ARTWRX Studio + Gallery (formerly Art Alchemy Studio)is a working studio and gallery in downtown Courtenay, where artists share space and the experience of art making. We welcome visitors to witness the process of art making, be inspired by a wide diversity of artistic expressions and to buy local, high quality art work made by the talented and hard working artists at ARTWRX.
LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE GIFT ITEM? Did you know we have opened a little Gift Shop area in our collective space featuring affordable small original works, prints, cards and gift items to purchase. We are open Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm and any time during the week the studio doors are open, and by appointment. 362 10th Street Courtenay BC (stair access only)
Nicolette Valikoski grew up among the temperate rainforests and storm-battered beaches of a small island off the west coast of Canada. This wild and gorgeous corner of the world shaped her earliest artistic expression and today inspires much of her work.
Nicolette uses only palette knives to apply her unique, sculptural layers of oil paint which result in striking creations with rich texture and incredible depth. Her bright, dynamic explorations of nature are informed by her passion for contemporary interior design, resulting in paintings that evoke a unique sensation of being both indoors and out.
Nicolette paints out of her light-filled studio in Vancouver Island’s beautiful Comox Valley. Her work hangs in the homes of her collectors all across the world.
For commissions and collaborations email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shea Kotilla is an artist who practices with oil paints on canvas and wood. Her subjects are varied including landscapes, people, and still life.
Shea grew up in small communities loving the closeness of nature where she would wander through the woods, picking berries, and listening to the forest sounds. Spending time outdoors riding bike, swimming, walking on beaches and kayaking is an experience she yearns for daily. Time to breath deeply, feel the sun and wind and rain. And what about bringing the easel and paints! Plein air painting is an ambition she wishes to fulfil! Everywhere in life are images that beg her to create with paint.
Shea shares her time between family, friends, working and painting
Larissa McLean is a mixed media artist. She has a BFA in printmaking and holds a current teaching certificate for Alberta and British Columbia. Larissa has been painting for over 20 years and is knowledgeable in mixed-media and fluid acrylics.
Her visions in fluid acrylics and watercolour are of nature: images warm and inviting, to mysterious and distant, each a distillation of recent experiences imbued with the energy of her own feelings at the moment. Some paintings take multiple sessions spanning weeks, while others are created in just a few hours.
“With Covid I have had to re-think the way that create and teach art in the world. I have small classes set up out of my home studio @Passionstems at the Mill. I also have been given the opportunity of time during the pandemic so I have picked up where I left off with art school (20 years ago)working with plant dye painting on silk scarves, making my own pigments, pine needle weaving, rug hooking felting and mixed-media. Who knows when I’ll be given this time again? I am learning as much as I can to offer more of a range of materials and areas to assist others in the future it is a gift. My current body of work emerged from working on pine needle baskets, collecting needles from around the Comox Valley got me outside and was therapeutic and the central design of the circle became very holistic for me. The idea of nesting,being comforted in a time when comforting and hugging doesn’t happen a lot. These mini projects then transformed into printing the bottoms of each basket like a finger print pushed into gelatin or a gelli-plate which I then printed on rice paper and collaged into circular paintings of flowers and movement and stitching shapes and abstracted backgrounds. The weaving led to the textures of rug hooking and now I am creating tapestries and mix-media pieces with fabric in my paintings. Who knows where it will take me? Hopefully everyone is staying safe and finding healthy creative outlets for themselves.”
Art is my soul cry. When I show up to the page, She speaks. No ideas or plans. Monkey mind scrambles for my attention, and I wait to hear the quiet voice underneath.I believe inside all of us is a creative voice that wants to be heard. Sometimes she whispers, sometimes she roars. I have wrestled with this voice for a longtime. Tried to shut her out, silence her in an effort to be safe. But she’s a wild one and will not be tamed.I bring to my art a deep reverence for the Earth. Nature is my greatest teacher. When I’m overwhelmed she brings me back to my feet. Rock, bones, roots, solid ground. She reminds me I am a small part in an enormous living, breathing web of Life. And I too have a role to play, a voice to share. Drawing is my foundation. Charcoal or graphite on paper. Such freedom in simplicity. I work in various mediums from drawing to sculpture, installation to poetry and dance. My art serves to re-weave the threads of connection between our human selves and the natural world.
JULIETTE SAINT PLANCAT
After travelling around the world for 14 years on a sailboat with her family, Juliette studied in New Zealand for 4 years to then move permanently to the Island.
Her mother being an artist herself, Juliette always had someone to look up to, and has been living in her own fantasy world ever since.
As a mixed media artist, She will touch any medium that presents itself to her, but has a deeper connection with acrylics, inks and charcoal.
She enjoys both techniques and meanings that realistic and abstract art can showcase, and therefore has decided to never have to pick sides, making the most out of both.
Spencer is an interdisciplinary artist and author that calls Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast home. His journey with art began 2005, when he enrolled in the Enriched Arts and Academics Program at Canterbury High School, in Ottawa. Since then, he’s studied art at North Island College and Vancouver Island University, authored multiple publications and is currently represented by The Bloodroot Gallery in Nanaimo. Spencer’s work explores the intricacies of the human experience with an approach rooted in honoring creative process, materiality, social and environmental justice, and the construction of narrative.
Maggie is a mixed media artist, and web/ graphic designer. Originally from Alberta, she felt the call of Vancouver Island more than 10 years ago and made the move to this paradise. She has been transformed and inspired by the easy lifestyle and natural charm of her island home. Her art is a reflection of the beauty that surrounds her and the deep sense of gratitude she feels for the experience of creative expression. Her subject matter is diverse as is her process exploration with new mediums. She is happiest using bright colours and lots of layers. As with all things in life – there is no guarantee of the outcome, “try to remain optimistically curious and enjoy the process!” Maggie is passionate about learning new techniques and color theory application and sharing this information. Her classes at ArtWrx Studio will resume following the pandemic when it is safe to gather once again.