‘Studio B’ Gallery is proud to present a new exhibit entitled “Wood Vibe Tribe” of wood works by Brad Rhadwood and Andy Smith, with special appearance by Chris Boux.
The exhibit, curated by Studio B’s resident curator Sonia Stastny, opens on Friday, Feb. 13, with all three artists present at the reception from 7-11 p.m.
Lasqueti-Island based artist Brad Rhadwood, a.k.a. The Wood Whisperer, uses traditional as well as innovative techniques to transform salvaged wood of all nature into paintings, installations, and furniture. Allowing his unconscious to take the lead, Rhadwood listens for the stories the wood has to tell, using the knots and grain as guides to create his whimsical “wood spirits” curious, sweet and sometimes “knotty” creatures that are clearly from some enchanted realm.
Rhadwood moved to Canada from Portland, Oregon in 2008, where he began his wood whispering mission after he created a successful art show for his friend’s salon using discarded wood and art supplies found in his kitchen drawer. These days, Rhadwood teaches The Way of the Wood workshops wherever he can, touring markets and festivals as well as working as an art teacher at Saint James Music Academy in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Andy Smith is the man behind Garden Elf Creations and the many magical mysterious wooden mandalas that have sprouted around the streets of Cumberland like mushrooms after rain. Working with sacred geometry and symbols such as the Flower of Life, and using only wood harvested with good intention, Smith creates intricate mandalas and mosaics that breathe hundreds of years’ worth of tree wisdom.
Smith grew up in an end-of-the-road town called Likely in the central interior of B.C. Born to a treeplanting mother and lumberjack father, Smith was surrounded by wood since birth. After spending his teens in Detroit, then living a nomadic life in B.C. and doing work that did not truly fulfil him, Smith settled in the lively Village of Cumberland, 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.
“I was adamant that I wasn’t going to tell my daughter that she could be and do anything she wants while I was withering away at a job that I didn’t want,” he said.
Not even a year into his wood venture, Smith is getting ready for his first art show and is planning a busy year of travelling to his favourite art and music festivals to showcase his work as well as build art installations for the events.
Even though each artist works with a very different aesthetic, both Rhadwood and Smith incorporate shared values in their art. Environmental responsibility combined with magic and a sense of humour resonate throughout their work. Together the two artists founded The Wood Vibe Tribe, a crew of wood artists.
“Established to be a base for fellow wood wizards to conspire and create as a collective, the Wood Vibe Tribe has many wood plans in store for the coming festival season,” said Rhadwood. “Stay tuned ‘fir’ their official debut. Guaranteed wood times that make ‘yew’ smile.”
The Wood Vibe Tribe exhibit will also feature a special guest artist, Chris Boux, who works with driftwood to create whimsical, magical creatures.
Studio B Gallery is located at 2704 Dunsmuir Avenue in Cumberland.
For updates on events and workshops, please visit the guild’s website at sewsistersartistguild.org.