Located on McLean at Powell above Andina Brewing, Portside Studios is a light-filled studio founded in 2009. At Portside, you will find oil, acrylic, and watercolour paintings by both established and emerging artists in a wide range of styles from abstraction to realism. Portside Studios not only provides affordable spaces but has also become a blossoming community for artists.
Not Wheelchair Accessible
Keenly interested in art throughout her youth, Fran Alexander went on to study the visual arts at the University of British Columbia. A shortage of jobs in the Vancouver area propelled Fran northward, where she would dedicate the next three years to teaching Inuit children in the town of Inuvik, Northwest Territories. This experience would foster a profound respect for the native culture and the Canadian wilderness. Fran left the tranquil isolation of the Arctic for the bustling metropolis of Toronto and eventually, Alexander crossed the Atlantic in 1997 for the great artistic traditions of Europe. However, the rugged beauty of her beloved Canada beckoned, and she returned to her native land to fully realize her calling as an artist. Relocating in Vancouver, Fran dedicated herself to explorations into genres as varied as hyper-realism and abstract expressionism. Alexander’s painting began to solidify into a unique artistic vision: one that explored her love of country, love of nature, and love of expressive mark making and imagery. Her abstract and representational paintings are now included in private collections across the globe.
I am an artist working in drawing and painting media, with a current focus on landscape painting. After completing an undergraduate studio art degree, I maintained an art practice before and after moving to Canada in 1976. My interest in artistic development led to further study and work in the field of psychology. Upon relocating to British Columbia, the compelling beauty of this place led to a renewal of my art practice and an evolving view of landscapes (both real and represented) as permeated with the potential for individual and shared experiences and meaning. My paintings are united by this view and my belief in that potential. Landscape painting offers a view to the external world of perceptions, as well as a pathway to the internal world of cognitions, emotions, memory and imagination. Due to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic years, this internal world includes opportunities to connect backwards in memory for places and people and to connect forwards in imagination and hope for positive changes. One recent focus has been the potential of waterscapes to evoke connections to individual memories and to encourage both appreciation of the natural world, and reflection on the human impact on that world. I have completed Certificates in Drawing and Painting at ECUAD in Vancouver and have exhibited my work in open studio venues and both solo and group exhibitions. I acknowledge with gratitude that I live and create on the unceded, traditional lands of the Coast Salish people.
Ellen Bang is a visual artist who primarily works in abstract paintings in acrylic on canvas. She has also created 3D work in different mediums. Before coming to Canada, she studied art in Denmark and in The Philippines. She has a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute (now University) of Art and Design. Her works has been shown in exhibitions in Vancouver (BC), San Diego (USA) and Manila (PH)
Rosemary Burd is a mixed media and fibre artist who works with repurposed fabrics, found objects, beautiful threads, and her own shaky iPhone photographs in her stitched artworks. Rosemary has always been a maker, and in the last few years she has discovered her medium for making art: stitching. She is self taught as an embroiderer and a photographer. Two of Rosemary’s embroidered photographs are currently on display at the Firehall Arts Centre as a part of NEXT, the Crawl's preview show. Her work has also been exhibited at Fibreworks Gallery, Madeira Park (Interplay, October, 2022), Propeller Gallery, Toronto (‘all of a sudden’, June, 2022; Altered Photographs at Hand, summer, 2021), Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery (Current Threads, June, 2022) and the 2022 1nd 2021 Culture Crawl. Her textile piece, ‘where can we find light in this never-ending shade?’, was published in the Surface Design Association’s Exhibitions in Print, (Fall, 2021), and exhibited at the Culture Crawl’s preview exhibit at the Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver (November, 2021).
