Artists draw on rural roots, worldly adventures in new exhibit at Peace Gallery North

Alan White (left) and Tara Brule.

She’s Fort St. John, born and raised out in Rose Prairie, with a hobby farm she now calls home out along the Hudson’s Hope highway. He’s United Kingdom, born and raised, with a life lived in urban centres from Tokyo to Greece to Washington, D.C.

Together, artists Tara Brule and Alan White have put their perspectives and canvasses side by side as part of a new exhibit titled When Town Meets Country now on display at Peace Gallery North.

More than 20 mixed media works make up the exhibit, from Brule’s texture-rich paintings of heifers and roosters and foxes paired with White’s worldly and vibrant cityscapes of New York, Vancouver, and Paris.

“I’m one of the generation who’s trying to bridge that distance between country and city life,” says Brule.

“I’m a teacher, so I’ve been to university, travelled a little bit, and I’ve chosen to have one foot in each world and I think I’m wealthier for it in the end.

“I’m still a land person and that’s how I ground myself. I garden, I go out and pet my horses, go for a ride. There’s room to go walking on our property, grow berries… I don’t have to always gussy up to go out my front door. Yet when I want to, I can go to town and mix with folks like Alan, who has been all around the world, and I bask in that,” Brule said.

The exhibit has been a year in the works, an idea pushed by gallery curator Barry Moss following last year’s Peace Liard Regional Juried Art Exhibition.

Brule had a commissioned piece in that show, and Moss, knowing about White’s cityscape collages, wanted the pair to do a joint exhibit. So he penciled them in his calendar and gave them a year to work, said White.

“Two months ago, we actually started thinking about it,” laughed White.

“Because Tara lives on a farm, I knew that a lot of her work incorporates animals from farms. The idea of the town and country (meeting) would be quite cool to play off of one another.”

Despite living in some of the biggest, most metropolitan cities in the world, White lives on a farm in the Baldonnel area these days since first moving here 18 months ago.

Most artists in the area tend to live along the fringes of the city, Brule said.

“It’s soul food out there,” she said.

When Town Meets Country runs at Peace Gallery North until July 7. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more, visit http://npcc.bc.ca/peace-gallery-north.