Interview with Shaw TV for Whistler Art Walk

Jessica Turner from Shaw TV joined me in my studio for a preview of work I’ll be showing at the Shaw TV office in Whistler for Art Walk. The Event runs all throught the summer – July to August, with opening nights on June 30 and July 14. I’ll be there live painting!

Terlesky’s art is ‘power’-ful

Squamish Chief, April 8, 2011

Toby Jaxon
Special to The Chief

Sometimes art is purely representational. Deeper levels of meaning in art come when the piece evokes a specific emotion or makes a statement.

Laurel Terlesky loves the process of applying paint to canvas and playing with colour, but her art isn’t just visual appeal — it actively promotes a cause and brings attention to important issues.

Terlesky’s pop-culture portrait series is a sort of narrative campaign for maintaining socio-ecological balance, encompassing energy expenditure, fashion, natural resources and sustainability. Her large, bold paintings ask the question, “Where do we stand in relation to our ‘electrical body politic’? Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it is harnessed, transformed and is increasingly bordered, sold, manipulated, expressed and valued in relation to cultural dependency.”

It is easy to see how fashion, media and the environment have inspired Terlesky, who has a degree in fine arts and also works in motion graphics, web and print design. Her paintings have a graphic playfulness, influenced by contemporary mural, graffiti and alternative comic art. Terlesky affirms, “My [art]work is constantly evolving. Ten years ago I was much focused on breaking areas of a form apart into sections. Now I seem to be still working with that, but in a much more loose style, so what was hard edge is now soft, stitching forms together.”

Terlesky’s exhibit “We Love This Stuff So Much,” features acrylic, aerosol and oil paintings, will be on display April 5 to May 9 at the Library Foyer Gallery.

In this touring exhibition, her creative stimulation is a narrative on energy and power in the common global trend of “going green.” Not timid about using bright, solid colour to emphasize depth, Terlesky uses solid flat colour placement, juxtaposed variations and shaded areas with surreal, mostly feminine, subjects intertwined with images of computer feeds, plugs, cables and cords.

Terlesky’s passions include being outdoors, travelling and the power of connecting with people.

For more about her work, email or phone (604) 771-4425.

Terlesky, incidentally, plans to run a workshop at her studio in conjunction with the exhibit. The event, “Recycled Electric — Build Your Own Recycled Electric Accessory,” takes place April 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at Homebase Studio, No. 203 – 37760 Second Ave. The cost is $20. Space is limited and pre-registration is required; email her or phone (604) 898-2525.

Weaving fashion trends with energy symbols

Weaving fashion trends with energy symbols

Published: February 17, 2011 2:00 PM in the Campbell River Mirror

Laurel Terlesky has an energy about her.

With an exhibition of her paintings entitled “We love this stuff so much…” in the Main Gallery of the Campbell River Art Gallery focusing on electricity consumption and a closing day full of activities coinciding with the Rain & Fire Storytelling Festival on Feb. 26, that energy will become evident to gallery visitors and guests. Terlesky, originally born in Calgary and now residing in Squamish B.C., travelled throughout the US, Canada and even as far as Barcelona developing her painting style and tapping into the energy of other art scenes. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 1999 and was awarded a stipend to spend a month at an international artist residency in Spain more recently. Drawing on themes such as electricity and power, spirituality, the human body, pop culture and women’s rights, Terlesky’s paintings are colourful and engaging. Working in oil and acrylic paints and then adding a contemporary twist by incorporating spray paint, most of Terlesky’s paintings are of individual female subjects. With their intricate hairstyles and poses ranging in influences from the 1930’s to present day, the paintings draw on the rich history of fine art portraiture while clearly placing her subjects in the present and sometimes, the future. Fashion trends are interwoven with symbols of energy such as power cords, ear buds, usb cords and wind turbines. Through a youthful pop-culture lens, these paintings push the viewer to confront social norms, concepts of beauty, the extent of our cultural dependency on electricity.

Taking the theme of electricity a bit further, Terlesky will be leading a workshop at the Gallery on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. creating wild and fun accessories out of recycled electrical parts. The fee is $17.50 plus HST and the registration deadline is Feb. 23. This workshop kicks off a larger, day-long schedule of activities at the Gallery as part of the Rain & Fire Storytelling Festival and mark the closing day of exhibition.

