About five years ago, the husband-and-wife photography team of Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz decided not to show their work as part of the annual Artists in Our Midst.
Instead, they toured the studios of other Vancouver snappers who were displaying their pieces that year, and they got to know more about those artists and how they created."I realized how interesting these people were and decided to ask them out for a coffee," Schwartz remembered. "So, one Sunday afternoon, we got together for a chat."
From that initial gathering, the half-dozen photographers sometimes ventured out together, took pictures and met on a monthly basis to critique each other's work. In 2010, they had their first group exhibit, titled Grounded in Reality, in the Byng Gallery.
Tomorrow (Thursday), the Artists in Our Midst alumni - as they are known - will have their second group display, titled Poetic Abstractions: Seven Visions, at in the Atrium Gallery at Coquitlam's Place des Arts.
There are 39 images from seven artists: Goga Bayat, who created her pieces in her native Iran; Robert Charles; Barry Luger, president of Artists in Our Midst; Rob Will; Eva Knell; and co-curators Peck and Schwartz.
Schwartz's two pieces in the show, called Wish You Were Here and Chesterman Beach 1, are from a new collection she created while working in a condo she and Peck rented near Tofino last February. They are handmade negatives that are later digitized. "I bypass the camera altogether and get straight onto the negative," she said. "It's like I'm working more as a print maker."
Schwartz,who has her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and has exhibited at the Port Moody Arts Centre, as has Peck, said the group plans to display again. "We are all very creative people and, when we all get together, the energy seems even more so," she said.
Meanwhile, Place des Arts' teachers and staff will also launch their annual group show on Thursday in the Mezzanine Gallery.
The opening reception starts at 7 p.m. and runs in conjunction with Ignite... an affair with art!, the facility's open house to promote upcoming programming for adults. Participants can join hands-on visual art demonstrations, win door prizes and get $10 off a class registration fee; teachers and administrators will be on hand to answer questions. There is no admission cost.
For more information, visit the centre at 1120 Brunette Ave. or call 604-664-1636.