Studio B Gallery is thrilled to present the second annual art exhibit by the Wood Vibe Tribe collective entitled “Knot Again!”.
The exhibit, curated by Studio B’s resident curator Sonia Stastny, opens on Saturday, April 30 with a reception from 7 p.m. to midnight.
The artist collective, formed in early 2015, now has four members, of which three create work in the style of intarsia. The Wood Wizards (as the collective members like to call themselves) have evolved the traditionally folk genre of intarsia into a truly unique style very particular to the Wood Vibe Tribe. For those who have been following the increasingly known collective, the growth and progress shown in their art has been tremendous. Using a large variety of different woods from all around the world (mostly reclaimed or salvaged) these artists are creating colourful wood mandalas and wall hangings without using any stains or paint. The four artists continue to impress, inspire, surprise and amuse their audiences in the Comox Valley as well as Vancouver, Victoria, Los Angeles and others.
Canadian/American painter Brad Rhadwood, Wood Whispering pioneer, is an urban folk artist who salvages wood of all nature, transforming it into pop-surrealist and psychedelic works of art. In one medium, he uses the naturally occurring elements found in the wood to create whimsical “derpy” creatures and critters.
He considers his work collaborative, with the wood itself being a major contributor to how each piece manifests.
“Sometimes I begin the conversation with an idea or intention, sometimes the wood does all the talking,” he said. “Letting the wood speak is equally as important (usually more) than anything I have to say.”
Knots are the beginning to every piece, his light down the rabbit hole, the key to a magical garden. This transformative art form turns the natural into the super natural, inviting the viewer to see wood in a new way.
Andy Woodsmith started his woodworking adventure with barely any experience by making artistic garden trellises and quickly moved into mandala hanging pieces, often incorporating ancient symbols and sacred geometry. Since then he has been a full-time wood artist, making large wall pieces, and art installations for music and art festivals (another great passion of his).
Woodsmith grew up in an end-of-the-road town called Likely in the central Interior of British Columbia. Born to a tree-planting mother and lumberjack father, he was surrounded by wood since birth.
Woodsmith settled in the Comox Valley eight years ago, in a community that supports his love of art and music.
Becoming a new father in 2013 inspired him to return to his roots and set off on a new path as a wood artist a year later in May, 2014.
Chris Boux, who formerly worked mostly with driftwood and found objects, is now also working with intarsia, making meticulously crafted mandalas and incorporating crystals in his work.
Chris moved to the Comox Valley from Alberta where he received a diploma in wood products manufacturing. In touch with his creative side since childhood when he collected various objects and transformed them into art, he is once again fully immersed in the art he loves – wood.
The newest member of the collective is Kyle Vibes, born and raised in Victoria.
Vibes grew up with a deep adoration and respect for the trees and forests of the West Coast. Through various forms, he has been making art from nature for several years ranging from wooden jewelry using fallen arbutus branches to various projects with fallen wood and driftwood. Vibes recently moved to Cumberland, where he connected with the Wood Vibe Tribe, and began to learn and explore many new techniques with woodwork. His recent pieces are inspired largely by animals and the natural world, and aim to bring forth imagery that reminds us of our innate respect and love for nature.
The Wood Vibe Tribe was formed with the intention of creating a space where wood artists with a similar vision and passion for the arts could work together, share skills, new ideas, gallery opportunities and commissioned projects, a collective website and all social media avenues. This form of collaboration has made it possible for all members to grow and thrive at an unusually fast rate proving the great power that lies in working together. Though they all make similar art which would normally be viewed as competition, these artists have committed to transcending that old paradigm and are succeeding in helping each other find their own place in the art world.
For more information about Wood Vibe Tribe, visit woodvibes.ca.
Studio B Gallery is located at 2704 Dunsmuir Ave. in Cumberland. For updates on events and workshops, please visit the guild’s website at sewsistersartistguild.org.