Not surprising in the least, Whistler is the home to several multi-talented people. The longer you are here, the more aware of this you become. Whether you have realized it or not, when it comes to the arts, the evidence of local Whistler artists is present in community galleries all around town.
I recently picked up my car in Function Junction from Podium Auto Detail. The atmosphere was welcoming and engaging for anyone to just hang out and shoot the shit. While Randy “Randoid” Smith gave me the shop tour, I could not help but admire the artwork on the walls that displayed a variety of graffiti, comic and other mixed medium art pieces. When it came time to pay, I couldn’t help but comment on a particular piece hanging by his office – a chopped, hot rod truck cruising down a mountain road. As it turns out, not only did he offer great service at his shop, a lot of the pieces including this eye catching hot rod, were his own. Evidently, Podium Auto Detail was not just an auto shop but an art gallery as well.
Chili Thom: It would be impossible to talk about art in Whistler without talking about the late Chili Thom. A Whistler icon, both for his art and the incredible person he was known to be within our community. Chili and his art will forever be recognized for his ability to showcase the mountain life that embodies Whistler. Chili’s art lives on the walls of many Whistler establishments for his admirers to enjoy.
LOCAL WHISTLER ARTISTS
Andrea Mueller: You can recognize Andrea’s art from her bold use of colours and playful imagery. Her Instagram @andreamuellerart displays her art, community involvement, and enthusiastic personality. There’s no doubt she’s talented with a paintbrush in her hands, but Andrea has carved out a niche of her own when it comes to art. With over 8 years of experience in creative event planning, Andrea brings a creative twist to corporate events in Whistler. She offers workshops, team building opportunities and private lessons to help others hone in their own creative side. The next time you find yourself in line at Moguls admiring the art brightening the space, you can thank Andrea for that.
Baz Carolan: If you didn’t see his art on the cover of Pique News this April, you’ve surely seen it cruising around town – literally. Next time the retro graphic design on the Whistler Community Service truck passes you on the road, you will appreciate knowing exactly where it came from – the archives of Baz Carolan @baz_one_. Outside of decorating Whistler’s service vehicles, Baz is doing an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist where he’s learning how to use rotary tattoo machines to create a new kind of artwork. So if you like his work that much you may be able to have it inked on you by the man himself. Most recently he won the art contest associated with the Whistler Village Beer Festival. His design was blown up to 12ft by 8ft and hung as a backdrop for the bands to play in front of all weekend long!
Kate Zessel: Kate’s display of art truly embodies her love and passion of life here in Whistler. Her explorer spirit serves as creative inspiration for her artwork, capturing mountain moments, wildlife and inspiration for her brand, Zessel Designs. When she’s not hiking, biking, ski touring or sledding in the backcountry, Kate is hard at work creating the artwork to garnish the walls of Coast Mountain Brewing, Patagonia and some of clothing sold at Lululemon and Forlise to name a few. Follow her local Whistler artists adventures on instagram @katezessel.
Kris Kupskay: This guy has been decorating Whistler with his work for quite some time now. Whether you’ve realized it or not, a lot of your favourite places in town are your favourites because of the art that decorates it. The face of Myrtle Philip on the Whistler museum revives some of Whistler’s history, Snoop Dogg keeps things real in the skate park and Bob Marley is what makes Bike Co. so irie mon – you’ll notice, they are all signed “Kups”. @Kups_paint on instagram, have a look at his account and you’ll start to recognize more and more of his art around town. Kups’ full time gig is his art but when he’s not painting, Kris has lots keeping him occupied. His skills on a motocross, snowboard and surfboard leaves lots to be said. The long and the short… he’s a cool dude, with mad skill.
Like some of the talent you see here? You can rest assured there are several more notable artists in town. A great way place to discover them will be at the Whistler Arts Throw Down this fall. Held annually, local artists, local DJ’s and Whistler local supporters gather at Garf’s to support the arts community here in Whistler. New and known talent alike take to the stage and battle it out with canvas and paint for the crowd in front of them. Not only is it a great event, but it’s also a great way to find some cool art with a great story to spruce up your place, support the your local arts community, have a libation or two and dance up a storm. Garf’s facebook page posts all their upcoming events, so give them a follow and keep your eyes and ears open for deets on the next throw down!