Trail-Mix: Artists, photographers, and guides explore the Shuswap in latest gallery exhibition

The Shuswap, British Columbia – The latest project from the Shuswap District Arts Council joins forces with the Shuswap Trail Alliance to bring together over 40 participating contributors in a remarkable exploration of the Shuswap natural and cultural landscape through its diverse trail system. 15 teams of artist/photographer/guide from different backgrounds and interests share a glimpse into the story each trail has to tell, starting with an acknowledgement of our place in Secwepemc territory.

It’s a diverse and layered exhibition that takes time to fully savour and appreciate – both in gallery and on-trail – inviting return visits, including exploration of 15 trails throughout the region. “This could literally be your summer itinerary,” smiles Tracey Kutschker with the Shuswap District Arts Council and Phil McIntyre-Paul with the Shuswap Trail Alliance, who co-produced the show in a first-ever collaboration between the two organizations.

15 teams of local artists/photographers/and trail guide/storytellers were invited to spend the last 12 months exploring 15 trails from around the Shuswap. The result is the production of 15 brand new installations of art, photography, and written/spoken word in one of the biggest collaborations to date for the Shuswap District Arts Council.

Awaiting your attention and participation all summer at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery, 3 off-site  venues at the Prestige Harbourfront Inn, Prisa Lighting, and the Blue Canoe Bakery Cafe, and 2 on-site trail installations on the Mt Baldy Lookout Trail and the Foreshore Raven Trail.

As well, a feel-good Trail Mix field guide has been published celebrating the project. The publication is a first for the Salmon Arm Gallery. It’s both a coffee table show piece and fit-in-your day pack field guide – and a beautiful gift piece for friends and visitors to the Shuswap. The publication was created with the expert guidance of Louise Wallace Richmond and Otto Pfannschmidt at Playfort Publishing, and map assistance from the CSRD and Kari Toliver.

“This is a legacy publication that gives life to the exhibition long after the summer,” says Tracey Kutschker, exhibition curator, noting it was an extra-ordinary feat to coordinate all 45 contributors for both the exhibition and the publication. “I feel like I just had a baby,” laughed Tracey at the opening reception.

The exhibition was made possible with support from the Shuswap Community Foundation, Shuswap Tourism, numerous community donations through the Love A Trail gallery fundraiser, and the ongoing support of the City of Salmon Arm, the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Get your copy of the Feel-Good Trail Mix Guide at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery for $15, with all proceeds going to support local art and trail projects. Stop by for Coffee Break Thursdays on July 21 and August 18 from 2 pm to 4 pm. Artist Trading Card Sessions on Tuesday July 12 and August 9 from 3 pm to 4 pm. And visit the off-site venues at Prestige Inn, Prisa Lighting, Blue Canoe Bakery Cafe, on-site on the Mt Baldy and SABNES foreshore Raven trail. And to give you a little more incentive to get outside and keep falling in love with the Shuswap, pick up an art gallery beaded Trail-Mix book mark and collect new beads for every trail mix trail you visit this summer.

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