Artist Brian Croft (right) and Red Robinson celebrate Croft’s painting The Capitol Theatre Granvill Stret – 1956

Painting the past

Historical work at art show fundraiser this weekend

Such well-known artists as South Surrey’s Chris MacClure and Brent Heighton, and Langley’s Brian Croft, are among those featured in the second annual The West Is Best Fine Art Show, taking place Sept. 16- 18 at the ranch of Senator Gerry St. Germain and his wife Margaret (Indian Springs Land and Cattle Company, 19339 8 Ave.).

Created by St. Germain and artist Murray Phillips as a showcase for western Canadian artists, it’s also a fundraiser for aboriginal education through the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF).

Last year’s event raised $60,000, and this year’s target is to exceed $100,000.

Many of the 16 artists involved – which include Andrew Kiss and Vance Theoret – are top sellers at the Calgary Stampede Western Art Show.

And there’s also a hint of the western, a lot of history – and a nod to a North American legend – in the new work by Croft, The Capitol Theatre Granville Street  – 1956, which will be launched at the opening of the show Friday, 7-10 p.m.

An expert in meticulously detailed, evocative land and cityscapes that re-imagine landmarks of the Lower Mainland as they must have looked in decades past, Croft has depicted the theatre on Dec. 1, 1956, shortly after the western movie Love Me Tender – starring new musical sensation Elvis Presley – opened in Vancouver.

To help him launch the new painting, and series of prints, Croft has enlisted veteran broadcaster Red Robinson, who MCed the Dec. 1 shows 55 years ago, to appear at the opening of The West Is Best.

“There is absolutely nothing better than having an eyewitness to an historical event that one is painting and Red Robinson has been very helpful to me as I tackled this project,” Croft said.

The painting and print came about as Croft’s response to demand for more vertical compositions, and is inspired by a large photograph taken at the Capitol on the original date, which now hangs in the Red Robinson Show Theatre.

“I changed it pretty radically for the painting, Croft said.

Robinson, then the pop DJ for CJOR, recalled that the Dec. 1 promotions included a “girls-only” morning matinee, as well as an evening show including a live broadcast from the theatre, plus prizes of records and photos of Elvis.

“The girls screamed all the way through the movie whenever Elvis appeared on the screen,” he remembered.

“The movie was an average ‘oater,’ as we called westerns in those days, but it mattered not to the fans.”

Croft said he is very pleased to be involved in The West Is Best for a second year. The opening will include an address on the NAAF by program president and CEO Roberta Jamieson.

Some 25 per cent of all sales at the show will be donated to support the NAAF, which is the largest provider of scholarships and bursaries to aboriginal youth, other than the federal government.

Other artists featured at The West Is Best are Steven Allen, Roger Arndt, John Einerssen, Adeline Halvorson, Doug Levitt, Julia Lucich, Greg Metz, Audrey Nanimahoo, Dennis Weber and Wanda Whaley.

The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Sept. 17 and 18.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

UPDATE: All-cat fight at Surrey RCMP Classic final Saturday night

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

Truck fire in Surrey destroys generator bound for Uganda missions trip, GoFundMe started

Glen Alexander says his ‘Jesus is Lord’ vehicle has been target of vandalism before

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read