From novice skaters to women of Invermere hockey history, the first showing of works from the Centre Ice Art Contest is all about love of sport in the great outdoors.
The contest, sponsored in part by Columbia Valley Arts and the B.C. Eastern Pond Hockey Championships, is an opportunity for local artists to both get some exposure and have their work become the official logo for next year’s championships.
CV Arts has received a number of pieces, ranging from paintings and metal sculptures to a video submission.
All pieces are available to be seen during an exhibit at Pynelogs that started yesterday and runs until February 4. They are also viewable online at bcpondhockey.ca under the Centre Ice Art Contest tab.
Paula Cravens is one of the artists who contributed works, including two paintings of women hockey players from 1938. The paintings are based on old photographs from area residents.
“I was just impressed that there were women playing hockey back then,” Cravens said. “It didn’t look super organized, they just wanted to get out there and have fun, and I think that’s now missing sometimes, with all the organization now—kids should just get out there and play without all these teams and tournaments.”
Cravens says she’s been learning to paint for about 40 years, and painting full time for about 6. The piece in question took her about a week to complete, and she says she was impressed when she heard Invermere was attempting a world record with the Whiteway and organizing activities like the pond hockey championships, and that she wanted to be a part of it all.
“We have a lot to owe to our pioneer women,” Cravens said. “They had an enterprising spirit and they got things done, and I think that’s carried on through their offspring.”
Another one of the pieces is a metal sculpture by Scott Bellows of Bellows Forge & Iron Works. The piece has a decidedly abstract feel, showing a hockey player in front of some of the mountains that seem to permeate everyday life in the valley.
“It’s where my love is, doing the artistic metalwork, so I try and focus on it as much as I can,” Bellows said. “You can call it my labour of love.”
Bellows became a blacksmith about five years prior, just before the opening of Bellows Forge & Iron Works on Athalmer road, and says the piece took about two days to complete.
“I really appreciate the opportunity,” Bellows said. “That’s the thing about Columbia Valley Arts, and various other organizations within the valley—they give artists lots of opportunity to get exposure and become more well known, which is also part of the motivation.”
Other submissions included works from artists Cathy Parkes, Robyn Oliver and Kent Shoemaker, and there is also a video submission put together from a local 11-year old, Birken Kirk.