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Stories of Inclusion

The Ladysmith Gallery features a new art exhibition for the month of November called 'Inclusion'. With over 50 works of art from 2D to 3D, local artists brought forward their ideas, stories and perspectives on this important theme. View 'Inclusion' in our online gallery until the end of November here:

Inclusion: providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.

Louisa: Journey to Inclusion by Maggie Wouterloot

"I first met Louisa several years ago when we collaborated on an art exhibition presented at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo called Journey to Inclusion. It was an initiative of the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society which paired artists in the community with individuals experiencing barriers to inclusion in mainstream society. Louisa and I felt an instant connection and very much enjoyed sharing our ideas on how to portray what it was like to be a First Nations person growing up in the 1960s with hearing difficulties. She was a very treasured teacher to me. The work in this exhibition is an updated version of an earlier piece."

"In the center I positioned her face, and cast it in clear resin because she has such a strong inner light and I wanted that to shine through. The poppy seed pods that surround her face symbolize new growth and learning. Each pod has an inscription; the largest ones have nouns referring to groups or community. The medium-sized pods contain verbs about interaction such as ‘embrace’, ‘ask’ or ‘initiate’. Finally, the smallest seed pods carry adjectival messages such as 'similar’, ‘superb’, and ‘generous’. All these are meant to serve as messages about how important it is to remain open to others as members of our community. The copper edging around the piece is meant to act as a conductor of new ideas and viewpoints."


'Women's Rights are Human Rights' (L), 'The Climate is Changing' (R)

Artist Danaca Ackerson on paying homage to those participating in the movement for environmental and social justice

Women’s Rights are Human Rights was inspired by the 2017 Women’s March in Vancouver. Respect for everyone’s human rights and our right to live in absence of fear, regardless of our gender or our beliefs, is more than ever, at the forefront of our struggles.

The Climate is Changing indicates that climate change affects us all no matter our age,

gender, health, where we live or our religion.

"As a visual artist, I am committed to active community engagement as well as contemporary art issues and practice. The focus of my artwork is to share my experiences through a poetics of visuals by creating pieces which speak to the topic of caring for the places where we live and for one another.

Inspired by my participation in peaceful protest marches, I created the To The Streets series of paintings.

Captivated by the creative signs and placard messages I see at protests, I am intrigued by how one captures a perspective with a few words on a sign. Many believe that people protesting in the streets influence change, the placards articulate the message. Such events rarely get attention in mainstream corporate media so I wanted to recognize the sign makers, the creators of placards, the peaceful protesters, the demonstrators and the grassroots movements working for a more fair and just world."


Ariana Zimmermann is an emerging self-taught artist with work recently featured at the Shambhala Art Gallery and Sooke Fine Arts Show. Her work revolves around wildlife, usually featuring animal portraiture where she seeks to explore the archetypal, symbolic powers of nature and how humans relate to these energies.

'My intention with the piece 'Recognition" is to capture the concept that there is unity within all living things; some type of magic within ourselves that also resides in others. The Sankrit word "namaste" comes to mind, which can be translated as "the Divine within me bows to the same Divine within you". I believe it is possible for us all to learn to recognize the sacred within ourselves and our surroundings, and that this is crucial for true personal, social, and environmental change.


"The Blue House Next Door" by Lina Louise Lashambe

"When someone looks at "The Blue House Next Door" for example, they may not realize that there are 215 hand cut shingles on the roof. It took 5 hours to cut 300-1/2" tiles from an actual roof shingle. Along with 4 hours to glue each and every tile to create the roof. Nor perhaps that the Blue House is built out of clay fired in a kiln. In choosing the perfect color, a close friend shared many heart warming stories of growing up in a blue house in Ontario. So, I proceed to invent a blue acrylic wash to come up with the perfect shade of blue. This procedure took four days and many samples. Not having worked with wood, I spent many days learning how to work with a new medium. When I understood how to build a door I liked, I attached it to the house along with all the window frames. I then searched hours through my bead collection to select the correct bead for the door handle. The Blue House still looked incomplete. I designed two flower pots using air dry clay painting them with burnt sienna acrylic paint. I found the perfect trees at a dollar store. I secured them with glue to fit inside the pots. The "The Blue House Next Door" was now complete."


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