Foyer Gallery

2015 Foyer Gallery & Squamish Logo Combined

February 7th – March 6th, 2017

Walls: Sarah Symes, ‘Sea to Sky Landscapes’, abstract fabric paintings

Cases: Cathryn Atkinson & Julie Wasson, ‘Saints and Samplers’, mosaics and textile collage

Opening Reception: February 7th, 6-8pm


By Toby Jaxon

Foyer Gallery Curator


Inspired by the elemental beauty of the Sea to Sky region, Sarah Symes explores the interplay and connection between land, sea and sky in a range of abstract fabric paintings. Rather than working from photos or sketches, Symes says, “I work from memory, opening myself up to the inextricable link between the subject and my inner emotional landscape.”

Continuously trying to invent new techniques and develop new ideas, Symes has been working as a professional artist for 10 years and aspires to recreate her internal experiences of places and people outwardly through her artwork.

Here are some of her sketchbook notes recording her observations of the landscape: “A dramatic cloudburst above Mount Garibaldi pulls the stormy sky into focus… The jagged rock faces of The Chief catch the evening sunlight, fracturing the line between rock and sky… A dense fog hovers above Howe Sound, obscuring the islands, leaving nothing between sea and sky… The alpine meadows of Sky Pilot are ablaze with wildflowers, leading to cool turquoise lakes high in the skyline.”

Aqua, chalky greys and a tonal medley of soft blues merge in this series, heavily influenced by the colours of Howe Sound. For the composition, each stretcher includes two pieces of background fabric, specifically placed to section the picture plane horizontally. To create the ‘sky texture’, Symes dyed fabric by soaking it in paint and then unconventionally left it outside to let the rain do its magic. Her intuitive process continued allowing random dye marks to inspire the landscape. Finally, with silhouettes in mind to suggest recognizable landforms, she layered smaller triangular pieces of cut fabric appliquéd to the background resulting in spectacular panoramas of speculative geometry.

With a suggested donation to the library, Symes will generously be giving away signed prints of her S2S Landscape No. 12 to the first 50 guests to attend the reception.


Sibling artists Cathryn Atkinson and Julie Wasson reunite for a sisterly-love display in the cases titled Saints and Samplers’. Here there is no rivalry but there are a lot of contrasts. Atkinson presents her mosaics juxtaposed Wasson’s textile collage. One piece, a diptych called ‘Two Flowers’ was created by the duo. Wasson used various types of recovered material from the 1950s on hers and Atkinson corresponded with a classical inspired mosaic blossom.

Wasson graduated from the MFA program at the University of Manitoba School of Art, and has been an exhibiting textile artist in Winnipeg since 1993. She says, “As a graphic designer, I am able to incorporate my design skills and experience in my approach to art making. I draw inspiration from traditional stitched objects, contemporary embroidery and fibre work from the U.K., African textiles and beaded pieces.”

In this series Atkinson included fossils for the first time combining them with gold-leaf tiles and smalti (Italian mosaic glass sourced in Venice) historically used in old European church ceilings. She recalls, “In 1998, I was sent to do a story on Roman mosaics in Britain, where I was living at the time. I drove all over the country and visited many sites and museums. I became hooked on the art form and started checking mosaics out in churches and in other parts of European.” Soon after Atkinson started taking mosaic classes in London and then decided to go a little further, literally…Atkinson signed up for an extended program in the Byzantine method of mosaics in Italy! Shortly after, she moved home to Canada and presented one of her pieces as part of a garden display by the City of Brampton that won the People’s Choice Award at the Canada Blooms garden show in Toronto.

“I have a lot of interest in conceptual art in many different mediums, I like ideas, I like the chance to make a comment, and I am following an ancient art form, so for me playing with this is interesting. I’m trying to pull the old form together with new ideas; tell a contemporary story in marble and glass.” Atkinson points out that the active process of creating a mosaic is very slow taking several months to finish a piece. She admits that you have to be patient, “The main work, the Saint of Blackcomb, took two months. There was a lot of unpicking, if I didn’t like the pattern or the colours. It may be a black bear, but around 10 colours went into her body, not just black. I placed pieces and colours carefully, but made changes when I wasn’t satisfied.”

Currently the arts editor at the Pique in Whistler, Atkinson is a writer and journalist. Contact her at


Meet the artists at their opening reception on February 7th from 6 to 8pm at the library.


Get your sweetie ‘Valentine Art’ at the Foyer! The Foyer Gallery is located in the entrance to the Squamish Public Library. Purchases can be made through the staff.


Mon Tue Wed Thu 11am–8pm

Fri 10am–5pm

Sat Sun 10am–4pm

Upcoming Foyer Gallery Shows

Feb 7 – March 6
Opening Reception: February 7th, 6-8pm

Walls: Sarah Symes, ‘Sea to Sky Landscapes’, abstract fabric paintings

Cases: Cathryn Atkinson & Julie Wasson, ‘Saints and Samplers’, mosaics and stitched mixed media collage

March 7 – April 3
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 14, 6-8pm
Walls & Cases: International Women’s Art Show, ‘Transformation’, group mixed media
April 4 – May 1
Gala Evening May 1st , 6-8pm

Walls: Kristy Hansen, ‘Scandinavia Wolf Designs’, 1 display case

Cases & North Walls: Foyer Fundraiser Exhibit, Gala Evening May 1st , 6-8pm

May 2 – May 29 Walls: Andrea Mueller, acrylic paintings
 May 30 – June 26

Walls: Dawna Werbeski, Hike It Up, acrylic paintings

Cases: Caroline Deschenes, ‘Centeurs’, sculptures

June 27 – July 10 Special 150 Canada Day Art Show, ‘Red Leaf; White Read’, Open Group Show mixed media
July 11 – Aug 7 Walls: Lila Gaudry, textile art and acrylic paintings
August 8 – September 4 Walls & Cases: Oriana Rollo, ‘Bloom’, acrylic paintings & jewelry
September 5 – October 2 Walls: Bob Brant, photography on metal
October 3 – October 30

Walls: Sean Clayton,  confirmed

Cases: Tamsin Miller, knitting & weavings

October 31 – November 27:

Walls: Mo & Tony Rainbow, Families in the Park’, oil/acrylics & photography

Cases: Sea to Sky Potters Guild, ‘Raku’, clay

November 28 – January 1
Artisan Holiday Celebration
Artisan Displays, Live Music, Art Demos, baking!
Friday December 1st, 1 – 5pm

Saturday December 2nd, 10am to 4pm
Sunday December 3rd, 10am to 3:30pm

Walls: Maureen Brown, oil paintings

Cases: Group Show Artisan Shop, mixed media

Call for Artists

The Foyer Gallery at the Squamish Public Library is a contemporary space dedicated to the exhibition of excellent artwork. It is located in the entrance to the Squamish Public Library. Purchases can be made through the staff. The gallery supports large wall works as well as smaller works suitable for display in three elegant glass display cases. Submissions from artists in all disciplines are invited or future juried exhibitions in the Foyer Gallery at the Squamish Public Library. We are booking now for the 2017/2018 season.

Application form for displaying your artwork are available at the Squamish Public Library or download the form here.

Support the Foyer Gallery in another fun way – become a Foyer Gallery Sponsor. Your sponsorship goes to continuing the operations, maintenance and promotions of the Foyer Gallery, a non-profit space. Find our more here.

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Questions? Contact the Curator:

Toby Jaxon
Jaxon design studio
Box 1265
Garibaldi Highlands BC
V0N 1T0
P 604.898.1895
C 604.815.3629