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The colourful and curious at PMAC

Three years ago, Coquitlam artist Rose Eysmond painted a portrait of herself, looking in the mirror, in front of a dressing table.

Three years ago, Coquitlam artist Rose Eysmond painted a portrait of herself, looking in the mirror, in front of a dressing table.

A flower vase, a bottle of Estee Lauder perfume, a necklace, a handheld mirror, makeup brushes and a small jar of nail polish were among the items before her and, to the right, on the wall, a scarlet postcard with black script penmanship.

Eysmond studied the piece for a while and thought about its contrasting subjects: a person paired with inanimate objects, the living versus still life.

This year, she expanded on that theme to create a solo show titled Nature Morte et Vivante, which opens tomorrow (Thursday) at the Port Moody Arts Centre.

For the exhibit, Eysmond produced 18 romantic realistic paintings - 16 in oil, two in acrylic - many of which she started after her last solo show in March at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

Her artwork for the Port Moody display is colourful and curious. In Under The Sea, for example, a made-up lady with red lips and frilly sleeves looks over a tray of shells and starfish; they are surrounded by hypnotic squares and circles.

In other works, there is a Japanese doll and fan, Chinese objets arts and, Eysmond's speciality, windowsills and mirrors.

"I always pay attention to reflections," said Eysmond, who has a master's degree in fine arts.

As well, there is a painting of her bespectacled friend among a bed of tulips in their native St. Petersburg. It, however, is not for sale as Eysmond plans to gift the artwork when her friend visits Canada next year.

While Eysmond's paintings will be featured in the PMAC main gallery for the summer, Debbie Tuepah's sculptures will be on exhibit in the 3D Gallery in a series called Olympics, The Flood and Other Things to Think About.

A 2011 graduate of Emily Carr University, where she was won the John C. Kerr Chancellor's Award for academic excellence and outstanding work in a graduating exhibition, Tuepah used to work in marketing and advertising, a field that lent itself useful for her PMAC show that explores social tensions and juxtaposition.

Next door, in the Plum Gallery, are enamels presented by Olga Polshina, a trained painter from Russia. Her exhibit, titled From Ancient Icons to Modern Images, has timeless pieces that combine hot enamel over metal. "The furnace itself guides me and provides direction to the extent of becoming my creative partner," she writes in her artist's statement. "I like to see the transformation of my plain and dreamy images into something almost 3D and real."

Also in the Plum Gallery, in the display case, is nature-inspired metalwork by Urszula of Zula Jewelry in a series called Bone & Bear.

The opening reception is Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port Moody Arts Centre (2425 St. John's St.). The exhibit runs until Sept. 3. PMAC is open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.