Art about Finn Slough Show 2019 - 19th Annual -

The speaker for the Friday evening celebration of artists and art, April 12th was Nadeane Trowse.  The subject - "Borrowed Landscape, Finn Slough, Artists and the Photography of David Cary". 

Art about Finn Slough 2018

With thanks to Richmond Cultural Centre and Finn Slough Heritage and Wetlands

Our 18th annual Art about Finn Slough show thanks to the Richmond Cultural Centre, was a great success, in so many ways: visually, artistically, and community. There were more artists than ever in the show -- 75 (and many more, if we count the preschoolers who contributed their wonderful birds in nests pictures).  We also had the most pieces of art in the show this year -- 173 (again, exclusive of the preschooler’s art). Thank you to all the artists, the art groups, the preschoolers from Little Maples, and to those who persuaded them to participate so wonderfully.  We had fewer pieces of writing this year and want to encourage more… poems, short reflections, essay… next year.  We had and displayed articles about the EVA, which is part of the written component of the show.

This year’s show as always had the topic of Finn Slough.  That answers the ‘what’ question. But the so what? question has many more interesting answers.  So what? relates to the felt sense that Finn Slough itself preserves what was once a wide spread and is now an almost vanished part of Richmond. So we invite artists to consider, celebrate, enjoy, represent Finn Slough --  to capture its uniqueness and show others what is there and worth preserving.  It is as important for the show to have appreciative and informed visitors as it is for the artists to show their work.  This year, the audience --  the viewers -- came in numbers greater than we have ever seen.  And our activities for children were very well used, suggesting that children found something to enjoy in the art and in making art back in response. Children’s works created on site were displayed as they emerged. 

We were especially delighted and informed by Lenore Newman who was this year’s speaker at the Friday evening celebration of art and artists.  Dr. Newman is Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is an associate professor in the department of geography and the environment. She spoke enthusiastically and entertainingly about her own Finnish fishing roots and the relationship of land to food, water to food, and land to water, both globally and locally, information that is not in itself entertaining but presented so listeners could put the challenges and difficulties in an appropriate perspective.

The Friday celebration would not feel complete without our musician Kevin Craig and Simon Casey whose improvisation before and after our speaker were the best ever this year, and so much appreciated for their artistry and their being there for us.

This year, as well, we celebrated the EVA, the wooden gillnetter (fish boat) that has lived its life at Finn Slough and is aging into a moment where soon we will need to raise funds to assure its survival. Wonderful images of the EVA over the years were shown and described and discussed at the Saturday afternoon Tea and Talk by Ulrich Gaede, photographer and friend and chronicler of the EVA. 

The celebration had a further dimension, in addition.  This year, Art about Finn Slough was able to use the Rotunda for about 3 weeks.  That part of the show was curated and called “Birds and Boats” presenting an elemental view of the layers of connectivity between the environment and those makers of livelihoods, the small fishing boats of Finn Slough. Images were by natural history photographer Rob Alexander and boat photographer Ulrich Gaede. A dramatic bald eagle and red tail hawk battle was captured by Alexander as well as the contrasting delicate loveliness of Anna’s hummingbirds and fox and white crown sparrows. The EVA in all the seasons and in different contexts of environments at Finn Slough was captured by Gaede. 

It is important and heartfelt at this point to thank our volunteers who put up the display, sit with, and take down this show every year. Thank you for your unstinting work!  It takes a village!  Wednesday, to receive and hang the art uses about 60 of the team’s volunteer hours. Thursday, where the morning finished the hanging and then show opens at noon uses about 25 volunteer hours.  Friday with its being open from 9 and having the special celebration ‘til closing uses about 60 volunteer hours, Saturday uses about 45 hours, and Sunday uses about 30 volunteer hours. This adds up to more than 220 hours of volunteer labour, not counting the team members who pop in to help, trouble shoot, go get more pens or paper or just bring the team sitting the show coffee.

And we very much want to start and end with our gratitude to Richmond Cultural Centre and Camyar who makes our 5 days of intensity possible in these spaces.

Submitted by Nadeane Trowse for Finn Slough Heritage and Wetlands.

Questions?: Email  

Amazing Art Year (2017) for Finn Slough!

