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Flowers and art displayed

Local work featured in weekend exhibit
Artist Gabrielle Strong

Flowers Chic and Boutique Vasanji are presenting a show of watercolours and oils by local artists Reta Smith and Gabrielle Strong this Friday (Sept. 2), 3 to 9 p.m. at their combined venue, 1391 Johnston Rd.

Floral designer and event planner Aura Chiriac said the event represents a commitment to supporting arts by both herself and Boutique Vasanji owner and fashion stylist Raz Vasanji.

“We are interested in promoting arts and culture in the community and we also thought this show was good because it highlighted both an experienced artist (Smith) and also one of our newer talents (Strong),” she said.

Smith, who recently moved to South Surrey, was a member of the Port Moody Art Association almost a decade.

After dabbling in oils in the 1960s and 1970s, she discovered the joys of experimenting with watercolour in the early 1990s, gradually complementing her work with pastels, acrylics and other mixed media.

One of her particular areas of specialization is in painting miniatures with a line and wash technique employing watercolour and acrylics.

A member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, she has exhibited work in Port Moody at the spring Festival of the Arts, the annual Art Association fall exhibition, at Eagleridge Hospital, the Adsensia Salon Studio, Vivio Flower Gallery and City Hall. In Coquitlam she has shown work at Art Appeal Gallery, City Soup and Esquires Coffee House, while on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, she has exhibited at The Tunbridge Well Music and Art Gallery, and the Mountain View Wellness Centre.

She has also been part of a group showing at Imageworks Gallery in Vancouver.

After an early involvement in the arts during her school years, Strong took a different direction during her 20s, spending five years travelling the world as an officer on a luxury cruise liner.

Unfilfilling subsequent dry-land careers prompted her to pick up a paint brush again in 2010, and she is now pursuing a Fine Arts degree at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

The exhibit will also showcase Flowers Chic’s custom-designed floral arrangements and Boutique Vasanji’s line of fashion.

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About the Author: Alex Browne

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