Laurel Terlesky has an energy about her.
With an exhibition of her paintings entitled “We love this stuff so much…” in the Main Gallery of the Campbell River Art Gallery focusing on electricity consumption and a closing day full of activities coinciding with the Rain & Fire Storytelling Festival on Feb. 26, that energy will become evident to gallery visitors and guests. Terlesky, originally born in Calgary and now residing in Squamish B.C., travelled throughout the US, Canada and even as far as Barcelona developing her painting style and tapping into the energy of other art scenes. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 1999 and was awarded a stipend to spend a month at an international artist residency in Spain more recently. Drawing on themes such as electricity and power, spirituality, the human body, pop culture and women’s rights, Terlesky’s paintings are colourful and engaging. Working in oil and acrylic paints and then adding a contemporary twist by incorporating spray paint, most of Terlesky’s paintings are of individual female subjects. With their intricate hairstyles and poses ranging in influences from the 1930’s to present day, the paintings draw on the rich history of fine art portraiture while clearly placing her subjects in the present and sometimes, the future. Fashion trends are interwoven with symbols of energy such as power cords, ear buds, usb cords and wind turbines. Through a youthful pop-culture lens, these paintings push the viewer to confront social norms, concepts of beauty, the extent of our cultural dependency on electricity.
Taking the theme of electricity a bit further, Terlesky will be leading a workshop at the Gallery on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. creating wild and fun accessories out of recycled electrical parts. The fee is $17.50 plus HST and the registration deadline is Feb. 23. This workshop kicks off a larger, day-long schedule of activities at the Gallery as part of the Rain & Fire Storytelling Festival and mark the closing day of exhibition.
In addition to Terlesky’s workshop, the Gallery will offer a Super Saturday art program, and a special closing that evening at 7:30 p.m.