Kirkby – Larson | Two Artists, One Community, One Country.

PRESS RELEASE – ( For Immediate Release )


October 16 – October 24, 2010, Ucluelet Community Centre

What do Art and Science have in common? If you visit Ucluelet between Saturday, October 16th, 2 pm – 6 pm, and Sunday, October 24th, 10 am – 6 pm, you can find out!

The Ucluelet Community Centre located at 500 Matterson Dr. in Ucluelet will be hosting one of Canada’s first, and most unique, Art Exhibitions ever to be conceived. Proceeds from the “Two Artists, One Community, One Country” Art Exhibition will benefit the Ucluelet Aquarium. Two original works of art valued at a minimum of $9,000 will be awarded to the highest donor in 2 categories: one to a corporate sponsor and one to a private individual. What better way to support a community program such as the Ucluelet Aquarium whose mission it is to raise awareness about local marine biodiversity and promote respect for the ocean environment than to combine such two powerful Canadian artists and their works as Joan Larson and Ken Kirkby.

Local residents, international visitors, provincial and federal politicians, school kids, teachers, and anyone with a sense of national pride and scientific wonder, are invited to come and see the unveiling of the RCMP Musical Ride Series, a series of 20 original pastels that has taken Canada’s preeminent pastel artist, Joan Larson, three years to complete, and the chance to look up…way up… twenty-five feet in fact, at an original scale model of Ken Kirby’s painting Isumataq.

When the concept for “Two Artists, One Community, One Country” was proposed, Ken graciously offered to show his scale model of ‘Isumataq’ (the world’s largest oils-on-canvas painting) as well as some of his other west coast and Canadian inspired paintings alongside Joan’s series. Ken’s portrait of the Northwest Passage, Isumataq, was unveiled in 1992 in the House of Commons and was instrumental in ratifying Nunavut and uniting our country. He paints the world around him with an amazing confidence, continues to give more than half of his income to charity, and in doing so Kirkby has made immeasurable contributions to Canadian art and to the environment.

Larson’s series was featured on television during the Olympics when she participated in the Town of Qualicum Beach and Ucluelet’s O Zone pavilion as well as being introduced by local MLA Scott Fraser at the British Columbia Legislature earlier this year.

The Exhibit’s organizers, Paul Smith, Marketing Manager of Creekside Studio in Coombs, The Mark Penney Gallery and Ken Kirkby quietly planned to unveil Larson’s 20 piece RCMP Musical Ride Series in the sleepy coastal fishing village of Ucluelet for several months.

Why Ucluelet? “Because Joan’s and my goal is to travel book-mobile style across Canada, from coast to coast to coast, into every community, showcasing the original RCMP Musical Ride Series, bringing it to people who may never have a chance to see something like this otherwise,” says Paul Smith. “Vancouver Island is our home so what better place to kick-start our dream than in Ucluelet which is as far west as we go in our country.”

The opening ceremonies on Saturday, October 16th, will commence at 2:00 pm, after the Aquarium’s Release Day Celebrations with a Blessing Ceremony, opening speeches by local politicians and MLA Scott Fraser, as well as a poetry reading by well known BC poet, Manolis Aligizakis, who collaborated with Kirkby on the book, Vespers. Both artists will be available at different times during the week to discuss their art work. School groups and special interest groups are invited to email or call Mark Penney at 250-756-2012 to arrange for special presentations. For more information, visit

Media inquiries: Laura Hesse, Publicist, 250-248-7589

Show Inquiries: Mark Penney, Mark Penney Gallery, 250-726-2012

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