Celebrate a community’s creative works

Avocations in Amelia Douglas Gallery

Douglas College staff and student art on display

By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor

Ever wonder if your fellow classmates, instructors, or employees at Douglas College make art in their spare time? Now is your chance to find out at the Douglas College staff and student art exhibit, Avocations, at the Amelia Douglas Gallery. Twenty artists have their work on display in the gallery, ranging from paintings and photographs to ceramics and jewellery, with a few other unique pieces in the mix.

Trena Hollands works in the theatre department and has three works in the gallery. The first piece, “Mythical Creatures,” is two plastic sculptures of fantastical man-beasts. The next two pieces are oil paintings: “The Fool,” a rabbit portraying the appearance and gestures of the Fool card in a tarot deck, and “Corgis of Fortune,” a pair of Corgi dogs working a Ouija board together.

“Our mythical creatures are like a modification of ourselves with actual animals,” she said, describing her “Mythical Creatures” piece. “They were inspired by Jungian dream theory and what we would be if we were without all of our societies and things that are put on us that become part of who we are.”

Like the sculptures, her paintings also involve animals, but have more of a focus on the supernatural.

“These ones are more inline with exploration, the occult, what’s on the other side, what is the whole purpose of this strange journey of life,” Hollands said about the paintings.

Along the gallery wall that backs onto the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre is a mixed variety of paintings from different artists. At the centre of the row of paintings are three red-and-black acrylic paintings by Kathleen Katon Tonnesen, a psychology student.

One of Tonnesen’s paintings is a portrait of an older gentleman with dreadlocks, titled “Jeffrey.” The painting depicts the man’s appearance so clearly that, when he attended the exhibit’s opening reception on October 29, he was easily recognised by several guests and was asked to pose for a photo next to the portrait. He kindly agreed and posed for several photos alongside Tonnesen.

Many of the works in the Avocations exhibit are available for purchase from the artists. Prices range from $35 for “Procyon Iotor”—a painted rock featuring a lifelike raccoon image by criminology student Daria Korshun—to $10,000 for each of Tonnesen’s paintings. Some pieces are not for sale, while others require that buyers ask the artist for the price.

Avocations will be on display until December 11 in the Amelia Douglas Gallery, located on the fourth floor of the Douglas College New Westminster campus.