Artist Nana Cook spent the winter and spring hashing through her research, sketches and photos to create a historic new series which will hang near Barkerville throughout the summer.
The Nanoose Bay artist fell in love with the historic town of Barkerville during a trip there last year and was soon invited back to the B.C. town to be Theatre Royal’s first Artist in Residence. Last summer, Cook spent 10 days watching shows, getting to know the theatre, the cast, wandering around the mountain town and its cottages and learning about the historical sites.
She has now created 20 paintings, and although she is usually known for her nature and landscape pieces, this collection is largely portraits.
“I kept finding I was painting people,” she said. “They are the ones that really make the place come to life.”
The nostalgic portraits are bright and evocative while her paintings of the town’s old buildings are also striking, showing great detail like snow damage, imperfections in the logs and capturing a variety of textures.
The primary goal of Cook’s project is to raise funds for the Theatre Royal, operated by Newman & Wright Theatre Company and the Barkerville Heritage Trust, she said.
“The money we raise with my paintings will help Theatre Royal continue to bring to life the story of Barkerville, and add much needed funds to preserving the town,” she said.
The series will hand at the Singing Camel Gallery in Wells, B.C. (five kilometers from Barkerville) all summer and Cook will be in attendance at the Gallery from June 21 to July 15. Local residents can order giclee prints of the series through Nana Cook’s website or through Theatre Royal at www.theatreroyal.ca. Following the show in Barkerville, Cook is hoping her paintings will travel the Gold Rush Trail.
For more on Cook visit her website: