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As part of the Destination Silver Star development in action, recently five local artists were commissioned to design and paint five wooden benches for use and display around Silver Star village. Working with the local Men’s Shed, a group where men learn or teach new skills while making new friends, and funded by the Province of B.C,  these new benches are bringing smiles to the faces of all who see them around the village. Check out this video to hear directly from the artists and learn more about the inspiration behind their amazing artwork.

Lorna M. Wood

Bench located at Vance Creek Hotel lobby

When Lorna Wood was first approached about painting a bench as part of a public art project at Silver Star Mountain, she says she felt honoured and excited—so much so she lay awake at night thinking about her concept.

“I wanted to bring the mountains, the wildflowers, mountain biking and the bears into one story,” says Lorna.

“It was important that the viewer be brought into the painting, so I created bike tire tracks on the seat entering the Beowulf bike trail, which was painted on the back rest. I also wanted to make the bench somewhat interactive which would allow smaller children to sit on the bench and have their photos taken with the bear. I also wanted to illuminate the field after entering Beowulf, so you’ll find there’s a slight glow to this area of cooler, brighter colours.

Everything about Lorna’s childhood trained her for the life of an artist and nature enthusiast.

Lorna grew up in Vernon and she started skiing at Silver Star in 1967.

“I have a deep connection to the Star, with lots of great memories,” says Lorna, who now lives at Silver Star Mountain. “I love how I can literally step out of my door and be encompassed with trees and wildlife and outdoor activities all year round.”

Lorna also came from a family of artists, and began drawing, painting and sculpting as a young girl.

“Painting really grabbed my attention at about age four as I watched my sibling plein air paint and my grandfather draw and paint from live models. Those were the moment for me.”

Lorna went on to attend art school, owned several businesses that encompassed art and design (including cake design), and continued painting. Her process involves building up several layers of glazes.

“I’m really attracted to the science of light and how it hits and object. Illumination is important to me.”

Lorna hopes her bench will also shed light on “how fortunate we are to have such a magical area while recognizing the importance of nature’s gifts of wildlife, flora and fauna and the dire need to preserve it while we play amongst it.”

To learn more about Lorna and her art, visit:  lornamwood.com



Raffaella Vaz

Bench located at NASTC lobby entrance

As she considered the bench she would paint, almost instantly, an image came to mind for Raffaella Vaz:

“I was inspired by the view from the top of the view when you get off the Comet chair and look out and see those beautiful Monashee Mountains. I thought I could bring the mountains into the village.”

Raffaella grew up in the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy, before snowboarding her way around the world and finally arriving in the Okanagan Valley, where she now lives with her husband, Olympic snowboarder Crispin Lipscomb, and their daughter, Billie.

Raffaella has a degree in animation and has been a full-time artist for the last decade. Her Vaz Art studio-gallery is one of the last buildings guests pass on Silver Star Road as they head into Silver Star Provincial Park.

“What I love most about Silver Star is, of course, the beautiful and magical scenery—but also, the terrain is so diverse for both winter and summer that I feel as though we have everything at our doorstep, fun and beautiful nature at her best.”

Raffaella’s renderings of the mountain—canvas paintings, murals, art cards and more—can be found in shops and chalets throughout the village, in Vernon and far beyond. Despite being diagnosed in 2019 with life-threatening lung and heart disease, Raffaella paints daily and gets help from her family in creating wood, canvas and natural art pieces.

“I love to paint landscape scenes from winter to summer, and I love painting trees and BC scenes.”

To learn more about Raffaella and her art, visit: www.vazartgallery.com



Kirk Farrell

Bench located at NATC external entrance adjacent to the little library

What Kirk Farrell loves most about the idea of the bench he painted is this: “I just want to make adults and little kids smile.”

Farrell has had a season’s pass at Silver Star since 2005. He raised his family on the mountain and got to be a member of ski patrol for several years. He’s also an avid artist.

Farell’s paintings have been commissioned by Whistler and he recently had a solo show at the Revelstoke Art Gallery.

Passionate about families enjoying the natural beauty of Silver Star and about public art, Kirk’s inspiration for his bench was simple:

“I thought the colourful bird houses and birds would be a light subject that would fit with our village and natural scenery.”

To learn more about Kirk and his art, visit www.kfarrell.ca



Ginny Hall

Bench located at Vance Creek Hotel entrance from the boardwalk

Ginny Hall loves ravens nearly as much as she loves the night sky at Silver Star. The bench she painted features the dark blues of midnight and a raven calling to the moon.

“I love ravens and there are so many at Silver Star. You can look up in the spring and see hundreds flying in the air,” says Hall, who once lived in a suite on “the knoll” at Silver Star where the ravens flocked to a nearby tree.

“Not everyone knows how magical it is up there at night, especially with the moon. The ravens, I decided for the painting, don’t often come out at night unless the moon is full and really bright. I wanted to give people a glimpse of Silver Star that they might not often see.”

Since landing in the Okanagan in 1978, Hall enjoyed many of those nights and days at Silver Star with her late husband, Pete Dowery, who once owned Olympia Cycle & Ski and was an avid outdoor enthusiast.

“I thought this scene was appropriate for him and the moon.”

Hall’s most interesting art form is ‘scrimshaw,’ which involves carving scenes into fossilized mammoth teeth. Her art is common at Silver Star. She painted what became the mural at the mailbox, she painted a winter scene mural in the lounge area of Pinnacles Suites Hotel and painted another for the museum as the ski hill was phasing out an old T-bar.

Hall—who was born in South Texas and lived around the world as a military family—still finds herself enchanted with Silver Star throughout the seasons. She is also the artist behind several children’s books, including The Ravens at Silver Star.

To learn more about Ginny and her art, visit: www.ginnyhall.ca



Lucee Holland

Bench located at NATC

Like many others, Lucee Holland came to Silver Star thinking it would be ‘for the winter.’

“I fell in love with the beauty of the place,” says Lucee, who hails from Australia and now works at the hill year-round as events manager.

Last summer, she noticed one of the benches still unpainted, and approached Destination Silver Star with some designs. Lucee says she wanted to capture some of the special ‘firsts’ in the warmer months.

It was my first summer in Canada and my first time seeing bears. There was a mother and her two cubs that were constantly appearing at different events and race courses throughout the whole summer,” says Lucee. “Spectators, course marshals or anyone that was around got to witness this amazing family that was usually laying out in the sun or climbing trees.

There was something else Lucee had to capture on her bench: the beautiful sunrises.

“Both the sunrises and the bears are highlights from that time period.”

Painting is a hobby-passion for Lucee, and this was the first time her work has been shared on this scale.

I love painting, drawing, sewing, crocheting, scrap booking. You name it I would probably be extremely keen to do it!

To see Lucee’s art, you’ll have to come to Silver Star to see her bench!

Discover the magic of Silver Star with amazing terrain and a cozy mountain village. Share your stories: #mysilverstar