From Behind the Lens featuring Abbotsford Photo Arts Club
October 27 – November 27, 2017 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet and Greet on Friday, October 27 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM:

Gain a glimpse From Behind the Lens with the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club and Chilliwack Community Arts Council this October 27 to November 27, 2017. Featuring a collection of evocative works by these passionate artists, this collaborative exhibition will highlight the inspiration behind the finished image.

Showcasing the talents of local photographers, From Behind the Lens offers a fresh visual experience with local scenes, creative compositions, and unexpected views. From architecture and abstracts to wildlife and wildly imaginative perspectives, this collection encompasses the works of many passionate photographers. As creative thinkers, these artists are deeply engaged with both local surroundings and the broader world. They have captured images that unlock the viewer’s imagination, allowing them to find the stories within the photographs.

The unique combination of a camera lens and each photographer’s intuitive eye brings their artistic vision to life. Today’s photographer can harness the power of technology in digital cameras and computer software. The greatest tool, however, is the passion that drives one to pick up the camera and search for images through its lens. Share the joy of photography and experience the creativity and skill of photographers who love to be behind the lens.

Established in 1975, the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club brings together individuals with a collective desire to share and improve their photography skills in an encouraging environment. In addition to providing opportunities for artists to learn new techniques and exhibit their work, the club organizes social gatherings for its members throughout the year. The Abbotsford Photo Arts Club actively invites new members to join the club by attending one of their meetings, held on the first and third Mondays of the month between September and June.

To learn more about the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club, please visit its website:

Fibre Flair! featuring Chilliwack Spinners & Weavers Guild
September 15 – October 16, 2017 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet and Greet & *Pop-Up Market* on Friday, September 15 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM:
Come and see the stunning and fashionable fibre creations of Guild artists! Watch live spinning and weaving demonstrations! Shop from handcrafted jewellery and natural soaps from Green Pear Designs and Bath Scents Handmade Soap! All while enjoying delicious refreshments!

Get wound up in the allure of the loom as the Chilliwack Community Arts Council and Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild proudly present Fibre Flair!: a curated collection of finely crafted, wearable art pieces. On display September 15 to October 16, 2017, this colourful exhibition highlights the close-knit group’s modern spin on age-old craft forms.

The Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild was founded in 1974 by Mildred Renz with the aim of bringing together creative individuals who enjoyed the art of spinning and weaving. Building on a mutual appreciation for these time-honoured art forms, the Guild now has over 40 enthusiastic members who over the years have showcased their work in various venues including Chilliwack City Hall, and the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s Gallery. The Guild holds workshops and spin-ins, and actively participates in numerous community events such as the Chilliwack Fair, Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market, and Chilliwack Children’s Arts Festival, encouraging the public to learn and appreciate their fascinating craft.

Fibre Flair! is an opportunity to see how fibre comes to life through spinning, weaving, knitting, and crocheting using the latest creative techniques to combine different fibres, textures, and colours to create stunning pieces for any wardrobe. From the processing of raw materials to envisioning the desired designs, the pieces presented in the Fibre Flair! exhibition reveal the character and vision of each Guild member. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, each of the pieces show the process that not only the materials underwent, but also the journey that the artist herself embarked upon to arrive at the final finished design.

In honour of the Fibre Flair! exhibition, a special meet and greet with the Guild artists will be held on September 15, 2017. By visiting the Chilliwack Community Arts Council from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., fellow fibre fans will have the opportunity to watch live spinning and weaving demonstrations, enjoy delicious refreshments, and shop additional fashionable items created by Guild members, as well as by talented guest artisans specializing in handcrafted jewellery and natural bath and body products: Green Pear Designs, and Bath Scents Handmade Soap.

DeLights featuring Sylvie Roussel-Janssens
May 26 – July 7, 2017 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, June 2 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Illuminate the imagination with the Chilliwack Community Arts Council and DeLights, a showcase of flavours in light sculptures by Sylvie Roussel-Janssens. On display May 26 to July 7, 2017, this incandescent exhibition will feature window panels and light boxes created with her unique combination of textile and welded wire work.

Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Chilliwack-based artist, Sylvie Roussel-Janssens, has called British Columbia home since 1980. As an honours graduate of Emily Carr College of Art with specialization in sculpture, Roussel-Janssens has continued to pursue her journey with light sculpture, at the intersection of art, craft, and design. She exhibits her work frequently and is a 2001 recipient of a Canada Council Award for her sculptural installations.

