The McMillan Arts Centre has a special place in Pattiann Withapea’s heart and that makes it all the more special for her to have an exhibit on display.
“It feels wonderful to be able to exhibit my Resin Artworks here in my hometown. The McMillan Arts Centre is located in what was once my mother’s schoolhouse, so there is a lot of nostalgia attached to this gallery,” she said. “I have so much appreciation for our Oceanside Community Arts Council and all they do to support the arts.”
Withapea began painting in August 2013 and things took off quickly for her. She represented Canada at the Global Art Festival in Gujarat, India in 2019 and 2020. The two Resin artworks that she created are now part of the permanent private collection of the esteemed art collectors, Chairman and Mrs. Sanghi. Just recently, she earned her designation as an Elected Member of the Society of Canadian Artists.
“This is an honour bestowed upon fewer than 350 artists in all of Canada since 1957,” she said. “I am the first artist from Vancouver Island to ever have this distinction.”
In terms of how she would describe her work, Withapea points to the Canadian Federation of Artists’ description: that it’s “swirling cosmos of colour.”
“I cannot explain the joy that I feel each and every time I have a blank canvas in front of me. I have never experienced a ‘dark phase’ in the seven years since I first picked up a paint brush,” she said. “Colour and form is what shapes my work..and then, I push all of the boundaries and break lots of rules.”
You can catch her artwork at the MAC in Parksville at 133 McMillan St as of July 30. For more information on visiting the MAC, visit www.mcmillanartscentre.com.