Erika Grundmann and the Story of George Dibbern

Erika Grundmann and the Story of George Dibbern

In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to writer Erika Grundmann.  Erika and her husband came to Cortes Island 25 years ago because of a recommendation from a friend. Listen as Erika describes how she transitioned from medical research to writing, passing through a number of groundbreaking changes. Erika published her first book, Dark Sun, in 2004. It is the story of George Dibbern (1889-1962), a sailor, visionary and philosopher, who wrote the book Quest. Maureen Bader Erika came upon the story of George Dibbern by accident. Listen as she discusses her challenge finding the book Quest and her growing interest in Dibbern’s story. Erika received much help from many people including the descendants of writer Henry Miller. Erika talks about her correspondence with other people interested in the life of Dibbern and how she met George Dibbern’s daughter. Dibbern wrote his book Quest in BC in 1938. Erika describes how he came to BC, staying until 1939. Quest was published in 1941. Erika published an expanded reprint of Quest in 2008. You can order a copy from Erika at www.georgedibbern.com. Who is George Dibbern? Erika describes how he was a man ahead of his time, a free thinker and believer in brotherhood and tolerance. He wanted to create his own future and promote the ideas of tolerance and world citizenship — for which he paid the price of being interned in NZ in both World Wars.  Henry Miller wrote “…when George Dibbern says a thing he means it, he acts on it.”  Dibbern was not influenced by societal views. Erika talks about wanting to understand...
Hannah Petkau and Francesca Belcourt

Hannah Petkau and Francesca Belcourt

In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to artists Hannah Petkau and Francesca Belcourt.  Both Hannah and Francesca grew up on Cortes Island and come back every summer to connect with people here. Hannah and Francesca have a collaborative show on at the Schoolhouse Gallery between July 26 and August 4 called Pooling. This show is a collection of what lures them back to the Island and carries them forward. The work reflects the experiences that shape the trajectory of their work.   Maureen Bader Hannah has been an artist for a long as she can remember and Francesca joined in with Hannah once they got to know each other her on the Island as children. Both Hannah and Francesca talk about their background, including an artist residency in Spain. Hannah strives for balance in her artwork and this is reflected in her life. Both have worked in many media Francesca’s parents are artists so art was a big part of her childhood, and she has taken on a graphic sense and is interested in illustration. Listen as Francesca talks about how she was drawn to music. Francesca has been recording since she was nine and learned about music production in High School in Campbell River. Francesca has been self-producing music since then and continues today in her home in London, England. Hannah talks about how she developed her sculptures - by collecting items over the years - and how the arrangement references a garden in bloom, an ocean ecosystem and a collective of people gathered in celebration. Francesca designed the sound component of the...
Norberto de la Vega

Norberto de la Vega

In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to former Cortes Island artist Norberto de la Vega, one of the founding members of the Schoolhouse Gallery.  Norberto moved to Cortes Island in 1997 from Calgary, but came to Canada from Mexico in 1981. Maureen Bader Norberto started out studying art in the 1960’s in Mexico City with an art degree from Instituto Breviesca de Artes and the Universidad de las Americas. As Norberto’s art is not seen as commercial and he refused to change his subject matter, he had to start another career, in the computer industry, which allowed him to raise his family. Norberto continues to do the same type of art, with political themes. War is Peace The Schoolhouse Gallery had its first opening on June 14, 2019 with the show Wink by Laura Balducci. Iris Steigmann’s show Ice opens on June 28. As the Petals Drift, a group show including Gem Salsberg, Risa Salsberg and Glenna Foerster opens July 12. Hanna Petkau and Frencesca Belcourt’s show Pooling opens July 26. Annie Belcourt’s solo show Evanescent opens August 9 and the last show of the season, Ossa – Divine Structures, with Amy Robertson, Lisa Gibbons, Monika Beal and Donna Naven opens August 21. Red Sailboat at Anchor by Maureen Bader shown during her solo show in 2018 Norberto was one of the founding members of the Schoolhouse Gallery and spoke about some of the history of the old Schoolhouse itself, the volunteers and their efforts to get the Old Schoolhouse going as a gallery, as well as the first show and participants. Some, like...
Judith Williams

Judith Williams

In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to Cortes Island writer and artist Judith Williams.  Judith has lived on Cortes for 10 years but lived for many years on West Redonda Island before, so knows Cortes Island well. Maureen Bader Judith spoke primarily about her new book, Cougar Companions. This book compiles photographs of the Schnarr family of Cortes Island, and focuses on the two young daughters and the raising of two cougar cubs their father gave them, as pets. August Schnarr was a photographer who captured these experiences on the family homestead. This is her fifth book. Judy taught painting, drawing, theory and installation work at UBC, retiring in 2001. She is also an accomplished painter. An art installation at UBC got Judy interested in local topics and led to her first book. As a tenured faculty member Judy showed her work and some of that work has been collected. Judy started off as a painter and still paints. Judy views her books as art projects, like installations of ideas, and those ideas and paintings coalesce into books. Listen as Judy describes how she got her start at UBC and her work with her teacher B.C. Binning, a leading Canadian artist. Judy paints primarily in watercolour and has done figurative work describing life in a co-op in Refuge Cove. She had two large exhibits in Vancouver with these works. Now, Judy does daily coloured drawings and water-based media on...
Naomi Hayter

Naomi Hayter

In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to Cortes Island artist Naomi Hayter.  Naomi has lived on Cortes for 40 years, coming here from Victoria to live a back to the land lifestyle. Maureen Bader Although Naomi wanted to study and apply to the Parson’s School of Design, her life took a different path. Naomi started beading simple bracelets and had been working with crystals. Her teacher, Leah Porter Blackfoot, suggested she put them into a bag, bead it and wear it close to her heart and that’s how she got started with medicine bags. Naomi is self taught, and discusses how her self-study took different forms, such as stitches from aboriginal traditions. Bead work is her main activity. Naomi’s work changes as the types of beads change. Colour and even travel to new locations can inspire Naomi to new work. In terms of marketing, her teacher Leah instructed her to have something for everyone, from less to more expensive articles. Listen as Naomi talks about going to the gem shows in Arizona. This taught her about the marketplace of the earth. Naomi’s clientele will come back each year to see what she has new. Her work can be found all over the world. Naomi sells at the Cortes Craft Coop and the Friday market at Manson’s in July at the outdoor market, and does quite a bit of commission work. You can also find Naomi on Facebook:...