2017 has been a great year for Finn Slough’s involvement with art.  For 17 years now, the Art about Finn Slough show has been showcasing representations of Finn Slough made by artists who live in Richmond, visit Richmond, love Richmond and have been moved by Finn Slough’s historical and ecological difference. 
Artists have long been drawn to Finn Slough because of its small-is-beautiful way of relating to its place on the planet and these artists have wonderfully represented what they saw and shared in the conversation that this place prompts. We are honoured to celebrate their vision and enjoy the way the diverse work speaks about the place.
And it is probably no surprise that Finn Slough also has its own population of artists who actually live there, close to and inspired by the water, the tides, the diversity of plant and animal life that graces the place. 
Our annual Art about Finn Slough show this year ran from April 6 to 9th. As a special treat, this year, from April 2 to April 29 two Finn Slough artists, Melanie Thompson and Liane Varnam, exhibited in the Rotunda of the Richmond Cultural Centre in conjunction with our annual art show in Art FROM Finn Slough. Varnam’s magic realism that blends local references and images with big ideas, making the impossible possible resonates in a thought provoking way with Thompson’s beautiful and also stark “wreaths” made of found objects, including seal bones found in the Fraser by another Finn Slough resident.  These found objects make their own comment as they reform and complete the deconstruction prompted by natural forces like the Fraser River.
As well, in Richmond City Hall, the “Inside, Looking Out” show in the Galleria, showcases Finn Slough artists from April 25th to June 12th 2017. This show represents how these artists have distilled their experience of Finn Slough as a natural world with some human activity gently stitched on the edge, and as a domestic home-space, an observation point from which to understand the larger world of their daily lives. What gathers the work here is a kind of response to two questions: What do you see out YOUR window? How does your home frame your view?  Like the natural habitat, the answers are diverse.
This is an opportunity to see how Finn Slough residents' artistic vision connects with their home place and how their homes shape their views of the world. Featured artists: Glen Andersen, Leanne Currie, David Dorrington, Marina Szijarto, Liane Varnam and Tom Wren.

Art about Finn Slough Show 2015

This year’s art show (Thursday April 9 – Sunday April 12), with its theme, “Intersections”, was another colourful and engaging success. This year’s unusually sunny and warm April made it easier to set up, and yet did not distract viewers from attending the show, something exceptionally good weather has done in one or two past shows.

This show featured work by 58 artists, more than ten more than last year.  More artists than last year included the maximum three pieces of work, making for a really vibrant presentation. This year, more photographers were included, as well as more watercolour artists.  The owls by a ceramicist were much enjoyed, too. The plein air painters were beautifully represented, colourfully and skillfully interpreting the view.

The show was attended by more than 400 visitors over all, with about 100 people specifically attending the well received talk by Harold Steves during the Friday night celebration.

The celebration evening on Friday found artists and friends and the community enjoying good conversations and home-crafted snacks, along with original live music by Simon Casey and Kevin Craig.  Later that evening, Counsellor Steves talked about intersections of all sorts that involve history, Finn Slough, Richmond, the Fraser River, sustainability, farm lands, port usage and the various successes and future problems that are ongoing and involve us all. You can find a delightful, very speeded up video by Marina Szjiarto of the activity during the entire evening here - 3 hours in one minute.

Particularly well enjoyed was the children’s art making section of the show. Art supplies including Finn Slough related colouring pictures were always available daily and on Saturday afternoon Arlene Hewitt and children’s’ book illustrator, Vanja Kragulj, worked with children on more complex projects.  The origami wish-boats they made, too, looked lively and rather elegant in the branches of red osier and willow, situated in the symbolic gumboot forest. And of course these echoed or reinforced the intersection with the river that Ulrich Gaede’s hand crafted replica functional model boats displayed.

The slide show of images of Finn Slough with original music playing during most of the show was much enjoyed, too.

And Sunday afternoon’s afternoon tea with heritage tea cups orchestrated by Marina Szjiarto was enjoyed by many, until the show concluded at 3 pm.

Overall, the question “what do you see when you look at Finn Slough” was thoroughly answered in exceptionally and skillfully diverse, personal, and community-sharing ways. Paintings and photos represented all the seasons. Subject matter ranged from the detail in the photo and painting by our youngest serious (eight year old) artist of a specific part of the Whitworth Island pathway, to a panoramic oil painting of the whole view from the road.

You can find the PowerPoint presentation given by Harold Steves here.  This will open in a new window.  We apologize for any quality problems you may have viewing this as it is after all done in PowerPoint.  It seems that it will work better in Firefox than Internet Explorer.

Art about Finn Slough - 2014 

The 14th annual Art About Finn Slough show was a great success once again! 

A beautiful piece of art was submitted to the show by Irina Dragomir-Thomason.  It is a piano piece called Time Past

From Irina’s website:

Time Past is an original piano composition. This was submitted as an art piece for the 14th annual Finn Slough art show that took place at the Richmond Art Gallery in British Columbia, Canada, March, 2014.


