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Amelia Douglas Gallery showcases three Canadian visual artists for New West Cultural Crawl

Douglas College’s Amelia Douglas Gallery is showcasing three Canadian artists, John Steil, Judy Villett and Martha Jablonski-Jones, for this year’s New West Cultural Crawl Aug. 10-11.

The exhibit, City Squares, features a series of 48 works by three artists in three different media, focusing on visual details of the urban environment. Martha Jablonski-Jones contributed acrylic paintings, while Judy Villett worked with textiles and John Steil used pen and ink. 

Martha Jablonski-Jones has lived in cities for most of her life, including Vancouver, taking inspiration from the sights and sounds of these surroundings. “There is so much about a city that makes me want to capture it: the secret nooks and crannies; the rich textures of things weathered by time and human occupation,” said Jablonski-Jones. “People don't always appear in my paintings, but they’ve clearly left their imprint on the space.”

New Westminster’s Judy Villett grew up in Alberta surrounded by generations of quilters and has been combining traditional techniques and contemporary design in her textile work for many years. “The world around us is colourful and filled with texture. I love taking those elements from nature and the patterns of our everyday living to create landscapes in fabric and thread,” said Villett.

John Steil is a Vancouver-based visual artist who works in water colour, acrylics, collages, ink and more. “I enjoy the outdoors and spend a lot of time there, so the landscapes where I travel, wander and hike were an early source of inspiration,” said Steil.

“In City Squares, the artists examine how the contemporary urban layout of North American cities seeks to contain and regulate anything intrinsic or accidental through its strict grid-like matrix. Within this rigid format, however, the necessary messiness of human occupation continues to affect its contents: eroding, decaying, growing, or evolving in unbidden ways” said Douglas College acting Arts Events Officer Leah Grey.

As part of the New West Cultural Crawl, the Amelia Douglas Gallery will have extended hours Aug. 10 and 11, from 11am–5pm. The opening reception for City Squares will take place during the Cultural Crawl on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 1–3pm. Refreshments will be provided and visitors will be invited to make their own City Square art at the craft table.

City Squares will be on display in the Amelia Douglas Gallery from Aug. 1 – Sept. 14. An artists’ talk will be held on Sept. 10 at 6:30pm. The gallery, on the fourth floor of Douglas College’s New Westminster Campus, 700 Royal Ave., is a non-profit organization run by members of the Art Exhibits Committee at Douglas College.

Douglas College is the largest degree-granting college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to provide the most relevant and inspiring undergraduate experience in British Columbia.