Dave Denson has been a working artist in Vancouver since 2010. His work in both Oil and Soft Pastel explores both urban and traditional landscapes from home and abroad. Dave's paintings in either medium favour a bold palette with intense colour and strong contrast, and an invitation to explore deeper within each painting. Dave is a member of the 901 Artists Cooperative at Portside Studios where his studio is located. He is a member of Pastel Artists of Canada where he has achieved Master Pastelist Status (MPAC) within the organization. He is also an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Andrea Des Mazes is primarily an abstract painter. Her Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of Alberta, included studies in art/art history. Andrea received her Bachelor Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design (ECCAD) in collaboration with the Open University, Richmond, BC. At ECCAD, Andrea received a BC Arts Council Grant. Later, she attended the symposium: Painting/Photography in American Art: Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Andrea's exhibitions include a juried two-person exhibition, Britannia Art Gallery, Vancouver, and various juried group exhibitions in Vancouver; Delta; Victoria, BC; Port Townsend, Washington.
Dorothy Doherty is a painter, ceramic artist, and mixed media artist. She received her art education from Vancouver School of Art (currently Emily Carr University of Art & Design) and Capilano University. She holds an MA in History in Art (University of Victoria) and a PDP (Simon Fraser University). She is a life-long resident of British Columbia, Canada, spending the majority of her life in and around Vancouver, BC. . Statement: I see the world as one enormous source of ideas and inspiration. I am interested in how the world works, how humans interact, how our wilderness is shrinking with the growth of cities, and the resulting fallout of these conditions. I feel at ease with most media, and continue to explore new ways to develop artistic form. I paint, draw, sculpt, and make prints and ceramics. It is important for me to honour the materials I work with, reveal my process, and create artwork that stimulates the imagination and moves the soul.
An exploration of a variety of painting mediums and subjects is what I enjoy about working as an artist. Most recently, this included a series of abstracted impressionist paintings in acrylic on paper. These were shown in a shared art exhibit at Britannia Art Gallery in January 2020 and also in the Gallery of Hycroft from July 2020 - March 2021. Over the years I have had several solo shows as well as participating in annual group shows with the Hycroft Painters , the Vancouver Sketch Club and three salon shows at the Ferry Building Gallery. My studio is at Portside Studios, 150 McLean Drive. I have participated in the Eastside Culture Crawl for a number of years. It is a pleasure to talk with the visitors to the Crawl. I have a BA in Fine Arts.
Eri Ishii is a Vancouver artist working mostly in oil painting. Covered with layers of delicately applied paint, her work emanates a dreamy and atmospheric quality, filled with visual depth and a sense of mystery. Her work stems from her love of oil paint, as its buttery texture and depth of colours provide an ideal medium to explore the visual language of painting. Eri is uncompromising when it comes to her art, and typically spends months on each painting. Eri has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally including Halde Galerie in Switzerland, Taiwan National Art Education Museum in Taiwan and Canvas Gallery in Toronto. She has recently been interviewed by CBC North by Northwest, and her work has been featured in various publications including the Vancouver Sun, the Globe & Mail, and the Province. Eri's two person exhibition with Jane Wolsak opens on December 3 at Ian Tan Gallery in Vancouver.
During this time of Covid I have been walking more, taking time to notice neglected back corners. I usually work from life, but recently have been using my photographs as reference for very detailed drawings of these edgelands; blackberries, buttercups, tangles of weeds. I studied painting at St. Martins School of Art in London England, and have worked in various fields of the arts, teaching, illustrating, and working for the media in courtroom drawing. I have been exhibiting my work for many years, my next show being as a guest artist at Ian Tan Gallery in December.