The theme of this years show was Sisu a Finnish word for persistence, the slough having been settled by Finns in the early 1930's. With this in mind I reflected on the nature of persistence, how a place can be changed by time, and yet how it can also remain 'timeless'. I considered Finn Slough, the place that I had visited many times growing up, I took many different photos of it, and I went home pondering these images, and the nature of the slough: it's every changing shores shaped by the mighty Fraser river, and it's many beautifully rich-in-character-yet-unconventional homes that span its breadth and length. The more I tried to 'shape' an image out of it, the more my heart said 'song'. That very persistence, or sisu, that arose out of this organic process led way to an original music composition I called "Time Past". I feel this captures the Finn Slough I hold dear in my heart, the Finn Slough that persists in my mind: a longing, wistful, ethereal place that's just as much romantic timeless magic as it is unstable and, quite literally in some cases, ungrounded, a place that's almost not quite here, and yet it is, a fragment of another world shrinking back from time's watery erosion while persisting forward into an elusive, yet tragically beautiful future of uncertainty. 

Thanks for including me in your show! Looking forward to another one next year!


Art Show 2012

Celebrating the Current

Nadeane Trowse and Ulrich Gaede Photos

A little music from the reception.

The Art about Finn Slough itself is a kind of gift of gratitude: gratitude to the Richmond community, to all the artists who participate, to the Richmond Art Gallery and their staunch support these 12 interesting years, and to the visitors who enjoy attending. And it could not happen without the heroic volunteer efforts of Finn Slough community members and friends, who make it happen and make it worth happening. Special thanks to Arlene Hewitt and Ann O’Sullivan for 12 stalwart years of hard work in advertising, conceptualizing, setting up, taking down, and truly everything in between. Special thanks too to artists Marina Sijarto and Glen Andersen for so many things: posters, setting up, taking down, and inspirational good ideas and hard work all round, for the elegant Saturday tea and also for making the origami boat tree a real art piece! And more special thanks to the team of show hangers (David Dorrington and David Roberts who invented how to hang such a show within the challenges of the original space; Al Mason and Ulrich Gaede who made the photos and the sculpture work beautifully, and Glen and Marina whose thoughtful work in all areas made it all work out. Thanks, too, to the musicians of Friday evening, Simon Casey and Kevin Craig, whose playing graced our celebration and enriched it. Thanks to the Saturday musicians Nikki Hanstock and later Arlene Hewitt whose beautiful music delighted the afternoon tea crowd. And thanks to Marv Skelton who was kind enough to offer to present a painting demonstration, although prevented by flu from doing so.

All in all it is my great pleasure to say that this 12th annual show was the best ever (as last year’s was the best to that point). While numbers are not the most important thing, here is a quick survey of the numbers: most artists in show ever (77); most visitors ever (590); most well received guest speaker ever (Michael Kluckner); most significant world events ever (International Women’s Day, full moon, and the start of Daylight Saving-time).

This year as noted above we showed the work of 77 artists; the work included many inspiring photographs, pen and ink drawings, prints, paintings in both oil and watercolour, and also several wonderful textile works. In addition and for the first time, we had some very fine carvings on display and several drawings on wood created by woodburning. This gives us hope that we will get the ceramic artists involved as well soon!

Nadeane Trowse

Swan Realease at Finn Slough

A very nice person named Linda, a volunteer from the Wildlife Rescue Association showed up at Finn Slough looking for a spot to release a juvenile mute swan that had been rehabilitated at their Burnaby Lake facility.  The swan had been hit by a car near Number 5 road and that was chosen for the release but there was nowhere to get close to the water in that area.  One of our residents helped to bring the swan which was in a carrying container down to a dock and the release was made.  The swan was quite calm and walked out of the container, jumped into the water and swam happily off down the Slough.

(Tuesday, March 15, 2011)

Our own Nadeane Trowse won the Richmond Arts Volenteerism Award


Here is an exerpt from an April 29, 2011 article on the City of Richmond website:

Nadeane Trowse received the Volunteerism Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Richmond by supporting a Richmond-based artist or arts organization through volunteer service.

In 1998, Nadeane approached the Richmond Art Gallery with an extraordinary idea: a three-day exhibition that would include anyone who wished to represent their affection of Finn Slough through art. Now in its 11th year, Art About Finn Slough annually includes work by dozens of artists (nearly 600 visitors enjoyed work by 50 artists in 2011), music, food, guest speakers and more. Nadeane is the driving force behind this community-based event which showcases and inspires artists of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Described by artist Margaret Dragu as “one of Canada’s first artist/academics,” Nadeane also teaches Writing at the University of the Fraser Valley. 

