New No. 3 Road Art Column exhibit explores Richmond’s legacy

Three artists produced works about the stories they want to tell future generations.

Three artists who created a new exhibit being installed in the No 3 Road Art Columns this weekend are hosting a salon next week to discuss the inspiration behind their work.

Artists Nadia Mahamoor and Ming Yeung were selected to create pieces answering the question “what are the stories we want to tell future generations?” along with mentor Valerie D. Walker.

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Nadia Mahamoor Faces of Richmond
Artist Nadia Mahamoor, a Grade 12 student at Hugh Boyd, created portraits of friends for her art column. On Feb. 7, she'll talk along with the other artists about the creative process behind the project. Photo courtesy of Nadia Mahamoor.

Mahamoor, a Grade 12 student at Hugh Boyd, has a colourful and graphic style she said is inspired by comics and pop art. For her piece, Faces of Richmond, she created portraits of four friends she grew up with.

“I can see how they’ve blossomed and formed into different people, even though we came from the same beginning,” she said. “They represent me in different ways.”

Mahamoor, who is the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants, said likes to touch on cultural issues that apply to her with her art.

“I’m just trying to make my way into the artist scene and prepare for my future,” she said.

Yeung is an artist and art instructor in her 50s who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong many years ago. She specializes in Chinese free style painting, and uses the classic method to paint motifs that are close to her heart. Recently, she’s used her ink and watercolour brushes to raise awareness about mental illness and the decline of endangered species.

Ming Yeung art column
Ming Yeung painted these Canadian animals in winter slopes using her Chinese free style painting technique. Photo: Courtesy of Ming Yeung

The theme of her art column is Wildlife in the City, and she painted four panels for each season depicting B.C.-native animals.

 “I have a soft spot for wild animals because I truly rely on nature and wildlife for inspiration when I paint,” she said. “The exhibition provides an opportunity for our next generation to raise awareness about the importance of conserving biodiversity and protecting healthy habitats for wildlife.”

Both women were mentored by trans-media artist Valerie D. Walker, who helped them figure out how to create a public art piece of this magnitude and taught them about digital art processing.

Dyed Indigo
This is a sample of one of Valerie D. Walker’s scanned textiles that she used for texture in some places of her piece. She made it with natural dyed indigo and hand-shaped resist/shibori. Image courtesy of Valerie D. Walker

“I think it’s a really great commendation for the public art program of staff of Richmond that they do a lot of work to really reach out to different artists and try and make it accessible and possible,” she said.

Her own piece depicts an imaginary Richmond, and uses lots of different textures to create the landscape.

“It’s creating an alternative story,” she said. “What if things went another way, and nature was still valued and it was still a very magical place?”

The art will be installed in the display cases outside Aberdeen and Lansdowne SkyTrain stations this weekend, and they’ll be visible to the public by Monday, Feb. 4.

On Feb. 7., the three women will host an artist salon at the Richmond Library and Cultural Centre at 7 p.m. where they’ll talk about the creative process behind the exhibit.

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