Uptown Art Affair artists are (clockwise from bottom left) Sherron Fairbairn

Uptown artists create lively mix

White Rock Pop-Up Town exhibit for July features both displays and demos of painting, photography and other work

White Rock acrylic artist Sherron Fairbairn likes to put her money where her mouth is.

A member of the city arts and cultural committee for the past three years, she’s also been part of the side group PUGS (for pop-up gallery space) that has been busy advocating for the concept of a local pop-up gallery as a high profile outlet for artists in all disciplines.

When an uptown White Rock space did finally come available (former Johnston Road premises of White Rock Tourism) she knew she wanted to get more directly involved.

“I took a step back from PUGS because I wanted to get back into doing art again,” she said.

“I got my art juried and accepted for the space and I chose a group of other artists to come in with me.”

That group, dubbed The Uptown Art Affair, opened it’s month-long reign in the city’s Pop-Up Town space (1459B Johnston Rd.) this Wednesday.

And, true to Fairbairn’s vision, it is multi-disciplinary – “we’ll have workshops, demos, entertainment, artists-in-residence and a gallery of work from painting, photography, in-the-moment party embellishments and live music,” she said.

Covering the painting aspect will be Faibairn’s own colour-conscious, emotion-driven representational canvases (in a palette ranging from subdued pastel tones to rich vibrancy) and Georgina Johnstone’s more abstract explorations of light, colour and landscape.

Representing photography is the work of of commercial photographer Geoff Milne, who has also taught the art of photography for Surrey School District and White Rock’s Leisure Services, and experimentalist Joci Sirak, who aims for perfectly balanced and harmonized compositions whatever the subject matter.

The party embellishment component will be provided by Heather Crawford, also known as Korki the Clown (“she’ll be leaving her clown nose at home for this show!” quipped Faibairn), who is evolving her award-winning balloon art expertise into a new line of custom balloon art centrepieces she calls In-The-Moment Balloon Art.

For the live music aspect, Fairbairn made a natural choice – husband Ron has been a professional bassist for many years, but, since 2009, has been focusing on guitar and songwriting, latterly with his principal collaborator, guitarist Craig MacGregor.

During the Uptown Art Affair’s tenure in Pop-Up Town the storefront will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

During these hours Fairbairn and Johnstone will be doing live painting demos, while Ron Fairbairn will provide live music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Workshops begin this weekend, including a free session with Johnstone (July 9, 1-3 p.m.) offering instruction on landscape painting techniques and a free tutorial with Milne on photographing art works effectively for digital media (July 10, 11-12:30 p.m.).

Other workshops include photo-composition pointers from Sirak (July 16, 1-3 p.m.) a playdate for six to eight year-olds in which Fairbairn and Crawford will teach painting and balloon-sculpting ideas in preparation for their annual Sea Festival  Pirates In The Park celebration (July 27, 1-4 p.m. $20 materials fee per child).

Painter Jess Rice, while not exhibiting in this Pop-Up Town segment, will teach a workshop on creating leather-bound journals ($69, pre-registration required) on  July 23, 1-4 p.m.

Fairbairn acknowledges some trepidation about her artist-in-residence gig – she’s not accustomed to working in front of the public. she said.

“But the tagline for this exhibit is ‘Moving Forward’ – it’s all about each of us challenging our comfort zone,” she noted.

And much as she would like to have included live theatre and dance in the mix, she said, there was only so much room for organizing events in the time frame.

But she’d like there to be even more opportunities for such cross-disciplinary showcases in the same venue in the future, she said.

“It’s a fantastic space,” she said.

“The city has paid for it until the end of December, but we are wanting to request for the community that this become a permanent destination for all the arts – not just painting, but music, dance, theatre…everything.”

 

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