With each sculpture she creates, Roussel-Janssens employs a unique artistic approach which blends the conceptual with a sense of joy derived from the building process. Although her work ultimately takes on one of three forms: sculptural installations, light boxes with integrated lighting, or window panels, they all incorporate welded wire and fabric construction techniques. Known as “fabric burning” this signature technique utilizes a soldering iron on synthetic fabric to burn small holes through the surface, obtaining multi-layered, complex images. Pieces are enhanced with appliqué of acetate photocopies of images and text.

Combining elements of man-made materials with natural imagery of flora and fauna found in the varied landscapes of the Fraser Valley and beyond, Roussel-Janssens pieces create a dialogue about our natural surroundings, both past and present. Her work references current environmental issues and addresses the interconnectivity of all life forms, through the use of tactile materials, rich colours, and kinetic lines.

To learn more about Sylvie Roussel-Janssens, please visit her website:

To gain a glimpse into the fascinating process use to create these featured pieces, visit the video links below:
(video credit: Brunella Battista)

Lightboxes (“How to See Deer” only)

Lightboxes (Full clip)



Serenity featuring Serena J. Trinder
March 24 – April 17, 2017 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, March 24 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Be swept away by a sense of creative calm this March 24 to April 17, 2017 as the Chilliwack Community Arts Council presents Serenity, a tranquil Art Room Gallery exhibition featuring the works of contemporary watercolour artist, Serena J. Trinder.

Originally from the South West coastal county of Dorset, England, Serena J. Trinder now resides in Mission, British Columbia with her husband and son. Trinder began her working life as a Registered Paediatric Nurse but later went on to fuel her passion of history and art by achieving her Bachelor Honours Degree in History. This achievement allowed her to realise her dream of becoming an artist and fully delve into the artistic world of expression.

In addition to her success in selling private commissions and illustrated books in her native Britain, Trinder has exhibited in several private and community galleries throughout the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island including the Mission Arts Centre, Kariton Gallery in Abbotsford, and Tullista Park Gallery in Sidney as well as part of the Sidney Fine Arts Show. Trinder was honoured in 2013 as the recipient of the “Muse Award for Visual Arts: Emerging Artist” by the Mission Cultural Resources Commission and currently serves on the Mission Arts Council. Her work graces the walls of galleries and residences throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, United States, and United Arab Emirates.

Trinder’s work largely focuses on landscapes and architecturally inspired themes which are uniquely depicted through her signature use of watercolour and ink. Drawing inspiration from a fond interest in mythology and history, Trinder channels a style evocative of the awe-inspiring European stained glass windows she visited throughout her childhood. The pieces featured in Serenity showcase her love of jewel tones, flowing lines, and intricate detail, woven together to form enchanting works of art.

Learn more about artist Serena J. Trinder by visiting:

Origins featuring Anne Vivier-Manceau & Mehtap Kizilirmak
February 17 – March 20, 2017 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, February 17 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Discover a common thread with the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s next exhibition, Origins, featuring artist Anne Vivier-Manceau and photographer Mehtap Kizilirmak. On display from February 17 to March 20, 2017, this avant-garde exhibition connects the life experiences of this artistic duo through their own distinct mediums and styles.

Originally from the city of Caen in France’s scenic Normandy region, Anne Vivier-Manceau immigrated to Canada in 2011 after falling in love with the ideals of modern Anglophone culture. A free-spirited artistic soul, Vivier-Manceau’s work is inspired by various historical movements. Her work dives deep into the past, combining inspiration from prehistoric cave paintings and the geometric forms of the Art Deco movement. Vivier-Manceau’s pieces, created with oil pastel on paper and canvas, represent decorative tapestries visually woven together into works of balanced, deceivingly simple art.

A fellow immigrant originating from Istanbul, Turkey, Mehtap Kizilirmak is a professional photographer who honed her skills as an apprentice to well-known Turkish photographers, Hasan Huseyin and Blagoy Toprakidis, before forging her way with a number of high-profile national and international companies and magazines such as Peugeot, Renault, Cilek Mobilya, Elle Turkey, and Moda Turkiye Interactive Fashion Zine. Kizilirmak’s pieces represent her inner struggle as a foreigner re-establishing her roots in an unfamiliar home. The vivid colours combined with haunting imagery convey a sense of tension between past and present sources of inspiration.

In Your Face featuring Shannon Thiesen
January 13 – February 13, 2017 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, January 13 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council ecstatically presents its first gallery exhibition of 2017, In Your Face, featuring painter Shannon Thiesen. Running January 13 to February 13, this striking solo exhibition explores the range of emotions, personalities, and stories that our faces evoke through portraiture.