Thanks Nadeane, for all your hard work.

Here is the Report for 

Eleventh Annual

Art About Finn Slough Show!

Place: Minoru Cultural Centre, Lecture Hall 

Dates: March 3 – 6, 2011

The 11th annual Art about Finn Slough Show was very well received, well attended, and celebratory. This in spite of the weather! I attribute this to our great coverage of the event, on the side of the Richmond Art Gallery and the Finn Slough team. Many many thanks are due to the patient, calm, and kind Nan Capogna and Paula Hickey (without whose help I would still be trying to plug in the data stick, for example)!!  And very special thanks to this year’s advertising team of Marina Sjiarto, Arlene Hewitt, and Ann O’Sullian!  And even more special thanks this year to CBC Radio’s “On the Coast” programme who out of the blue decided to broadcast an interview on the Thursday of the show that immediately inspired several visitors to come to see it! Many thanks to Steven Quinn and the lovely team at “On the Coast”.

This year’s show had as good an attendance as last year which was the highest in the decade! Over 500 people visited the show (that we were able to count! There were more, I suspect!) and we had the same number of artists involved as last year which was also the most to that point. Thank you so much to visitors as well as to the painters, photographers, sculptors, and assemblage artists for sharing your visions of the Slough and making a greater meaning by letting them be shown amongst and resonate with a host of other visions of the same place!

We also need to remember that a huge and punishing windstorm with heavy rain was predicted (and mostly came true) for the day we received the art before hanging the show. I salute the brave people who came from far and wide with their canvases that no doubt acted like sails as they tried to walk them across the parking lot.  And the valiant team who hung the show, in spite of desperate road conditions. David Dorrington, Ulrich Gaede, Al Mason, Mike, David Roberts, Glen Andersen (and others who helped a bit too) as well as the sign-in team of Margaret Dragu, Ann O’Sullivan, Arlene Hewitt, Marina Sjiarto worked the miracle with speed, efficiency and good humor. Thanks go abundantly  too to the many people who helped sit with the show, making sure the art was safe and never left unattended, as well as answering people’s varied questions. The show took place a bit earlier this year (open to the public March 3 – 6 inclusive), so perhaps we should have expected the dreadful weather which persisted throughout. But the weather made coming in to see the show that much warmer and cheerier, with the glowing artwork and the flowers amongst it.

This year again we had local Finn Slough musicians playing on the Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon as well as on the Friday celebration evening. Thanks to Nikki Hainstock and her sister and Shane  as well for entertaining us on Thursday.  Looking  forward to more of this next year! For the Friday evening celebration we had the very accomplished Simon Casey and Kevin Craig whose music enriched our ears while our eyes were appreciating the art work and our taste buds were rewarded by the many delicious edibles from salmon quiche and spinach squares to cookies filled with decadent treats produced by the array of local cooks. We had further treats on the Saturday afternoon, musical and comestible. Arlene Hewitt sang (we look forward to a CD one day of her singing those songs!). Marina, tea master, offered fine tea in bone chine cups from her private collection along with treats like lavender shortbread.

The ongoing children’s colouring contest was a great success, and we appreciate having enough room on the walls to display their work upon completion.  More colouring next year! 

We appreciate too the fact that various education related groups were happy to bring their classes (EG ESL classes) to visit this year. We hope they may feel welcome and be inspired to come to the Slough , take pictures or make art, and include it in next year’s show!  Making art while thinking about the connection of human beings to their natural environment and of the history of such interactions is a pretty great outcome.

This year on our celebration evening, we had a “virtual” presentation.  Since our topic this year was “Swash: What the River Brings” and since one of the things the river brings is purples loosestrife we had the poster and powerpoint of Professors Sharon Gillies and Alida Jaanmat of the University of the Fraser Valley to help us understand this connection. We also considered Swash as an impact on the Slough and on all of Richmond as the Fraser River becomes more and more a channel of transportation with  the attendant erosion of the river banks that follows many big ships going too fast and creating unmanageable wave actions.

Perhaps the star of the show (in terms of successfully connecting the dots between humans, environment, history and gentle interactions between these) was the Spinning Swan painting, by an artists new to the show, Leanne McLaren Varnam. The spinning swan story involves one of the three mute swans that seem to have spent most of the last two years at Finn Slough. One of them developed a problem (about which alas the Alaksan biologists said nothing could be done) and would sometimes spin uncontrollably for a few minutes before going back to normal.  Leanne painted a picture in homage to this swan who we believe died over the winter.   It shows a swan spinning (as in spinning wool) in an old fashioned setting, with illustrations of some of the Slough dwellings behind, linking in a respectful yet playful and imaginative way what we hold dear: remembering and valuing history, respectful interaction with and protection of habitat and inviting others to appreciate the mix that is Finn Slough in this way.

