Young artists sought for mural project

Alan Wylie, shown here painting on B.C.
Alan Wylie, shown here painting on B.C.'s coastline taking part in the Artists for an Oil Free Coast initiative, will work with young artists to produce a set of historically themed murals. The project is a joint initiative of the Langley Arts Council and the Langley Heritage Society.
— image credit: Raincoast Conservation Foundation photo

The Langley Arts Council and the Langley Heritage Society are joining forces to produce a set of historically themed murals and are looking to a renowned Canadian artist and a few young newcomers to help out.

The murals will be unveiled during B.C. Culture Days in September and placed on permanent display at the Langley Centennial Museum & Exhibition Centre in Fort Langley.

The Arts Council and Heritage Society are currently seeking artists between the ages of 16 and 20 to volunteer for this major project, which will be co-ordinated and mentored by well-known Fort Langley artist Alan Wylie.  Wylie has painted numerous murals in cities and towns across North America and in Scotland.

Born in Glasgow in 1938, Wylie graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1960, with a degree in Mural Design and Mosaics. He immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1967 and began a career as a full-time artist and teacher.

In 1974, Wylie moved to British Columbia and now lives in Fort Langley with his artist wife, Janice Robertson. Since 1956, Wylie has won more than three dozen awards, prizes, and fellowships from prestigious societies, galleries, and competitions for his paintings.

Wylie has now been commissioned by the Langley Arts Council, through a Township of Langley “Nothing Without Effort” grant, to paint a three-panel mural at the museum. He has agreed to train and mentor up to six young people as part of this initiative. The selected young artists will paint an additional three panel mural which will also be displayed on the outdoor walls of the museum.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for emerging young artists from our community to work with a much-admired and internationally significant artist,” said Harmony Thiessen, executive director for the Langley Arts Council.

“Can you imagine what this project will look like on their resumes as they apply to study at universities or art schools?”

From mid-July to about the end of August, the selected youths will paint their panels at  Robertson’s studio in Fort Langley, rather than in Wylie’s.

“My studio isn’t quite large enough to accommodate seven artists working side by side,” Wylie said. “But my wife is graciously allowing us to share her space.”

Robertson is another accomplished,  award-winning artist living in the community, and last year participated in a four-person exhibition at the Museum.

“After many years of painting extraordinary murals in major cities across North America, this will be Wylie's first outdoor public art work for the Township,” said Peter Tulumello, Cultural Services Manager with the Township of Langley.

“We are so pleased that the Arts Council and Heritage Society chose the Langley Centennial Museum as the site for this installation.”

Young artists wishing to participate in this project are asked to call the Museum at 604-532-3536 or email Tulumello at ptulumello@tol.ca.

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