Inspired by her students’ creations, Abbotsford, British Columbia artist and teacher, Shannon Thiesen, often uses non-traditional tools and surfaces when creating her paintings. Thiesen sees the potential in every artist and believes expensive training and tools are not necessary for expressing an artist’s viewpoint.

When she isn’t teaching her fifth grade class of enthusiastic artists at Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts – North Poplar Campus or attending graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, Thiesen seeks out intriguing ways of sharing her talent both locally in her own community as well as internationally. Thriving from the energetic atmosphere of live painting in a public setting, Thiesen represented her province by competing at the 2016 National Art Battle Championship in Toronto, Ontario. Among her many accolades, Thiesen is the recipient of the University of the Fraser Valley’s 2016 Young Distinguished Alumni Award, and one of the only international artists to take part in the Sing for Hope Project, a non-profit initiative focused on making art and music accessible to New York City public schools and their surrounding communities.

In Your Face, Thiesen’s first of the year exhibition, combines her passion for pushing artistic boundaries and experimenting with unexpected mediums. Featuring lively portraits of intriguing individuals, Thiesen’s expressive and colourful strokes of paint and ink accompanied by touches of pyrography (the technique of decorating wood by burning a design on the surface) visually write the background story for each person depicted in the pieces. Ranging from bold and abstract to subtle and refined, the nuances of the facial lines and forms reveal the personalities behind the façade in a playful and eye-catching style.

2016 Exhibitions

I Made This! featuring Chilliwack Community Arts Council students
December 9 – 16, 2016 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, December 16 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council excitedly presents its next gallery exhibition, I Made This!, an end of year, December 9 to 16, display showcasing the talent of those who have taken a class or workshop in the Arts Council’s creative Art Room space.

This special week long gallery exhibition is open to all ages and mediums, providing an opportunity for both budding and hobby artists to show off the artistic techniques they have learned throughout the year and proudly say, “I made this!” The artwork on display will be as varied as the artists who created it. From highly expressive mixed media creations by young artists aged 3 to 12 to drawings and paintings created by accomplished adult artists during classes such as the immensely popular Corks and Canvas, this exhibition promises to celebrate the inner artist in all of us.

All artwork displayed in this special exhibition is inspired by or created during classes and workshops hosted in the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s instructional space. The Arts Council hosts year-round, affordably priced programming for children and adults inside its home, the Art Room, located on the Sardis side of Chilliwack in Vedder Village (#20-5725 Vedder Rd.). Students enjoy the arts through activities to suit every age range, skill level and medium of choice, ranging from painting and cooking to jewellery and mixed media techniques.

Animal Parade featuring Jeanette Heathman
November 2 – 30, 2016 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, November 4 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council happily presents its next gallery exhibition, Animal Parade, featuring painter Jeanette Heathman. With her captivating collection of paintings, Heathman’s exhibition will have a colourful array of animals marching the Art Room Gallery from November 2 to 30, 2016.

Growing up in the small northern town of Kinuso, Alberta, Heathman enjoyed a childhood spent playing in nature and helping tend to the animals and fields on her family’s farmstead. After her retirement from a rewarding thirty-six year nursing career, Heathman found time to pursue her lifelong passion for painting, honing her skills through experimentation with various mediums and learning from fellow artists. As a self-taught artist, Heathman is always looking for inventive ideas and methods for improving her painting techniques.

Drawing on an appreciation for animals and nature gained from her upbringing on the family farm, Heathman’s works feature peaceful vistas alongside charming depictions of wildlife. Spurred on by a desire to channel and preserve the beauty of the natural world, her paintings focus on realistic depictions of natural scenes while artistically exaggerating light and colour to heighten visual interest. Viewers of Heathman’s work will travel from land to sea to sky, meeting such creatures as elk, sheep, turtles, whales, fish, elk and birds of varying species. View more of Jeanette Heathman’s work by visiting her website.

Making It featuring Sinead Julia Penner, Jesse Klassen, Kenzie Dyck & Alexis Safronick
September 21 – October 27, 2016 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, September 30 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council enthusiastically presents its next gallery exhibition, Making It, featuring Sinead Julia Penner, Jesse Klassen, Kenzie Dyck, and Alexis Safronick. With a range of drawings, paintings, and photographs, this September 21 to October 27 exhibition showcases the works of four artists entering a new chapter in their artistic careers.

