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Yesterday’s Toys Become Today’s Art!

Liza Bennett, Lynn Webster and Vintage Toys, at the Foyer Gallery

Keith Broad
(as published in the Squamish Chief December 16, 2005)

Grandpa told us how, as a kid, he had to walk five miles to school and back – in blinding snow-storms – uphill – both ways! Now you can bring your kids to the Squamish Public Library, FOYER GALLERY, and show them the kinds of toys Santa brought Grandpa and Grandma when they were kids. Playthings and Pastimes: Antique and Vintage Toys, are on loan from private collections and perfectly suited for you and your kids to enjoy this holiday season. These charming, and once cherished playthings from the past, (often showing signs of being loved to tatters), are now cherished by private collectors and museums for their historical significance and their beautiful, sculptural art-forms. Pieces on display include a child’s manual sewing machine circa 1800’s, handmade Japanese Gofun dolls (gofun is a heavy opaque finish made of ground sea shells), wooden Kokeshi dolls (shaped with a cylindrical body and round head), a “Charm String” made from the prettiest buttons a child could find, and a French Bisque doll (head made from unglazed, tinted porcelain), with exquisite miniature accessories such as an authentic tintype photo album and ivory styling combs. Bring your child, and the child in you, for a walk down Vintage Toys Lane.

“My studio is tucked into the corner of a forest. My kiln is forty years old and it’s forever blowing fuses,” says Liza Bennett whose beautiful ceramic pieces are on display at the Foyer Gallery. Liza has been a part of Squamish’s art scene since 1997 and in recent years has been involved with Squamish’s Art Walk and Wild at Art celebrations. “Most of my pieces are slab work rather than wheel-thrown, which are typically round pieces. I mostly produce functional ware that is oven and freezer proof.” Her decorative raku pieces are typically not larger than fourteen inches square due to the size of her old kiln, but lately she has been inspired to produce larger pieces in mixed media by integrating such things as Dogwood sticks and wire with the clay.

Lynn Webster’s love for the Okanagan outdoors, awash with bright light and vivid colours, inspires her paintings. Lynn works with oil and acrylic paints, using a predominantly impressionistic approach in her search for harmony in both form and image. “I enjoy painting landscapes, the character of buildings, the universalism of people and children (the doctrine or belief that all people will be saved, or made happy, in the future state), and still life.” Lynn is an active member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and the West Vancouver Sketch Club. She has exhibited in shows at the Canadian Federation of Artists Gallery, the Ferry Building Gallery, the Seymour Gallery, the West Vancouver Library, and West Vancouver Sketch Club Shows.

Now displayed at the Squamish Public Library, Foyer Gallery until January 10, 2006

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