In addition to Terlesky’s workshop, the Gallery will offer a Super Saturday art program, and a special closing that evening at 7:30 p.m.

Campbell River Mirror – Exhibits turn up the heat

Campbell River Mirror – Exhibits turn up the heat

Published: January 20, 2011 3:00 PM in the Campbell River Mirror

Things are heating up at the Campbell River Art Gallery with two new exhibitions focusing on electricity and energy opening Jan. 21. In the Main Gallery, “We Love This Stuff So Much…”, an exhibition of oil paintings by Laurel Terlesky, centres around the theme of electricity consumption and the popular dialogue of “Going Green” in mainstream society. Terlesky’s use of bright colours and layers of spray-paint bring a decidedly pop-art twist to the show. A bike station with a light projection will be set up in the middle of the space allowing riders to pedal their way to revealing a message that relates to the art.

In the Discovery Gallery, “Hot Light”, a multi-media group exhibition by Cumberland and Vancouver artists, Megan Wilson, Brian Longhurst, and Blaine Campbell, explores the various stages in mankind’s quest to generate heat and light. Minimalist photographs of light bulbs and matches raise questions of dated technology and the beauty found in everyday objects.  A looped video of the chandelier in Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre concentrates on its continuous fluctuation between on and off.

“We Love This Stuff So Much…” and “Hot Light” run from Jan. 21 to Feb. 26 at the Art Gallery.

Gallery hours are 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, please contact the Gallery at 250-287-2261, via email at

grae magazine

grae magazine

Check out the new online issue of grae magazine. My painting “Those Hummingbirds all in your Hair” is featured in the art section. Special thanks to Natalie for the include.

Talent shines at water-themed exhibit

Talent shines at water-themed exhibit

The Squamish Chief February 5,2010

Zoe Szuch

When Kay Austen thinks about water, she envisions droplets and ripples, Louise Dewar envisions the Howe Sound, and Laurel Terlesky thinks about sacred purifying rituals.

This year’s Wild At Art visual component has one theme and 36 artists, each of whom have interpreted water differently.

Austen, Dewar and Terlesky are contributors to the water inspired visual portion of the annual festival, which is on display at the UpStares Gallery until Friday, March 5.

The H2O-themed display will showcase original work from approximately 36 Sea to Sky Corridor artists including painters, photographers, weavers, jewellery makers and wood turners.

Terlesky’s inspiration resulted in a colourful acrylic image of a woman splashing herself with water.

“I was doing more of water and how we relate to it as humans,” she said. “It can be how water can be rejuvenating and how water is such an essential part of life and it’s sort of a moment of ecstasy really.”

Terlesky said she spent about a week painting Splash and thinking about water oriented rituals.

“You can look at it at a more sort of mundane level like having a shower but there’s also some profound spiritual practices around water as well like bathing in the Ganges [River].”

As a long-time clay potter, Austen said she drew inspiration from a collection of images depicting water she found online and in books.

“I thought about rhythm in flowing water. I’m much more likely to think about surface, being a potter.”

In order to give the impression of water droplets, Austen stamped concentric circles on unfired clay and finished the pieces in a liquid blue glaze.

“So I’m hoping they will look like – a three dimension – series of raindrops falling in water.”

She’s made dozens functional pieces for the showcase at the UpStares Gallery but will only submit the best dozen teapots, mugs and vases.

“I never make just one because you are developing an idea. Your developing form because when you first start you’ve got an idea in mind and as you move forward other things suggest themselves.”

Austen said creating functional clay pieces gives her an enormous amount of joy.

“Let’s face it you can get a heck of a lot more money for something that’s not a mug or a tea pot but I really hold fast to the idea of making things that are personal and intimate, if you’d like that people can use.”

Dewar, a lifelong painter, drew inspiration from her immediate surroundings and spent about 10 hours painting an acrylic landscape of Howe Sound.

“The first thing I thought of was the views,” said Dewar, who has had her work on display in the Wild At Art festival for the last two years.

She said drawing inspiration from water wasn’t too tough for her because she grew up in the Sunshine Coast town of Sechelt.

“Growing up on the West Coast you always see water everywhere you look.”

The Water H2O exhibit will be on display at the UpStares Gallery until March 5. The grand opening of the exhibit will be on Thursday (Feb. 11) at 5 p.m.