Beloved painter and television personality Bob Ross used to say that there are no mistakes in art, only happy accidents. It’s a motto 30-year-old artist Ben Poechman took to heart last summer when he painted a mural of a century-old tree at the skate park for the inaugural edition of the Pemberton ArtHop.
“As I did, it started to rain, and it actually brought a new aesthetic to the room that I couldn’t have predicted. It got the paint going, ”he says. “I thought it was going to ruin the play, but it actually added to it. It was as if the tree was crying and the name came, Cedar she cries. “
It’s the kind of welcome incident that’s more likely to come from working in the elements than within the confines of a studio, and perfectly represents the accessibility of the Pemberton Arts Council’s ArtHop community, which takes place at various locations in the city until September 12.
Now in its second year, the Pemberton ArtHop, like so many things these days, was born out of a desire to make the most of a bad situation; in this case, the pandemic, explains Rachel Hesketh, member of the arts council.
“We really had to get creative as a board and had to think about how we could still uplift our community. How could we share art, beauty and joy with our friends, family and neighbors and do so safely? ” she says. “ArtHop was our reaction to this. “
Featuring nearly 30 local artists, ranging from artists represented by galleries to emerging hobbyists, whose work is on display in local community stores, ArtHop is a way to both support local businesses and build profile. of the small but powerful visual of Pemberton. arts scene, which is probably more diverse than one would expect for a city where farm life and outdoor recreation still reign supreme.
“I think it’s amazing to highlight this side of Pemberton,” relays Hesketh. “We have this group of really successful people here – small – but really passionate and really talented people who are doing beautiful, beautiful things. They often celebrate our landscape and our culture of love for the land in their work, which is beautiful to see.
The work ranges from traditional paintings to indigo-dyed pieces, hand-painted skate decks and macrame made from driftwood ripped from the shores of Lillooet Lake.
In addition, much of the art is for sale, with a wide range of prices that can meet the needs of any collector.
An evolution of the event this summer is that work hangs in both store windows as well as local businesses, after the pandemic kept storefronts closed for much of ArtHop the year. last.
Poechman appreciates the inclusiveness of the exhibition, which allows the community to engage with local art in a more organic way, free from the congestion of the gallery world.
“I think bringing fine art into everyday settings, like windows on the main promenade or your favorite restaurant, brings a certain relativity and access to this otherwise invisible work of art,” he says. . “When it’s in a gallery, it’s a bit more upscale, so it’s good to bring it to everyone.”
Also on view this summer is the Pemberton Arts Council Postcard Fair, which asked artists to mail out a postcard of their own design on the theme ‘Stronger Together’. Until August 31, the exhibit is on display at the Pemberton & District Community Center and features artists from across the region and even as far away as the United States.
As they are accustomed to doing, the artists interpreted the theme in a multitude of unique ways.
“Some were so sweet and meaningful; some were hilarious and weird. It was great to see, ”notes Hesketh. “There was a young woman who sent us a postcard with a picture of a two-headed cat. It was his visual interpretation of Stronger Together. Honestly, I’m someone who really uses humor to make myself feel better through tough times, and I thought that was perfect.
For more information on the Pemberton ArtHop, visit pembertonartscouncil.com/ArtHOP.