GABRIELA ESCOBAR – THE ELK VALLEY QUARANTINE JOURNALS
It is my hope that people learn from this experience , myself included . It is so easy to forget the feelings and emotions during a time like this once everything is back to normal . – Melissa F .
Gabriela Escobar Ari moved to Fernie seven years ago from Bolivia with her husband , Gonzalo . A love of photography stems from her work there , where she documented historical collections as an archeological consultant for the Ethnographical and Folklore Museum in La Paz . Part of her role involved documenting archeological digs in the field ; this gave her the opportunity to photograph local landscapes and residents . Often , villages located near the digs provided even more insights into the lives of rural Bolivians , where , 10 years ago , many homes still had no running water or electricity , and cooking was done over an open flame . Living conditions are changing fast now , she says , making her images all the more important in documenting the development of pastoral Bolivia . Her work demanded a high level of skill and the more it demanded of her , the more she was encouraged to learn about the tools of the trade . She studied camera skills and equipment to get the best from her images . as much of the atmosphere of Fernie as she can . Having just taken the leap into full-time work as a professional photographer , her plans were suddenly halted with the arrival of the SARS- Cov-2 Pandemic along with the social restrictions it brought . Undaunted , she reached out to photographer friends and
Jill Barclay stays busy running her business , Goldstar Cleaning , raising her three children , and offering business coaching for the Women ’ s Enterprise Centre .
Here in Fernie , Escobar continues to practise photography , capturing events , people and landscapes around town . She is inspired by the beautiful local environment and aims to capture
Joni is a writer, or at least she was. She
probably still is, and when she gets back
to her novel and her memoir, you’ll want
to read it. But for now, Joni has put
down her pen, picked up her paintbrush,
and turned to visual art as a creative
outlet during the difficult days that have
made up 2020.
Elkford Arts Studio
The bright and welcoming Elkford Arts Studio offers a range of pot-
tery, painting, drawing, glass mosaic, photography and felting class-
es including workshops by guest instructors and local artists and
artisans. See website for dates, details and ticket links. Discover
how wild surroundings can inspire you to be creative by nature!
Workshops and 2019
including: painting, glass
Winter in the Wild:
kids classes and more.
Fill-your- bowl fundraiser,
Pottery Demos and Open
Sign up for the
ca to stay
to date on
2nd Floor, Elkford Rec Centre, 816 Michel Road
Elkfordarts.ca | email@example.com
Laberge first studied art at the Kootenay
School of the Arts in Nelson as her
second studio during a Writing Program;
when funding fell through and she was
unable to finish her course, she left
determined to become a writer. She had
some success, working at Koocanusa
Publications and in communications,
and attending the Banff Centre and
Sage Hill. She had already fallen in love
with poetry while living and working in
Calgary where an owl-like bookstore
worker would slide books of poetry
across the counter of the coffee shop
where she worked. That love has stayed
with her all these years, helping her to
craft headlines and expressive prose.
Poetry is like a fine glass of whisky, she
says; it stays with you as you swirl it
After moving to Sparwood and taking a
role as a youth activities co-ordinator,
Laberge took a break from writing to let
a little colour in back in – she says she is
a pigment nerd and swoons over Daniel
Smith Paints. She loves the movement
of watercolour and dislikes the solidity of
acrylics. A new studio in her basement
has become a refuge where she hangs
out with her German Pointer, Lucy, cat,
Keela, and kitten, Bruno. She may return
to writing in the future but for now,
colours are a more soothing companion.
You can purchase work by Joni Laberge
in Sparwood at Crumbs Cakery/Funky’s
Pizza, The Visitor Information Centre
and at Buds and Blooms.