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Artist in bloom: Anouk Jonker

Anouk Jonker relaxes by an easel in the studio portion on the artist
Anouk Jonker relaxes by an easel in the studio portion on the artist's loft at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs. Her exhibition, titled Trees and Bramble, opens June 1 with an artist's reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
— image credit: Jessica Peters/ Observer

Anouk Jonker has been busy over the winter, creating images on both canvas and glass in the quaint artists' workspace above the gallery of the Ranger Station Art Gallery.

She's one in a long line of resident artists who have taken part in the program offered through the Kent Harrison Arts Council, and her exhibition opens this Sunday, June 1.

The collection she'll show is a bit of departure from her work as a portrait artist, she said, and features works inspired by the people and scenery in Harrison Hot Springs. Titled Trees and Bramble, it will be on display at the Ranger Station until June 30.

"It looks very domestic and very countryside, because of the Ranger Station space," she said. "For the show coming up, I've been traveling around Agassiz and Harrison looking for objects to paint on. I really wanted to reflect the people and the location."

One of the images is painted on an old window frame, each panel containing a different image, or almost none at all.

Jonker's ability to pick up on her surroundings and infuse it into her art could come from a life that's been full of travel.

The 24 year old was born in the Netherlands and is a graduate of the California College of the Arts. She's been living in the lower mainland for many years, but also spent four months living in an artists' studio in Paris, France — the 59 Rivoli.

"Five days a week, the building is open to the public, and the flow of visitors keeps the creative environment alive. From dancers to painters to musicians, my fellow artists at 59 Rivoli made the residency memorable," Jonker wrote on her blog.

She's found a different, but still supportive and lively arts scene here in Harrison. While she spends much of her time in the studio, she also teachers at the Hope Art Machine, and has held a class with the Agassiz Monday Painters. Art lovers may have met her or seen her work at the Harrison Art Show over the long weekend, too.

She's looking forward to seeing the art scene heat up over the summer, particularly with the Harrison Festival of the Arts.

"It's been so quiet in the winter, it feels like all of Harrison is my backyard," she said. "The residency here is from August to August, and I've been here this whole rainy season and I'm looking forward to the summer."

news@ahobserver.com

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