Mixed media painter, Sinead Julia Penner, draws inspiration for her dreamlike illustrations from past era’s bright colours and extravagant fashions and incorporates a whimsical combination of abstract backgrounds and retro subjects into each of her pieces. Penner is currently pursuing a BA in Illustration at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Photographer and painter, Jesse Klassen’s skill for artistry stems from the knowledge he gained from his self-taught artist grandparents and studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. As an outdoor enthusiast, Klassen’s pieces depict the artistic and spiritual inspiration he discovers by immersing himself in the natural world.

Illustrator and high school student, Kenzie Dyck’s artistic passion lies in creating fantasy worlds and she delights in designing whimsical lands and powerful characters through the use of a variety of drawing mediums. Whether human, animal or anything in between, the characters presented in this talented young artist’s pieces represent a fitting outlet for expressing her ideas and emotions.

Painter and future university student, Alexis Safronick, creates abstract conceptual pieces inspired by music and the blend of emotions a musical composition evokes from the listener. Safronick’s attempt to portray sound visually results in vividly coloured energetic pieces.

Back to Her Roots featuring Dara Kim Sherlock
August 10 – September 8, 2016 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, August 12 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council proudly presents its next gallery exhibition, Back to Her Roots, featuring Dara Kim Sherlock of Kimmikat Kreative. On display August 10 to September 8, this exhibition explores Sherlock’s artistic origins through her charming works in watercolour, pen and ink.

Although originally from Nelson, BC, and a current resident of Chilliwack, it was a childhood move to Agassiz wherein Sherlock developed her affinity with Harrison Hot Springs, having spent countless years amidst the town’s picturesque surroundings. Propelled by a strong work ethic and dedication to caring for her family, Sherlock embarked on a varied forty-plus year career in accounting and office management in community and education focused settings. Throughout the ups and downs of life, doodling and painting illustrative artwork remained a consistent outlet for renewing Sherlock’s creative spirit.

Originally drawing inspiration from crisp line work found in West Coast First Nations’ art, the pieces highlighted in Back to Her Roots prominently feature bold expressive lines that beckon to be coloured in with Sherlock’s palette of rich colour tones. As a self-taught artist, Sherlock invented her signature method for colouring her illustrations, allowing the movement of the line work and flow of the form to guide the placement of her chosen hues.

Possessing a life-long passion for nature and animals, all of Sherlock’s pieces depict creatures at home amongst the rugged landscapes of the Fraser Valley as well as those found in more exotic habitats. She places particular emphasis on the beauty found in each animals’ features. From the texture of the skin and feathers to the shape of the eyes, all aspects of the living world provide inspiration for this versatile artist. To learn more about Dara Kim Sherlock and her work please visit

Impressions Through the Lens featuring The Abbotsford Photo Arts Club
June 29 – August 4, 2016 at the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Art Room Gallery
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, July 8 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council is honoured to present its newest gallery exhibition, Impressions Through the Lens, featuring the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club (APAC). From June 29 to August 4, the exhibition will bring this passionate group’s photographic talents into focus.

Established in 1975, the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club brings together individuals with a collective desire to share and improve their photography skills in an encouraging environment. In addition to providing opportunities for artists to learn new techniques and exhibit their work, the club organizes social gatherings for its members throughout the year. The Abbotsford Photo Arts Club actively invites new members to join the club by attending one of their meetings, held on the first and third Mondays of the month between September and June.

Showcasing the talent of fourteen local photographers, Impressions Through the Lens, encompasses works from artists with varied perspectives, inspirations, and styles. From surreal, colour-soaked abstract works to shots highlighting natural landscapes and wildlife, the exhibition features a diverse selection of images to unlock the viewer’s imagination, allowing them to discover the stories within the photographs. Please visit to learn more about the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club.

Black & White with a Splash of Colour featuring Sharon Blythe & Jackie Coughlin
May 18 – June 23, 2016 at the Art Room
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, May 20 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council is excited to present its newest gallery exhibition, Black and White with a Splash of Colour, featuring Hope’s Artist at Work members, Sharon Blythe and Jackie Coughlin. Showcasing the duo’s whimsical acrylic and watercolour paintings, this exhibition will have the Art Room Gallery awash in vibrant hues from May 18 to June 23.

As co-founder of the Hope Artists Guild, Art Gallery, and Arts Council as well as the Artists At Work painting group, Blythe is dedicated to encouraging novice artists to pursue their creative endeavours. Although this active promoter of the arts has always had an interest in drawing, it was at an oil painting workshop where Blythe discovered her aptitude for creating masterpieces with a paintbrush. Her new found passion led Blythe to explore a plethora of painting styles before choosing acrylic as her medium of choice. Enhancing Blythe’s diverse style and subject matter, her paintings feature bold colours and energetic lines with a touch of whimsy.