Looking forward now to next year!

Nadeane Trowse

Art About Finn Slough 2010: The 10th annual show.

The show is once again co-sponsored by the Richmond Art Gallery and the Finn Slough Heritage and Wetland Society.

The art you make now about Finn Slough could be in our 10th anniversary show next April!

The theme or title is: "Time, Cycles, Tides."  Photos, paintings, drawings, and short written reflections welcome.  

Note: although there is a theme for each show, any work that is related to Finn Slough and its history and ecological features is welcome.

Set up: April 7th Wednesday. Artists bring their work to the Richmond Cultural Centre after 6:30 PM. and need to collect their work Sunday April 11th at 3PM.  

Show is open from 1 pm Thursday April 7th to 3 pm Sunday April 11th, within gallery hours.  

Celebration: Friday April 9th 7 pm to 9 pm. Snacks, speakers, and festivities.

See you there!

Al Mason took the Historic fish boat Eva to the Richmond Maritime Festival at Britannia Shipyard in Steveston again this year as he has for many years:

Thanks Al!

“Fish, Fishers and Finn Slough”

A report on the 2009 Art About Finn Slough Show:

The 2009 Art about Finn Slough Show (the theme of which was Fish, Fishers, and Finn Slough) surpassed our expectations in many ways, all of which were cheering, and some of which made us both laugh and cry.  This year we honoured the fishing history of this special place; this included collecting and hanging fish stories from Finn Slough residents and friends, and collecting more fish stories from visitors to the show, mounting these on cardboard salmon, and positioning these around the tables.  This year, in spite of the unseasonably chilly weather, we saw a really wonderful outpouring of interest and enthusiasm.  It was a year of “mosts”, looking back over the previous 8 shows.  We hung work from the most artists ever (58 – and this doesn’t include the children who participated of which there were at least 8) and saw the most visitors ever (558) from Thursday March 5th at 1 to Sunday March 8th at 3.  We also had the greatest  diversity of participants and kinds of work, ranging from sculpture, through painting, to woodworking, and experimental photography.  We especially want to thank Gordon Kibble for letting us hang a painting from his private collection … a water colour of Inez Huovinen, one of the Finn Slough fishers we were keen to honour in this show!

The evening of hanging this volume of art proved that the team can manage anything!  David Dorrington, Ulrich Gaede, David Roberts, Al Mason, Mike Martens, Ann O’Sullivan, and Arlene Hewitt accomplished their “regular  miracle” of making the work look well together and speak to the issues, all between 6:30 and 9:30 pm!

Our Friday evening celebration was special in that we had two guest speakers: Mary Gazetas and Terry Glavin. Mary is well know to Richmond for her Richmond Review columns but is also a graphic artist and writer, who has published a very beautiful book about her kayaking adventures.  She spoke to our issues about fish and fishing and the Fraser River, and included a hilarious account of the difficulties of landing a salmon if you happen to catch it from a kayak.  Terry Glavin, noted journalist and writer whose topics concern include the shrinking fish stocks, language extinctions, and the hope that lies in the margins of the world, spoke about the problems, the anomalies and the paradoxical hopefulness of the current situation, in particular noting that the existence of places like Finn Slough are both a cause for hope and a resource for environmental survival.

One of the gifts Finn Slough gives to the public and participants in the Friday celebrations at our show is live music by Finn Slough musicians.  This year was no exception, in spite of the fact that the flu put two of our usual musicians out of action.  Jim Munro and Arlene Hewitt, however, were well, and their music was very much appreciated!

Food is also one of our gifts to our visitors to the Friday celebration and this too was a “most”: The most food ever was provided, ranging from smoked salmon tarts to a range of delicious sweets; more people than ever helped to prepare the food and it was gone the quickest – not surprising, since some 300 people dropped in and out during our celebration.

Another tradition of the Art about Finn Slough Show is a painting demonstration by Adrienne Moore.  This year her demonstration was about using sticks with ink to create very free form drawings.  She had many enthusiastic people who tried the technique along with her, including 2 + year old Madison Slade, whose interest in the task brought a smile to everyone!  Adrienne’s contribution is much appreciated, indeed!