Sonia Mocnik is a watercolorist exploring light, colour and nature in her continuing series into foliage and trees. The series was born out of trying to understand the mixing of the colour green and achieving neutrals to create more depth. Through this series she has practices watercolour techniques to provide more teaching material and to continue to find more inspiration in her own work. The Arbutus Tree inspiration came from a request of one of her students. Having found past photos of many trees in settings new Horseshoe Bay and the Sunshine Coast, recent climate changes have identified that this type of tree is suffering many of the same effects we are. Her shared studio space at Portside Studio also provides the right environment to continue her painting explorations in the medium of watercolour Sonia's background includes studies with the Federation of Canadian Artists Foundations Program, and other art workshops in Canada and in Mexico. Plein Air and urban sketching are some of her favorite activities. She has won awards at the Harmony Arts Festival, Gibsons’ Plein Air, Semiahmoo Art Center Paint the Town, as well as Paint Out Ajijic in Mexico. She is an Active Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and her art has been selected for the North Vancouver Arts rental program. She instructs watercolour classes in community centers, online via Zoom, You Tube and on request including online with the community programs of Opus Art Supplies. Sonia’s work can be found in private collections throughout Canada and internationally. Her work is available online through Society 6 and Fine Art America and locally at the Federation Gallery and the Art Shop at the Silk Purse in Ambleside. She writes a regular blog on her website and is active on many social media feeds including Instagram and Facebook.
Sharon Petty is a photo-based artist living in Vancouver's historic Strathcona neighbourhood. She has been fascinated by photography since she was a child playing with her father's cameras. Her work varies from vibrant high contrast layered images to serene black and white photography. She is interested in the transient nature of the urban landscape and the small details that often go by unnoticed to passers-by.
Beatrix Schalk is a mixed media abstract artist, using handmade collage papers, found elements and a variety of traditional and non-traditional art materials. Through non-objective paintings, I explore the constant push/pull of working intuitively and at the same time create a composition that resonates. New and unforeseen narratives are created by combining and editing seemingly disparate elements, each with their own unique characteristics and inherent stories.
Nature’s ability to heal and regenerate is a prevalent theme in my painting practice. Many of the landscapes I paint are unraveling and in various states of agitation. I often return to specific places year after year to observe how the landscape has evolved and responded to change. The deep tangles of undergrowth as well as the abstract notion of physicality, such as the musculature of exposed roots or the skeletal arrangement of rocks under a skin of snow, intimate to me some of the darker history of the forest. Rather than viewing the landscape from a distance, I prefer to paint from a different point of view, where the horizon line disappears and I feel as though I am part of the landscape. Likewise, I want to the viewer feel immersed in the landscape, and to peer into its unknown depths.
Jeff Wilson grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland & trained as a structural geologist. He worked in mineral exploration around the world, settling in Vancouver in 2004, and took art classes at Emily Carr University, kick-starting a hobby that transitioned to a full-time art practice in 2013. Jeff’s painting collections have exhibited widely in public galleries in BC, Alberta and WA State. Highlights include the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Port Moody Arts Centre, The Langham, Okotoks Art Gallery, Smithers Art Gallery, Gibsons Public Art Gallery, ACT Gallery, Bellingham City Hall and the University of Washington Law School. Jeff has received a number of awards, including Finalist in the inaugural Saltspring National Art Prize, appeared in the recent “Landscape Artist of the Year Canada” TV show, and received two Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants from the Vancouver Foundation. Jeff has completed residencies at the Booth in Shetland, Parks Canada’s Art in the Park, the Wallace Stegner House in Saskatchewan and the Cassiar Cannery on BC's north coast. His work is held in numerous private, public and corporate collections, including Alexco Resource Corp., BC Children's Hospital, Firehall Arts Centre, Le Dressay and Company, Lion’s Gate Foundation, MOI Solicitors, Salmon Arm Art Gallery, SimplexGrinnell, Smithers Art Gallery, Town of Okotoks, Union Gospel Mission, Vancity Credit Union, VGH Foundation and Victoria Gold Corp. Commercial representation includes Gray Sky Gallery (Seattle, WA), Hambleton Galleries (Kelowna, BC), KUBE Gallery (Fort Langley, BC), Lipont Gallery (Richmond, BC) and Van Dop Gallery (New Westminster, BC) Jeff Wilson is based out of Portside Studios in Vancouver.