Sarah Northcott, both from Smithers as well as Mo Hamilton from Prince George.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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