Perhaps the best moment memory of the show is that the person for whom the boat “Eva” was name (the historical boat, restored by Al Mason, that fished for many years out of Finn Slough) attended the show.  Eva recounted that she actually painted the name on the boat herself, many years ago.  She enjoyed the show, and to our delight, won the door prize, a book: The Turning Point by Karliner.

N For the Finn Slough Heritage and Wetlands Society.

Volunteer and Guests

Our own Al Mason Received a Richmond Heritage Award!

On Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 the Annual Richmond Heritage Awards were presented at the Richmond Museum.  Among others, Finn Slough's Al Mason was honoured for his work with the historic gill-net fishing boat "EVA".  

Here are some excerpts from the Speaking notes for the evening:

Last autumn, one of our Heritage Committee members was bicycling on the dyke by the river near the London Farm, and heard a unique sound – a chug, chug, chugging off in the distance, but getting louder. At the same time, she saw people out walking suddenly start running towards the shoreline and cars stopping. Everyone had their cameras out. What they were so eager to photograph was the Eva, surely one of the most photographed fishing boats in all the Lower Mainland.

At the annual Maritime Festival at the Britannia shipyard, amidst luxury cabin cruisers and magnificent schooners, it’s this magical little 28-foot gill netter, the Eva, with its two cylinder, distinctive sounding Easthope engine that seems to touch everyone’s heart.

The Eva was built in 1937 at the Suzuki boat works on Annacis Island for Henry Jacobson, a Finnish pioneer who lived on Finn Road. It was rebuilt in the 1950s at the Kishi boat works in Steveston. Gus Jacobson, a nephew the original owner, took over the boat in the 1960s and later traded it to Al Mason, who had long admired the boat, in exchange for a working scale model of the boat built by Al.

Tonight we have several descendents of the Eva’s original owners here, with us:

·         Gus Jacobson, the nephew of Henry Jacobson and son of Tom Jacobson – two Finnish pioneer brothers  from Finn Road;

·         Gus’ wife Pat Jacobson

·         Gus’ daughter Sandra.

This year, we’d like to recognize the present owner of the Eva, who takes such care to keep the Eva in such good condition. Please come and accept your award, Al Mason.

David Dorrington Photo

Graham Turnbull of the Richmond Heritage Committee asks Richmond's Mayor Malcolm Brodie to present Al Mason of Finn Slough with a Richmond Heritage Award.

“A Bridge to History”

A report on the 2008 Art About Finn Slough Show:

The 8th Annual Art about Finn Slough Show was, from so many angles, the best one ever!

This year our theme “Finn Slough: A Bridge to History” inspired many painters, photographers, fabric artists, a woodworker, and even some writers.   We had 10 more artists with work in the show than last year… almost 50. We had almost 500 visitors to the show between Thursday March 6 at 1pm and Sunday March 9th at 3pm closing. Our opening celebration with Harold Steves recounting wonderful historical bridge stories was very well attended, full of fun, fine live music, good food, great conversations and surrounded by amazing visual art.  This year’s show hosted art about Finn Slough from furthest away: pieces arrived from Prince George and from Calgary, inspired by the artists’ visits to the Slough last summer. This year’s show, as well, hosted the widest range of art: representational, abstract, installation, crafted wood work, children’s art, photography, photo essay, short personal narrative, and poetry -- all to do with Finn Slough!  Additionally, we hosted TWO very enjoyable painting demonstrations, one by Adrienne Moore on Friday and one by Margreth Fry on Saturday. The idea of bridges makes us think about how Finn Slough can remind us all to honour the relationship between past, present and future. Finn Slough connects Richmond directly to its early history. The bridge theme also reminds us of different kinds of human connections with nature; Finn Slough is a bridge that shows the kind of gentle links natural communities and human communities with human purposes can have… light footprints,  rich connections.  Small IS beautiful… the footbridge at Finn Slough can’t carry cars to the island side, only people and wheelbarrows.  Finn Slough also serves as a bridge between history, art, and community, as it is the occasion for a wide range of artists to meet each other and display their unique visions together. What a powerful impact this makes, and what a great affirmation of community! 

We would like to thank Richmond Art Gallery for hosting this show and especially Nan Capone, Paula Hickey, and Liz Park for their cheerful and thoughtful support (and the splendid crew at the front desk, who saw us through!)  Warmest thanks go this year to Harold Steves, superlative story teller; to Adrienne and Margreth, fine teachers of painting; to all the contributing artists; to the team that hangs the show with no fuss, no muss; to the Finn Slough cooks who provided the feast, to Simon Casey and Kevin Craig, wonderful guitarists, Arlene Hewitt, an amazing singer and organizer, Ann O’Sullivan, outstanding organizer, detail wrangler, and calming presence. 

