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A Whistler Visitor’s Guide to Bringing Home a Piece of Art

There is so much to think about when gift giving or when purchasing souvenirs for yourself. Is the gift going to be used? Will it end up in the landfill? Will I like this next year – let alone six months from now? In the quest for sustainability, nothing beats a piece of art – either visual art of an original or a high-quality print, or a useful ceramic or wooden bowl, or weaving or baskets that combine practicality with beauty.

Whistler Art Gallery

More Than Sports

Whistler may be first known as a sports mecca but there is still a buzzing arts scene both in Whistler itself, and its surrounding communities. The community organisation that supports Whistler’s artists, Arts Whistler, is strong and growing.

A Unique Landscape for Art

When bringing home a piece, many visitors are thinking about art that reflects the physical landscape that Whistler embodies: towering mountains, tall cedar trees, and local wildlife. And Whistler’s artists do not disappoint, as it is impossible to not focus on Whistler’s incredible environment if you live here.

Artists’ Work Reflects Whistler

Vanessa Stark is a local artist who is thriving with her art and sells her work online. Visitors love Stark’s work because when they see it they immediately think of Whistler.

Chili Thom was a beloved Whistler artist who, tragically, sadly passed away recently from cancer. He was, and is, renowned for his distinctive style of brushwork and had his own “Chili-esque” way of painting Whistler’s amazing cedar and fir trees in a way that delights and inspires.

Whistler native Art Sculpture

First Nations Art

Other opportunities for buying local art abound at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Buying a piece of art from artists belonging to the Squamish or Lil’wat First Nations is a fitting way to both enjoy a piece of Whistler in your home, but also to acknowledge the people who known the land best, its vast variety of wildlife, and its unique trees, plants and flowers. The Coast and Interior Salish people, of which the Squamish and Lil’wat Nation belong, are particularly well known for their cedar baskets, which combine practicality with artistry and beauty.

Art Combines Beauty and Practicality

An artist who has continued the tradition of First Nations weaving and has incorporated new materials to create beautiful and useable art is Cheryl Massey, a long-time Whistler resident who has helped establish the Whistler arts community. Her husband Vincent Massey is also well known for his magnificent pottery, which adorns the homes of many Whistler residents. Operating out of a home studio, the Massey’s often open the studio up to the public for browsing and purchasing artwork.

Artists Abound at the Farmers’ Market

The Farmer’s Market is an opportunity to peruse the work of Whistler artists. The work on display changes considerably from year to year and can include original visual art, prints, cards, pottery and wooden bowls. A visit to the Farmer’s Market for a beautiful and practical piece of art is a must.

Photo Credit: Mike Crane