Colourful Ukrainian art on tap

Latest show at Qualicum Art Supply features Parksville artist Fay St. Marie

Parksville artist Fay St. Marie is proud of her Babushka Series of paintings which honor the widows of the Ukraine.

Parksville artist Fay St. Marie is proud of her Babushka Series of paintings which honor the widows of the Ukraine.

If you are looking for something to brighten up the grey winter days, a visit to The Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply could be the answer to injecting some colour into your world.

The walls at the Qualicum Beach art gallery are bursting with eye candy as eight artists have their work on display including Faye St. Marie.

The artist, who now calls Parksville her home, has her Babushka Series hanging on the gallery walls and although Ukrainian Christmas has come and gone, the exhibition is a wonderful homage to anyone with Ukrainian heritage.

St. Marie said she was inspired to paint the widows who live in the countryside of the Ukraine after she went on a two week mission to Nikopol and its nearby villages in the fall of 2008. She went with a group of 11 women as part of the Hungry for Life’s Ukraine Mission to help widows and orphans in the area.

“When I returned home I felt compelled to paint the babushka widows as they walked away with their precious bags of food and clothing.  I want these paintings to communicate the way of life for these Ukrainian widows, “ she stated.

St. Marie grew up in Saskatchewan which has a large Ukrainian population. Her mother is Ukrainian and she said it was amazing traveling to a part of the world where her ancestors came from.

“It meant so much to me. I felt like I was back in the Prairies. I can see why Ukrainians moved to the Prairies. The Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe.”

She said she wants her series on the babushkas to honour the widows who struggle to get by.  To that end she has been giving back a percentage of her sales to the Hungry for Life’s Ukrainian Mission to further help the widows.

The Babushka Series was a huge hit when it was shown at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in Saskatoon from Sept. 2010 to Jan. 2011. Thirteen paintings sold and the museum bought a painting called Laundry Time for their collection. St. Marie said that five-month exhibition was so successful she had to paint more so she would have enough for the current display in Qualicum Beach.

“It is amazing because usually when I am painting a series I get tired of it but because I have such a passion for the babushkas I have more I want to paint,” she agreed.

She said at a family reunion last year in Saskatchewan, she painted a Ukrainian history piece for a silent auction and said it made quite an impact.

“Everyone was excited about the piece.”

A new subject for St. Marie is her Ukrainian dancers which she would like to do more of in the future.

“The dancers are recent. I started them a couple of months ago. I have always been fascinated by the dancers movement.”

St. Marie’s acrylic and mixed media paintings have been displayed in a few galleries on Vancouver Island and she admitted the walls of her Parksville house are covered.

She said she was always drawing and sketching as a child and initially when she went to university she wanted a fine arts degree but she knew she couldn’t make a living at it so she went into nursing.

You can check out her unique paintings currently on display at The Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply at 206 First Avenue West in Qualicum Beach.

 

reporter@pqbnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read