Also a passionate member of Artists at Work as well as the Agassiz Monday Painters, Coughlin is a multi-talented artist, lending her hand to ceramics, beaded jewellery and currently watercolour paintings. As an Arizona-bound “snowbird,” Coughlin spends ample time enjoying painting in the sunlight, surrounded by interesting people, scenery, and flora to provide inspiration. Illustrating this influence, Coughlin’s paintings are drenched in colour and depict natural and cultural themes.

Wanderings featuring Anita Symonds, Brian DeLong & Marianne Palmer
April 6 – May 12, 2016 at the Art Room
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, April 8 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council is delighted to present its newest gallery exhibition, Wanderings, featuring naturalist painters Anita Symonds, Brian DeLong, and Marianne Palmer. Running April 6 to May 12, this exhibition breathes fresh air into the Art Room Gallery with the artistic trio’s unique interpretations of nature’s beauty.

While painting has always been a keen interest of self-taught artist, Anita Symonds, it was in Bermuda where she realized her dream of publicly sharing her work through worldwide sale and display of original paintings and lithographs produced in her own studio and gallery. After relocating to Chilliwack, Symonds discovered a quieter lifestyle offering ample time for rediscovering her love of painting. Symonds’ pieces depict her passion for brilliant colours and portray a sense of serenity.

Born and raised in Chilliwack, Brian DeLong’s interest in art was inspired by his grandmother’s own artistic wisdom and developed throughout his high school education. As DeLong continued experimenting with techniques, colour palettes and brushes, he discovered his own unique painting style. DeLong’s pieces highlight locations from his travels, often those which evoke fond memories or points of interest.

With her experience as a freelance printed textile designer and art teacher, Marianne Palmer has embraced her creativity through numerous mediums. After moving to Canada from the UK and starting a family, Palmer found a renewed interest in painting. As she is drawn to painting landscapes, Chilliwack’s natural scenery provides a wealth of inspiration for Palmer’s pieces which feature vibrant colours and expressive brushwork.

Edges featuring Jeff Rasmussen
March 2 – 31, 2016 at the Art Room
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, March 4 from 6 – 8 p.m.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s newest gallery exhibition, Edges, features painter and sculptor Jeff Rasmussen. This energetic exhibit, running March 2 to 31, showcases crisp colours and clean lines with a splash of Rasmussen’s artistic verve.

Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Rasmussen is an emerging painter and sculptor who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. His works have been displayed at the Surrey Art Gallery, The Reach Gallery Museum and Kariton Art Gallery in Abbotsford, the White Rock Community Centre, and most notably in the 2015 Regional Fraser Valley Biennale.

Currently, Rasmussen’s work is influenced by his sculptural background, representing a three year exploration of unique textures found on surfaces of man-made objects. Rasmussen’s acrylic airbrush paintings are created by layering objects on canvas and airbrushing over top of the items, creating a three-dimensional effect with varied colour tones. “To create the silhouettes featured in my work I decided to use more negative space. I feel that by providing such emptiness around a detailed and forceful image, I can properly represent the inner turmoil I went through working in a society that pressures us to fit into a certain mold,” explains Rasmussen. “I want to be an artist; I don’t want to work under the restraints other jobs have placed on me.”

Creative Textile Images featuring Judy Hurley
January 29 – February 25, 2016 at the Art Room
Artist Meet & Greet on Friday, January 29 from 6 – 8 p.m.

CreativeTextileImagesThe Chilliwack Community Arts Council is proud to present its first gallery exhibition of 2016, Creative Textile Images, featuring textile artist Judy Hurley. This tactile exhibit, running January 29 to February 25, highlights an exclusive collection of pieces in Hurley’s signature exploratory style.

Hailing from the United Kingdom, Hurley has established herself as a pillar of the Chilliwack arts community. She is a former member of the Chilliwack Community Arts Council Board of Directors as well as Past President and current Secretary of the Chilliwack Visual Artists Association. Hurley dedicated herself to advancing the arts through her career as an educator and mentor to art and fashion students both locally and abroad before retiring in 2005 to pursue her personal passion for visual arts.

A lover of texture and colour, Hurley combines her passions using techniques such as burning, creasing, stitching, wrapping, clamping and embellishing to transform humble fabrics into seamless works of art. Much in the same way a traditional artist uses paint or a potter manipulates clay, Hurley uses these transformed textiles as the inspiration and materials with which to create imaginative pictures and panels.

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