Photo by Phil Moses

Nadeane Trowse, 

who has been the driving force behind our

 Art Shows since the start. 

Photo by Kurt Moses

Harold Steves talking about bridges stories at the opening.

Photo by Kurt Moses

Hanging Finn Slough Art

Photo by Kurt Moses

Musicians Extraordinaire: 

Simon Casey, Kevin Craig and Arlene Hewitt

Photo by David Dorrington

Click here for a PDF file of the show poster.   

Adobe Reader required.

Finn Slough and the Biosphere:

Report on the Art about Finn Slough Show, 2007:

This year’s Seventh Annual Art about Finn slough Show was a great success and much enjoyed, with 38 contributing artists and more than 350 visitors.  The attendance was splendid in spite of truly vile weather, with many many millimetrs of rain over four days.  Many thanks to the Richmond Art Gallery and to Carie Helm in particular for graciously seeing us through!  We were especially happy to be open while Ingrid Koivukanga’s work about Finn Slough was hanging in the Richmond Art Gallery, next door, and noted that many visitors went back and forth between the two exhibits, appreciating synergies.  We are particularly happy about the press coverage, benefiting from some of the interest raised by Ingrid Koivukangas’s show.  Mary Gazetas’ article was especially helpful, as it exponentially increased the numbers of volunteers involved in the Knitting Finn Slough into the Biosphere project, a work that emphasized connections between the community and Finn Slough, through photos and knitted squares.  This year during our Friday evening opening celebration, we were honoured to be able to offer a special treat. Daphne Marlatt, celebrated and well respected BC writer, read for us.  Her work, Steveston, includes poems to do with earlier days at Finn Slough, in particular one honouring Inez Huovinen, who lived and fished here.  As well, Marlatt read some more recent work that reflects on that work and on her oral history project at Finn Slough during the 1970s.  Everyone enjoyed the music -- original arrangements by Simon Casey and Kevin Craig, who played both Thursday and Friday evenings. In addition, quiches, cookies, and fruit kabobs were provided both Thursday and Friday evenings, and appreciated by hungry art aficionados.  Adrienne Moore’s painting demonstration Friday evening was also a great success and generated a great deal of interest.  A special thank you this year goes to William Watt, a fine Richmond artist. He donated a splendid print for our door prize, which was very much appreciated, and especially by the person who got it in the draw!  This year, thanks to our theme, the Biosphere, we had  submissions from artists from as far away as Mission, clearly those who share our biosphere and past whom the same river flows that eventually passes Finn Slough.  As always, amidst the festivity, the celebration of place and of artistic endeavours, the Art about Finn Slough show speaks to real concerns. It questions and offers answers to how (and why) DO we see, understand, interact with places and ways of being that seem so different from the typical 21st century reality.  While Finn Slough is often the subject of art it is also a vivid reminder of another era, with all its historical complexities and current anomalies.  Perhaps the best opportunity for these understandings the show provides is through the way art moves us…showing us the light inside a scene, bringing to a painted or photographed surface the inner experience of a boat, water, some reeds, a sky that made the artist find it a worthy subject. That illumination, that appreciation is what concerns and connects us…to each other, to the biosphere, and to a wider appreciation of the place in the world for the small of scale, and the natural.  

Finally thanks (and thanks is too limited a word to cover all the work they do!) to Arelene Hewitt and Ann O’Sullivan who staunchly help organize the show each year.  And thanks to the team who hangs the show: David Dorrington, Ulrich Gaede, David Roberts, and Ann and Arlene as well.

Thanks to those who came to see us at our booth during the 2007 Richmond Heritage Week Exposition at the Richmond Center Mall. The Heritage Festival is held in February of each year.  And many thanks to all who volunteered their time and effort to make this happen.

The 6th Annual Art About Finn Slough (2006) show was again a success, thanks to the huge amount of volunteer labour combined with the love of this very special place. We very much thank the Richmond Art Gallery for hosting this event, without whom no show could take place!  We also need to thank many people in particular, for outstanding contributions. Ann O’Sullivan did a particularly wonderful job of advertising this year, with coverage in the Richmond Review, Richmond News, Georgia Straight, and even persuading CBC to mention the show in Community Notes.  Mary Gazeta’s article in the Richmond Review was wonderful, both for honouring the area and for letting people know about the show. Arlene Hewitt was part of every aspect of the show and her good humoured and effective presence was tremendously appreciated.  The team who hung the show were stellar: David Dorrington, David Roberts, Annie O’Donoghue, Ulrich Gaede (and Ann, Arlene and Nadeane) worked with astonishing speed, virtually completing the hanging the night the work was received. The musicians who played Friday during the reception, Simon Casey and Kevin Craig, were amazing.

