Deakin Carter’s art graces whale fest poster

Kelly Deakin Carter, who grew up in Port Alberni but is now living in Ucluelet, has created this year’s Pacific Rim Whale Festival official artwork. - ALLIE BONNER/Special to the News
Kelly Deakin Carter, who grew up in Port Alberni but is now living in Ucluelet, has created this year’s Pacific Rim Whale Festival official artwork.
— image credit: ALLIE BONNER/Special to the News

A former Port Alberni artist now living in Ucluelet has created the official poster for the 28th annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival in March.

Kelly Deakin Carter was inspired to present an 18-foot by 24-foot piece of pyrographic art on plywood, an interesting oeuvre d’art illustrating our colourful West Coast marine life. Pyrography being the art of burning a design on wood with a heated metallic point, gives this year’s chosen art a unique depth, an appealing dimension.

Carter was born in Nelson but has lived on Vancouver Island (Port Alberni and Ucluelet areas) since 1968 where she moved with her parents at the age of seven. An artist at heart, she has drawn since she was old enough to hold a pencil.

Carter tried her hand at different medias, from photography to pencil drawing and painting but when she started to burn wood, she discovered her passion.

“My heart truly belongs to pyrographic art,” she says.

Carter never sketches anything before she starts to burn. She just works on a piece, stands back, studies it and burns again; a work of inspiration where original burning is her original design, she says.

Usually working on tree fungus, burls and driftwoods, Kelly worked for approximately 10 days on this pyrographic work of art that has been chosen to represent the whale festival. It is a huge honour sought by west coast artists every year, she said.

Each year, in February, the Pacific Rim Art Society puts a call out to West Coast artists from Ucluelet, Tofino and Bamfield to submit their art for the next festival.

In 2013, whale fest board members did not specify the media to be used for the 2014 poster.

It was interesting to see the wide variety of art proposed, said Susan Payne of the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce. From paint, watercolour, digital, three-dimensional arts to metal, every kind of art medium and style was present.

“It was a very hard decision for the board members to choose the one who will represent the best the West Coast communities”, Payne said.

The whale festival runs March 15–23. “The Chowder Chow-down in Ucluelet will be a favourite kick to start the week as over 500-600 people attend to sample chowders from local restaurants in Ucluelet and Tofino,” Payne said.

For more information on whale festival event, go online to pacificrimwhale festival.com/events.

Carter’s art will be sold at auction at a gala at the Wickininnish Inn sometime in March.

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