WAM's first virtual exhibition was selected in a small owner-operated establishment called Blues Java Bar run by Leah Mailloux who emigrated from Kenya. Her small establishment is infused with her Kenyan roots, offering vibrant colours and delightful patterns in a comfortable welcoming decor. Leah is inviting, resourceful and always willing to share stories.

The works selected for this exhibition share remarkable similarities to this bar and its owner. They speak of location and the pleasure and comfort each artist found with imagery they defined as culturally important. Be it a swan, a chair, a flower or some stones, each image gives us a glimpse of who these artists are—just as the carefully selected bibelots, trinkets and artworks of the Blues Java Bar tell us about this Kenyan woman. Blues Java Selection represents artists who we felt valued their environment and the people, animals or objects which inhabit them, and who valued telling a story from a unique and personal point of view.

We were amazed at the diversity of styles and the broad use of materials within this group and their artistic statements conveyed their intents in a meaningful way. We have however limited the texts for this virtual exhibition to colourful interpretive words that resonated with the works we selected. It is with pleasure that we acknowledge the accomplishment of these women artists.

Danielle LaBrie and Glenys Switzer, curators

Nataliya Bukhanova

Before Name(not without name or untitled, something that does not understand itself but will soon)
paper, watercolour, 22" x 17", 2006

There are words to an old song, “You will see the soul of the crystal reflected in the edges of mirrors, and you will see the soul of world reflected in the edges of dreams.” In my artworks, I try to go behind the usual understanding of things and events.


Deborah Catton

Root Chakra Surrender, manipulated ink paper, 25.3 cm x 16.6 cm, 2011

"The process of using my hands to draw is key for me. It allows the images to literally flow out of me." Aspen Gainer, Other Voices, Spring/Summer 2011


Doris Charest

Into Hope, mixed media, 8" x 10", 2011

I want to recreate the essence of the object and transpose that quality into an abstract or semi-abstract work.


Ingrid Christensen

Pink Pail, oil on canvas, 48" x 36"

In the Orchard, oil on canvas, 30" x 40"

Distinctive, impressionistic and vibrant, conveying a sense of warmth, freedom, and well being that comes from being out in nature on a summer's day.


Genevieve Clarke

Anger, acrylic on recycled denim, 8" diameter, 2011

My work depicts the underlying causes of violence and anger; in order to stop the pain we must first reveal the cause.


Veronica Funk

Leap, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"

This body of work features simplified form and strong organic lines combined with warm, vibrant colour.

Possibility, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"

The depiction of a place to sit and read also references the slow movement, voluntary simplicity, which alludes to a search for connection.


Sari Grove

Swanee, 75lbs, 5' x 30" x 30" ferrocement sculpture, 2011

This winter I wove giant nests out of Sisal rope to try to make a nicer place for the swans to sit on instead of sitting on the ice.


Yuriko Kitamura

Memory, mix media on rice paper, 36" x 24"

Life is like a river
Tiny stream flows towards the ocean
Merging, crashing and changing as it moves along,
Then, it evaporates becomes rain
Nurturing all matter.
Process of creative painting is
Like a journey through a river.


Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

View on Northern Mountain, acrylic, 30" x 24", 2010

I like to use brushwork, colour, harmony and texture to express the infinite variety found in nature.

Gabriola Patterns, acrylic, 30" x 40", 2010

I paint scenes many will recognize as landmarks, painting also the hidden beauty of remote, hardly accessible locations.


Maria Muszynski

Elemental Earth, mixed media, 54 cm x 54 cm, 2008

I have been exploring the relationship between planned elements and utterly random accidents.

Strata, mixed media, 50 cm x 54 cm, 2009

This piece is about creating mystery from the mundane, striving for drama so that multiple meanings and interpretations are possible and encouraged.


Jean Pilch

Bedraggled (Self-Portrait), acrylic on canvas, 6" x 6", 2011

My objective is to combine technical precision with strong design elements to present an edited but convincing realism.

Summer splendor, Healy Pass, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 28", 2011

The Alberta landscape is a constant source of inspiration.


Eileen Raucher-Sutton

From an Eagle's Eye—Wilmore Wilderness, AB, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”, 2008
Helicopter Bowl—Wilmore Wilderness, AB, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 36”, 2008

The Earth Rocks : What a beautiful, marvellous place the earth can be.
The Earth Rocks : Mountains, Canyons, Shells, rocks of the earth.
The Earth Rocks : We think the earth is solid, we build a nuclear power plant on a fault line, and
then the earth rocks.


Audra Schoblocher

Recycled: Bag Lady Series, smoked garment, grocery bags, 36"H x 20"W x 4"D, 2010

The premise of my work has been to look at how history has influenced the present. I have travelled archaeological and anthropological research paths focused in the domestication field.


Kamal Toor

Peace, acrylic on canvas, 70 cm x 90 cm, 2008

I see rhythm and movement in life.
Everything changes from moment to moment.
One gets flickers of reality and, then, it’s gone.


Pam Weber

Fancy That, acrylic on paper, 16" x 20"

The narrative of imagery attracts me.

You Are Here, acrylic on paper, 16" x 20"

Acrylic paint indulges my love of colour and my desire to form images that create a sense of well-being.


Robbie Zopf

Waiting, acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24", 2003

There is no premeditation to my work. I fell that I am drawing from within my deepest regions, the self waiting to be revealed.

Abandoned, painted charcoal on paper board, 5' x 3' 1998

I am rather timid about revealing my work...I am most raw and vulnerable in my creations.


Blues Java Bar

Specializing in gourmet coffee, fine desserts and light home-
style lunches.
Catering for small to large groups.
Owner/operator: Leah Mailloux