Trailside exhibition brings local art to Slocan Valley rail trails | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trailside exhibition brings local art to Slocan Valley rail trails

A West Kootenay arts council is partnering with the local Slocan Valley Heritage Trail society to display local artists' works on the popular recreational trail.
Image Credit: Facebook/ Slocan Valley Community Arts Society
January 22, 2021 - 6:00 AM

A small southern British Columbia arts council has come up with a novel way to promote its local art following a difficult year dealing with COVID-19 restrictions that prevented the hosting of arts events.

Slocan Valley Community Arts Council President Eden DuPont says part of the 50-member regional arts council’s mandate is to promote arts and culture, but that has been nearly impossible to do since the pandemic struck.

“It’s been particularly difficult not being able to host events, but we recently came up with an idea to collaborate with the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society to use their recreational trail to exhibit art work,” she says.

The group recently put out a call for artists for its’ ”Art on the Rails” exhibition.

The Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society looks after a former rail bed along the Slocan River that is well known and highly used by recreational walkers and cross country skiers. The trail has seen a big boost in usage since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DuPont says the trail is used by people from Nelson, Castlegar and Trail these days.

“With more people using it this year, we thought we could provide some appreciation for the arts by providing a pop-up outdoor art exhibition along the trail that features some of our members’ artwork,” she says.

The artwork will take the form of reproductions rather than original works. DuPont says 15 to 20 artists are expected to participate, with the art reproductions spread out near trailhead points.

A snow sculpture artist is also expected to provide a three dimensional piece of art if weather permits.

“We’re not promoting any specific dates in order to prevent people from congregating. Once the artwork is up, we’ll promote the exhibition for three weeks to a month, depending on weather,” DuPont says.

The arts group also plans to encourage donations to the rail society in a bid to provide some benefit to that group, who have seen an increase in trail usage.

“We’ll see how it goes. We hope people will be respectful of the exhibition, but we will be keeping an eye out for vandalism. If it works, it could become a seasonal thing, with an event in winter and one in summer,” DuPont says.

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