Local artist receives $6K, selected for artist-in-residence

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John artist Samantha Wigglesworth has a lot to celebrate this holiday season as she recently received a $6,000 grant and has been selected as an artist-in-residence.

Last week, Wigglesworth was named a recipient of a BC Arts Council grant, which she said will go towards her schooling.

“When I received the email, I had to re-read it multiple times to make sure it was real,” Wigglesworth said.

Wigglesworth has been taking online courses for the past three years to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Fraser Valley. She said the grant will help her pay for tuition for a few semesters.

Wigglesworth was also recently named a successful candidate for the Peace Liard Regional Arts Council‘s artist-in-residence program.

“For this opportunity, I will be mentored by the astounding artist Cara Guri and will work for roughly six months to create a solo exhibition in the fall of 2023,” Wigglesworth explained.

“For this show, I plan to make a personal impact by exploring more self-portraits in a large-scale, high-colour format.”

The artist-in-residence program is supported by the BC Arts Council and will provide Wigglesworth with a $500 a month stipend for the six months she’ll be working, as well as a $2,100 professional Canadian Artists’ Representation fee for her exhibition.

Wigglesworth had her first art show in July 2021 and kicked off a busy 2022 with her second-ever show, Spectrum in Dawson Creek.

Her work was shown in the Dawson Creek Art Gallery and the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre.

In May, she was part of the Open Sky Peace Liard Regional Art Exhibition in Tumbler Ridge, where she won the Distinguished Reputational award for her work Modest.

Modest - Samantha Wigglesworth. (Supplied)
Modest by Samantha Wigglesworth. (Supplied)

Her display during Open Sky was followed by the Pride Week Art Exhibition put on by the North Peace Pride Society.

“I helped as much as I could with this show,” Wigglesworth said.

“I added in a few of my Spectrum works into this impressive community group show.”

In July and August, Wigglesworth said she participated in the HeArt Walk, where her art was displayed in the Dawson Creek Mall.

In September, she said she was fortunate enough to be a part of a last-minute show called Multiformity at Peace Gallery North in Fort St. John.

“For this exhibition, I was able to show off a sneak peek of my new works that I am preparing for my next solo show in July of 2023,” she said.

“This included my first self-portrait, which had a very personal statement about my mental health battle/journey.”

Self Portrait - Samantha Wigglesworth. (Supplied)
Self Portrait – Samantha Wigglesworth. (Supplied)

At the North Peace Cultural Society’s Annual Art Auction, Wigglesworth worked on a live painting titled Vintage Vibes, which she then completed for the Dawson Creek Member show.

Vintage Vibes - Samantha Wigglesworth. (Supplied)
Vintage Vibes – Samantha Wigglesworth. (Supplied)

“Not only did I put my five works into the member show, but I was also able to help curate the show as a part of my schooling,” she explained.

She also created a few smaller pieces for Peace Gallery North’s Art Market in the city.

“It is safe to say I have had a very busy year in regards to my art, and I feel so honoured and grateful for the opportunities that I have had over the last year,” Wigglesworth said.

Wigglesworth said she is excited for what comes next as her artistic dreams come true.

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