Artist Candice Perry Moen with The Dove Experiment. FLAG's first exhibit of its 20th season, titled Fur, Fins and Feathers, opened last weekend at the Flagstop Gallery.

Animal attraction

If it flies, swims or walks on all fours, you might just find it
at FLAG’s first exhibit of its 20th anniversary season

Cat lovers will find plenty to catch their fancy, as will fish aficionados.

And bird enthusiasts might want to shake a tail feather and get over to the Flagstop Gallery in Fort Langley, too.

Fort Langley Artists Group members have let their animal instincts take over as they get set for the first exhibit of their 20th anniversary season — Fur, Fins and Feathers.

It opened this past weekend at the gallery in the historic CN train station and continues until June 16

Fur, Fins and Feathers celebrates the animal kingdom in its infinite variety and offered FLAG’s 20 member artists a theme with plenty of possibilities to get their creative juices flowing for another season.

And each of them has come up with a unique interpretation.

Margo Harrison, for instance, has created her trademark ‘Comfort Cat’ ceramic sculptures, while Susan Galick has been out painting pelicans.

And while Harrison’s pastel cat drawings give the impression one could reach right into the image and stroke actual fur, Vivian Harder’s felines offer a more conceptual take on the species.

There are eagles, warblers, horses, squirrels and rabbits, as well as few koi to give animal lovers of all stripes something to admire.

Among the artists taking part in this show is Candice Perry Moen — who stepped away from her usual subjects of children and portraits to paint a pair of rabbits for the exhibit.

“I like putting people into pictures, so (the animal theme) was a bit of an adjustment. I’m very comfortable painting and drawing rabbits, though, so that’s what I did,” said Perry Moen, who joined FLAG in 2008 after moving to Brookswood from Surrey.

She did manage to work in one figure, however — a side-view portrait done during a life drawing class with a print of a dove in flight overlapping the gold-hued head.

“It can mean what you want,” the artist chuckled when asked what the image, titled The Dove Experiment, represented.

Although she teaches painting and drawing, alongside former FLAG member Carmel Clare, at the Neighbourhood Art Studio in Walnut Grove, Perry Moen is heavily into printmaking, using the dry point method so that she can work out of her home without using toxic chemicals.

Surprisingly, perhaps, Clare wasn’t Perry Moen’s initial connection with FLAG.

That was, of all people, her son — indirectly, at least.

He was in Grade 3 at the time and became friends with the son of long-time FLAG member Julie Bourne. The moms got talking and Bourne invited Perry Moen to come for an interview.

Before she joined FLAG, the painter and printmaker was a member of a South Delta artists group. One of the aspects of the Fort Langley group she likes is that it’s smaller and allows for “more connection” among the artists, she said.

The FLAG artists will be connecting with their audiences each weekend for the next six weeks, taking turns greeting visitors to the gallery each Saturday and Sunday and on the holiday Monday, May 20 from noon to 4 p.m.

The Flagstop Gallery is located at Glover Road and Mavis Avenue in Fort Langley.

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