Artist Brian Croft (right) and Red Robinson celebrate Croft’s painting The Capitol Theatre Granvill Stret – 1956

Painting the past

Historical work at art show fundraiser this weekend

Such well-known artists as South Surrey’s Chris MacClure and Brent Heighton, and Langley’s Brian Croft, are among those featured in the second annual The West Is Best Fine Art Show, taking place Sept. 16- 18 at the ranch of Senator Gerry St. Germain and his wife Margaret (Indian Springs Land and Cattle Company, 19339 8 Ave.).

Created by St. Germain and artist Murray Phillips as a showcase for western Canadian artists, it’s also a fundraiser for aboriginal education through the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF).

Last year’s event raised $60,000, and this year’s target is to exceed $100,000.

Many of the 16 artists involved – which include Andrew Kiss and Vance Theoret – are top sellers at the Calgary Stampede Western Art Show.

And there’s also a hint of the western, a lot of history – and a nod to a North American legend – in the new work by Croft, The Capitol Theatre Granville Street  – 1956, which will be launched at the opening of the show Friday, 7-10 p.m.

An expert in meticulously detailed, evocative land and cityscapes that re-imagine landmarks of the Lower Mainland as they must have looked in decades past, Croft has depicted the theatre on Dec. 1, 1956, shortly after the western movie Love Me Tender – starring new musical sensation Elvis Presley – opened in Vancouver.

To help him launch the new painting, and series of prints, Croft has enlisted veteran broadcaster Red Robinson, who MCed the Dec. 1 shows 55 years ago, to appear at the opening of The West Is Best.

“There is absolutely nothing better than having an eyewitness to an historical event that one is painting and Red Robinson has been very helpful to me as I tackled this project,” Croft said.

The painting and print came about as Croft’s response to demand for more vertical compositions, and is inspired by a large photograph taken at the Capitol on the original date, which now hangs in the Red Robinson Show Theatre.

“I changed it pretty radically for the painting, Croft said.

Robinson, then the pop DJ for CJOR, recalled that the Dec. 1 promotions included a “girls-only” morning matinee, as well as an evening show including a live broadcast from the theatre, plus prizes of records and photos of Elvis.

“The girls screamed all the way through the movie whenever Elvis appeared on the screen,” he remembered.

“The movie was an average ‘oater,’ as we called westerns in those days, but it mattered not to the fans.”

Croft said he is very pleased to be involved in The West Is Best for a second year. The opening will include an address on the NAAF by program president and CEO Roberta Jamieson.

Some 25 per cent of all sales at the show will be donated to support the NAAF, which is the largest provider of scholarships and bursaries to aboriginal youth, other than the federal government.

Other artists featured at The West Is Best are Steven Allen, Roger Arndt, John Einerssen, Adeline Halvorson, Doug Levitt, Julia Lucich, Greg Metz, Audrey Nanimahoo, Dennis Weber and Wanda Whaley.

The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Sept. 17 and 18.

 

Just Posted

South Surrey man collecting signatures to keep RCMP

Ivan Scott is attending SPD info sessions with his petition

Days numbered for Surrey’s Back on Track recovery homes

As operator pledges to fight, clients predict loss will ‘send us back in our addiction’

City of White Rock responds to Lady Alexandra court petition

City says it did not breach ‘obligation of procedural fairness’

Police in North Delta nab alleged thief riding stolen bike, carrying another

Terry Lee Pipe, 43, of Surrey, has been charged with possession of property obtained by crime

South Surrey Spirit Garden to host Solstice Stroll

Candlelight event to begin at 8 p.m. June 22

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Parents of BC murder victim want personal belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read

l -->