Retro urban meets unspoiled wilderness in the works of The West Fine Art Show co-organizers Brian Croft (left) and Murray Phillips.

West Fine Art Show coming to Surrey

Exhibit to feature the work from 18 different artists.

It’s all about a touch of celebrity and breathtaking interpretations of the Canadian west  – ranging from the untamed wilderness to more urban scenes.

Those will be the features of the third The West Fine Art Show, a three-day free art show and sale, Sept. 7-9 at the Indian Springs Land and Cattle Company, 19339 8 Ave. in South Surrey.

The ranch of Senator Gerry St. Germain and his wife Margaret has become known as an unparalleled annual venue for western Canadian artists, thanks to the hosts and event co-organizers Murray Phillips, who has been capturing some of the country’s most isolated areas on canvas for the past 40 years, and Brian Croft, who has made a specialty of evocative, detailed and thoroughly-researched land and cityscapes that re-imagine Lower Mainland landmarks as they must have looked in decades gone by.

This year, 18 well-known  artists are contributing work, including Doug Levitt, creator of the 2008 Calgary Stampede poster, and Mark Hobson, whose many accolades include recognition as 2006 Artist of the Year by International Artist Magazine.

As in previous years – at the suggestion of St. Germain – the exhibition supports Indspire, which raises funds to help young indigenous people achieve their potential.

“Both Gerry and I feel strongly about the importance of education, so we decided that 25 per cent of the money raised at The West Fine Art Show will go to Indspire,” Phillips said.

“It’s a wonderful organization that is doing great things and we’re happy to show our support.”

The touch of celebrity is courtesy of guest artist and M.C. of Friday’s opening reception, celebrated pioneer DJ Red Robinson, who is showing 16 sketches he pencilled years ago when it looked as though his career path might be as an illustrator.

Robinson, whose fund of knowledge about the Vancouver scene in the 1950s and ’60s has been of great help to Croft for several of his recent paintings, had kept his artistic light under a bushel for many years.

“I remember one time visiting with Red, when he suddenly brought out a series of sketches he did as a kid,” Croft said. “I said, ‘would you mind if we framed your sketches and showed them?’ So he’s agreed to come out again and be our celebrity artist – it’s become a great draw.”

His connection with Robinson came about several years ago, Croft said.

“He emailed me out of the blue, saying he really loved my work, and he’s become a great booster for me.”

Croft said his friendship with Phillips started on an equally casual basis, shortly after he first started painting his historical scenes upon retirement from his career as a fighter pilot in the RCAF.

“The first watercolour I painted I took into Murray’s Westwind Gallery, and he didn’t kick me out – which I took as a good sign. We’ve been friends ever since.”

In contrast to the rugged mountains and valleys and coastal scenes offered by Phillips and other artists, Croft will show one of his latest paintings, a symphony of old school neon vintage cars and rainy streets titled Chinatown 1960.

“It started with snapshot I found on the Internet – I’ve since got a good copy – which was taken looking down East Pender to the West End. You can see the Sun building in the background, but it also has all the old restaurants that people remember, like Ming’s and the Bamboo Terrace.”

Croft said he may also give a preview of a work in progress at the show – Danceland 1963 – for which Robinson’s memory of the times has also been very helpful.

The depiction of the once-lively but long-gone venue includes a marquee for an authentic appearance by the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

“Red was able to introduce me to a lot of people who knew the venue or used to work there,” Croft said. “I found out it’s not the musicians who remember everything – they’re usually pretty vague about the details – but the bouncers.”

Admission to the exhibition is free and opening hours are 7-10 p.m. Friday (opening reception), 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit or


Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Surrey councillor’s liquor store pitch is pathetic

On a council that says no to cannabis shops and ride-hailing, Nagra thinks we need more booze stores

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

‘A monumental step’: Surrey Food Bank finds new, much larger home in Newton

The charity is expected to make the move next summer

ELECTION 2019: Climates strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read