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Trio of abstract artists showing recent work at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Artists Andrea Soos, Julie King and Jessamyn Box present joint exhibition
Paintings by Jessamyn Box, Julie King and Andrea Soos (cropped, from left) will be on display as part of a joint exhibition at Gallery Merrick from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3. (Photos courtesy the artists)

Paintings by a trio of abstract artists from Vancouver Island and beyond are going on display as part of the latest joint exhibition at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick.

Victoria’s Andrea Soos, Julie King of Duncan and Jessamyn Box from Calgary will have work on display at the downtown gallery from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3.

King was the first abstract painter to join Gallery Merrick. An avid hiker, she calls her pieces “imagined vistas,” abstract landscapes based what she’s seen on B.C. trails. None of the paintings are of specific locations, but rather depict amalgamations of different views.

“I’m trying to evoke the feeling of actually walking through the landscape and looking from side to side as you’re walking along,” she said. “So the idea of being immersed in the landscape.”

Soos describes her latest body of work as full of colour and vibrancy, inspired by the landscape and “fully infused with positivity and love.” She said abstract art is full of possibilities.

“Each time I approach the canvas, something new and exciting can happen,” Soos said in an e-mail. “Everyone viewing abstract art can take their own interpretation and personalize the piece.”

Box is the gallery’s newest abstract artist, having joined the artist roster earlier this year, and her paintings were made with Gallery Merrick in mind. Normally when it comes to her work it’s “the larger the better,” but for this show she downsized a bit to fit the venue.

For Box, few materials are off limits. Her work includes acrylic, latex and spray paint, as well as pencils, pastels and charcoal. She said she’s been drawn to abstract art her whole life.

“I really respect realism and landscape … and the ability to paint like that,” she said. “I’m much messier than that I think and I just like the paint splashing and the freedom.”

WHAT’S ON … Jessamyn Box, Julie King and Andrea Soos exhibition takes place at Gallery Merrick, 13B Commercial St., from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3. Online reception takes place on Gallery Merrick’s Instagram and Facebook pages on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.

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