This year we had the most artists participating ever. We had 38 accomplished painters and photographers and one woodworker: some regular contributors and some new. Along with these we had over 50 more spontaneous photographers who contributed to the “What DOES Finn Slough Look Like to YOU?” project, including people from Dr. Mezei’s GLS graduate class from SFU, Richmond Vice Principal Greg Walter’s young writers group (who contributed poems as well as photos), and the obliging and good humoured passers-by on the roadside at Finn Slough. 
More than 390 people visited the show, and more than 150 people enjoyed the music and delicious hand-made food at the opening celebration on the Friday evening.

Thanks to David Dorrington for providing two door prizes: a print of his painting of an historic Finn Slough scene and a present day photograph.  Thanks to Nadeane for providing homemade blackberry jam for the third door prize and also for providing fourth prize: a disposable camera, in honour of the random photo-project.

The Art About Finn Slough Show is an annual reminder and celebration of what does not fit into neat categories or conventional expectations.  It reminds us that there are many in our community that value nature and history and Finn Slough’s ways of living lightly in the environment. It reminds us that, even if sometimes nostalgically, we can care as a community about smaller things, about the reflections of sky on water, about a little building leaning into a storm, about the illumination that a fall of snow provides, about  the way a board, a boat, a bug, or a bicycle looks at a particular moment.

The Fifth Annual Art About Finn Slough 2005 show was once again a success, thanks to a huge amount of volunteer effort and ingenuity, to the artists without whose work there would be no show, to the Richmond Art Gallery and Corrine Corry, and in particular to Cecilia Denegri-Jetté, who assisted at set-up, take-down, and advance preparation. This year's creative crew (Arlene Hewitt, Ann Sullivan, Dave Dorrington, Ulrich Gaede, Kevin Craig) who hung the show so quickly and well, in addition, developed ingenious made-on-the spot hangers to adapt to the renovated lecture hall's new requirements for hanging art.

This 5th annual show filled not only the lecture hall space, but the old café space, which, with its exterior glass wall and lovely warm wood floor, added an appropriate element of nature to frame the works that portray a community so intertwined with and embedded in nature.

The work shown included mixed media by 5 children, 27 photographs by 7 photographers, 5 sculptures by 1 artist, and 62 paintings by 24 artists. 

The opening and reception to celebrate the occasion including a painting demonstration by Richmond artist Adrienne Moore, and live music by Richmond musicians Simon Casey and Kevin Craig, for a crowd of about 135. An accompanying festive spread included smoked salmon quiche, fruit kabobs and organic rosemary and ginger squares.

Total attendance was about 375. This does not include the quite surprisingly large number of people at the door after the show came down who were hoping to get in.  (The advertising stated clearly when the show came down, but it was popular enough for people to be eager for more!)

Press coverage in anticipation of the show was good, including articles in Richmond Review, Richmond News and notices about the show in the Review, the News, and in the Georgia Straight.

Perhaps what sums up the show best is this juxtaposition:  beside the aperture going from the lecture hall to the café space there was a painting of a cherry tree at Finn Slough in full bloom.  Through the aperture could also be seen a real cherry tree in full bloom, just outside the Cultural Centre.  This interconnectedness of art and life, of the natural world and its context, of what we see and how we value it because of where we see it, weaves together the connectedness of  Finn Slough to Richmond and of Richmond to the artists who show us ways to see and value it.

Thanks to those who came to see us at our booth during the 2003 Richmond Heritage Festival at the Richmond Center Mall. The Heritage Festival is held in February of each year.  

Here are some photos of the event:

A scale model of the gill-netter EVA was on display. 

Here are some photos of the Richmond Heritage Festival 2002 event:

Al and Bill at our booth.

Mary-Lynn with one of her great works of art.

Interest in the model of EVA.

More interest.

Thanks to those who came to see us at the  Fraser River Festival at Deas Island Regional Park in June, 2002.

Here are some photos of the event:

Here's Al and his boat EVA, an historic vessel based at Finn Slough. 

Finton, Una and Anne taking their turn at the booth - Notice the model of EVA.  

Here are some back issues of our 

TIDELINES newsletter:

Fall 1999

Spring 2001

Summer 2001

Summer 2002

Autumn 2002

Autumn 2003