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June 29, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Paintings, a poetry reading & an auction for the Kettle Friendship Society.

You are invited to share an evening with two painters and a poet with the intention of shedding light on and bringing awareness to mental health and the power of authentic connections.

Background information:

We are doing this show together to shed light on the value of personal struggle and to acknowledge that we all are affected by the stigmas surrounding mental health. Each of us expresses our experiences in an intrinsic way — some paint, write, make music — some simply live in the struggle.

Collectively, we have each struggled through depression, anxiety, therapy, family suicide, or addiction — as many of us do —certainly more than is openly recognized. We know that isolation makes everything worse. We are consciously coming together to share a piece of ourselves and encourage you to do the same. Let’s get together and nourish our mental health!

Alisa Hutton: Bio

Alisa Hutton is a Vancouver based, published author and poet. Finding great beauty in the simplicities of everyday life Alisa often reflects on her observations through her writing and poetry. She believes that each person carries such incredible stories in their soul and the deepest connections we create are when we choose to authentically share those. Her philosophy; live well, love better and toss a little magic around every god damn day. Fastest way to her heart? Be yourself. Alternatively, cake will do.

Laurel Swensen: Bio

Laurel is an abstract painter particularly interested in the themes of transition, struggle and growth, and is inspired by her own struggle and recovery from depression, her current graduate studies in counselling psychology, and her experience as a Crisis Line Worker. Her paintings emerge over time with layers of texture, marks, colour, and materials in a call-and-response-like manner. Marks are laid down and call for the next response in the form of action. Each stroke or pull of the knife informs and provokes the next mark. Each painting is a visual expression of the struggle of this process. The process of painting mirrors the struggle we all experience just by living as a human being — there are peaks and valleys — it can be both an exhilarating and depressing emotional rollercoaster. Life will inevitably present struggle to each of us — to struggle is universal. Her paintings celebrate the value of struggle in our lives with beauty, colour and texture. | @laurelswenson |

Lori Popadiuk: Bio

I’ve always gravitated towards painting, there is an requiescence with which the blobs of paint get pushed around on the canvas and a freedom of movement that is granted to the painter. An ability to quickly build up texture gives immediate gratification and the congruity of acrylic lends itself nicely to working with other materials such as charcoal and ink.

I began working with only black and white materials and using my experiences as an emotional springboard in 2015. The approach came after a 6 month sabbatical from my regular life and art practice. What I felt while I was away was a renewed appreciation for true connection, for acceptance and love. This time spent reflecting allowed me to see which of my relationships were toxic, how my thoughts had been skewed into a perspective I did not 100% identify as my own, how nurturing myself had always been last, how easily I had aimed to please others and how lost I felt in all of it.

The use of black and white is reference to the many dichotomies we as humans are privy to: our ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, beauty and hideousness, What experiences shape us and which transform us. How we all sometimes get lost in the extremes, how we all often land lingering somewhere in the organically formed grey areas.


Symmetry Lighting
1955 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, V5L1T5 Canada


Lori Popadiuk
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