It’s element-ary

Painting and pottery exhibit runs to Dec. 20 at museum

Sharing the bench, watercolour by Marilyn Vooys, is on display at Langley Centennial Museum as part of the exhibit Earth Formed, Water Rendered.

There are pots and paintings aplenty on display at the  Langley Centennial Museum.

Monday (Sept. 12) marked the official opening of Earth Formed, Water Rendered: Art of the Fraser Valley Watercolour Society and the Fraser Valley Potters Guild.

The show, which has been on display since Sept. 2 and continues to Dec. 20, features no fewer than 102 pieces of original artwork by members of the two participating clubs.

Among those exhibiting work is Gwen Gregorig. At 92, she is one of the last few founding members  — the first president, in fact — of the Fraser Valley Watercolour Society, which formed in 1989.

Gregorig, who first indulged her creative impulses in the theatre,  began painting in 1984 — relatively late in life, she concedes — after her husband passed away.

When her teacher moved to Vancouver, Gregorig and her fellow students were at a loss as to they were going to do without her.

“She said, ‘Form a society,’” recalled the English-born Gregorig, who now calls Abbotsford home.

So they did, and dedicated it to “the enrichment of excellence, mutual support and encouragement of its members.”

Over more than two decades, from 24 original members, the society has grown to include 50 painters, spanning the Valley from Chilliwack to Langley and across the river to Mission.

Although the club is still primarily a watercolours-based organization, it has expanded in recent years to include acrylics.

“Groups have to change, otherwise they stagnate and die,” said Gregorig.

The society applied to the museum for space to hold a show. And since the potters guild had also done so, museum curator Kobi Christian decided to combine the two, to make the best use of available space.

“It’s quite a large area to fill,” said Gregorig, glancing around the gallery, dotted with glass cases displaying everything from the classics — clay vases, plates, mugs and bowls — to ceramic frogs and rodents.

“(The pairing of the mediums) makes for a good show, and there’s plenty of room for people to move and see everything,”

The walls, meanwhile, are bedecked with two-dimensional pieces — ranging from muted winter landscapes to the vivid red skirts of  can can dancers.

Most have price tags attached but the pieces are scheduled to be on display until just before Christmas. For those who can’t wait to take their prize home, the display includes a wall of hand-crafted mugs which can be purchased and claimed on the spot.

The musuem is located at 9135 King St. in Fort Langley. For more, go to langleymuseum.org.

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