Pemberton Avenue’s thriving arts community adds another member
A decade ago Pemberton Avenue may have seemed like the last place North Vancouver’s artists would gather.
Full of auto body shops and industrial businesses, the street was often know as simply “the area behind McDonald’s.”
But the atmosphere has certainly changed.
The thriving arts community is now welcoming Studio F, its newest member located just down the road from the Artists on Pemberton studio, Vanleena Dance School and One Dance Creative Centre.
Run by North Shore-based artists Lorn Curry and Sheree Jones, Studio F is chock-full of artwork and supplies. Just a few weeks ago, however, the small space was unrecognizable.
Fitting in well with other Pemberton Avenue businesses, the previous tenant had created a “very corporate” feel with carpet and white walls.
Of course this had to change, said Curry, sitting in front of his sunny southwestern U.S. landscapes.
They quickly repainted the walls to add a bit of character and put in the necessary washable floor. While there are no windows, adds Curry, two large skylights provide even better light.
The huge chalkboard wall could stay though, to give Jones a place to write down instructions for the students she teaches a few times a week.
The creative duo met while in an arts mentoring program in North Vancouver and instantly knew they would be a perfect match when venturing out on their own.
“A sense of humour is a big part of it. If the environment isn’t conducive to happiness then you’ll produce some pretty bad work,” says Lorn, who travels to Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and northern Texas. An iPad showing a photo of a parched desert landscape hangs beside his most recent painting on the easel.
Jones, on the other hand, stays closer to home. Her West Coast-style paintings pop with vibrant colours.
She’s currently painting a still-life of fruit in baskets. Translating the look of weaving into paint is extremely difficult, she says.
When the two artists first decided to open shop, spaces weren’t available at 195 Studios, home of the Artists on Pemberton.
But setting out on their own has turned out to be a good move. Studio F will be one of the stops on the North Shore Art Crawl, an annual community arts festival, held on April 20 and 21.