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On now!

April 3rd to 27th

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Sanctuary

April 3 to 27, 2024

Please join us for the artists reception Saturday, April 6, 7-9pm.

Sharon Lalonde, Shea Kotilla, Lynn Farwell and Mary Gorman share studio space at ArtWrx so it was a natural fit for the four to mount an exhibition together at Artful : The Gallery. The theme chosen to unite the artworks, is also the title of the show: “Sanctuary”.


Whether seeking sanctuary in their studio, or lifting their gazes to the wider world, each piece the artists have created evokes quiet freedom from the harried pace of the world. Interior spaces and wild places abound; the soft light of the forest filtered sun, the last rays of daylight transforming the sky, or a deep snowfall blanketed forest path. Each canvas provides an escape hatch from the felt experience of anxiety and chaos that lurks in the world. Inspired by the idea
of painting sanctuary, each artist has revealed the quiet places and moments where they find their beauty, serenity, and solace.


The exhibit primarily showcases paintings in oil and acrylic, both on canvas and board. In addition, some pieces are multimedia or collage works. The scale ranges from tiny 6”squares, to vertical or horizontal lengths as large as 5 feet. Each of the four artists has challenged themselves to submit large works for this exhibition, so whether you are looking for a small window into the lush and colourful world of sanctuary, or a doorway to step through, come and turn your attention to experiencing sanctuary.

The Artists:

Lynn Farwell

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Lynn Farwell was born and raised on the east coast of Vancouver Island where she was surrounded by rugged beauty in the form of the ocean, forests and natural habitat. Farwell spent many hours out of doors or on horseback in her early years. She was fortunate to spend her summers on Cortes Island where she became attuned to the peace and tranquility of a working ranch and the rhythms of nature.

Her interest in art appeared early on and by high school, thanks to the support and direction of art teacher Marilyn Hilsden, she knew it would be an area she would explore post secondary. After 2 years in the UVic BFA program she became involved in theatre arts. She studied makeup artistry for fashion photography, television and theatre in Vancouver. Farwell assisted Nel Volrich of the Vancouver Opera House with makeup for Theatre in the Park during summer stock and also spent the next 10 years of her life working for various makeup companies as an artist.

Farwell began painting in 2012 when she was invited to join Art Alchemy in Courteney, BC. From there her creativity gained momentum and she began producing bold contemporary artwork, and semi-abstraction morphed into a variety of colour studies. Birds, figures, landscapes, collages and abstracts are part of her repertoire. Farwell's work is colourful, provocative, diverse 

and expressive, always considering balance and use of colour to create an emotional response within the viewer. She wishes to convey a sanctuary within her paintings. 

Farwell's work has been shown in Kelowna at The Sopa Art Gallery, Victoria Art Gallery, Red Art Gallery and The Metchosin Art Gallery. Locally she has participated in numerous Square Foot Shows held at ArtWrx Studio Gallery, where she is a member. Her work can also be seen at the Comox Valley Airport in May. Lynn has been part of Originals Only in Comox, Kitty Coleman, 5th Street Florists, Tin Town Cafe, Broken Fish Studio, Gypsy Tree in Cumberland, French Creek Collective in Campbell River, and Touch of Class Christmas Market in Comox. Her patrons reside in Canada and in the United States. To learn more about Lynn visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Mary Gorman is an artist who comes from Ireland and settled here in the Comox Valley. Gorman attended art college in Dublin, Ireland, and graduated in 1993. After 5 wonderful years at art college Gorman pursued a career as a muralist, creating and executing projects both at home in Ireland, in London, UK, Paris, France, and Sydney, Australia. After a year of living in Austrailia, Gorman felt drawn to British Columbia, a place she had connected to and fallen in love with years prior. Gorman now made it her home.

Inspired by this Gorman now creates paintings which currently depict the beauty of nature around her and the desire to portray light, and how it manifests in both urban and rural landscapes. Gorman is a member of ArtWrx Studio Gallery in Courtenay. To learn more about Mary visit ArtWrx or follow her on Instagram.

Mary Gorman

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Sharon Lalonde

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Sharon Lalonde has been creating since a very early age, using all forms of artistic expression. Her professional training began with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in photography. This was followed by a Batchelor of Education and a Master of Educational Psychology from the University of Calgary.

Lalonde began her education career teaching art, followed by 33 years as a counsellor. During that time she devoted her creative energy to designing costumes for theatrical productions.

Since moving to the Comox Valley, BC, in 2012, Lalonde has immersed herself in painting, achieving active status with the Federation of Canadian Artists. Her paintings have been displayed in galleries and homes throughout Canada and internationally. Additionally, she remains committed to community support by donating paintings to various organizations, curating the annual CVA Art Show in the Comox Valley Airport, and serving as a director on the Comox Valley Arts Council.

To learn more about Sharon visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Living in the Comox Vally for the past 50 years has brought Shea Kotilla all kinds of joy. She has lived much of life outdoors; skiing, biking, hiking, kayaking and gardening. Three children are born to her and raised here and to Kotilla they are the best of it.

Attending to art has come and gone over the years. Kotilla was an A student in Junior and Senior high school but only in art! (the rest.... not so much). She attended leisure art classes a time or two when her kids were growing. Painted with a friend in her studio for a while. Finally Kotilla rented space in a shared studio and in the last five years she has devoted more and more time to it until retiring in late 2022 when she became a full time practicing artist.



Over these years Kotilla has come to understand that the process (not the outcome) is the juice of an evolving art practise. It is sometimes a challenge to remember this, but often, once colours and shapes being to flow from her brush, chosen not as much by intention as by intuition,

remembering is not what’s happening, but something coming from inside her moment by moment that shows up on the canvas. Kotilla is hugely passionate to learn about 

Shea Kotilla

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art. Watching videos, reading books about artists lives, looking at artist’s work on websites and instagram, it is a world she loves to explore and a bonus to the changing nature of her practice.
Art is deeply lodged in her bones and Kotilla can hardly help but dive in....for the love of art! To learn more about Shea visit her websiteArtWrx or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

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