Meet Artist Corrinne Wolcoski

One year ago, we eagerly introduced local BC Artist Corrinne Wolcoski, who was booked to attend and paint at our 2020 Earth Songs concert. Of course, the world has flipped upside down since that conversation, yet Phoenix’s commitment to supporting local artists and integrating a multi-medium arts experience into our 2021 Earth Songs concert remains the same. Note, the conversation below is amended based on this one, published one year ago.

This year, Wolcoski is creating her artwork in advance of the April 22 concert and recording it via video, which will replay by timelapse in the Earth Songs virtual concert experience. One lucky audience member will get to take home the piece, which will be auctioned off beginning Monday, April 19 and the auction will close on Friday, April 30. The proceeds from the auction will be split between Phoenix and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Originally from Victoria, B.C., Wolcoski is known for painting inspiring imagery of Canada’s west coast. She has been painting for much of her life, and has been a professional artist since earning a degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2003. Her work has earned her well-deserved attention around BC and Canada, including displays in the Madrona Gallery in Victoria and Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont Hotels in Whistler, Banff, Jasper and Stratford. Wolcoski is an advocate and friend of the planet and the common good, as expressed through her partnership with the Nature Conservancy.

As we love to do with our special guests and featured Phoenix Family members, we wanted to share more of Wolcoski’s story here and recently sat down to ask her some questions to amend the 2020 interview.

It’s been a year since we were all preparing for Earth Songs last year, and obviously a global pandemic has consumed our lives since then. What have you learned about being an artist this year or how are you approaching creating art differently now?
It’s really interesting to think about this question, since the pandemic started things have drastically changed in the art community. It felt like a ghost town driving through the city and seeing all the closed shops in March when the shutdown began. All the art galleries that represent me were closed and everything was silent. It took months for things to slowly come back and I felt very affected. It gave me a chance to reflect and rediscover what was and what was not important. The silver lining was the opportunity to do additional formal training with an art school I greatly admire in New York. When I took my BFA Degree at Emily Carr, oils were not allowed. As my work is all in oils it was a skill and technique I self taught myself. I have now had the chance to learn from some of the great masters in this field during the Spring and Summer and I am so grateful for this! I have been able to further progress as an artist.

Knowing that the pandemic has also moved Phoenix concerts online, what feels unique or important to you in terms of still providing this visual artistic element to the concert? What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to sharing my process of creating a complete painting; originally I was going to do a 2 hr live demo but this virtual experience lets me share several hours and days painting. The viewer will be able to see the finished artwork at the end of the concert (which was not possible in a 2 hr demo). By using time lapse, still photography and short video clips the viewer gets a quick glimpse into my world and how I create. I am extremely proud to be able to offer this special painting as a donation to the Nature Conservancy of Canada through the proceeds from the online auction. It has always been an important part of my art to give back and makes the painting process very meaningful for me.

I also know you’re sitting on the panel for the Young Artists Competition hosted by Phoenix. Tell us more about what excites you about that and what you’ll be looking for.
Children have such a fresh take on art and creating. As we become adults we seem to be overtaken by interference in this process and inhibited by trying to produce a masterpiece at the end. As a child, the only goal is to enjoy the activity. They can paint a bird anyway they choose and it is accepted as their vision. I do this when I go plein air painting, it is about the process not the end result. I will be looking for thoughtful and insightful work. Children’s art reflects how they respond to their environment and how carefully they observe. As a judge I will be looking for work that the child has put care and effort into making.

Is there anything more you can tell us about the piece you’ll be painting for the concert?
I will be doing a West Coast landscape. With travel restrictions it has forced me to rediscover beautiful landscapes close to home. Places I drove by without a thought are now sources of inspiration for new work. A nice surprise has been spending time outside painting locally. I am very fortunate to live in such a gorgeous area and find myself reflecting on this in my painting. I paint from experience and how I respond to the beauty I see around me, this is what I strive to share with the viewer, the feeling I had when I was immersed in my environment. My painting will be revealed at the end of the performance and is an iconic Vancouver landscape people will easily identify.

We are so eager to experience Corrinne’s craft during our Earth Songs concert and encourage you to purchase tickets today so that you don’t miss it! Again, the painting will be available for auction bidding between April 19 and April 30. More information to come.


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