BC’s courthouses comprise a quirky collection of buildings, ranging from graceful 19th century edifices to soulless strip mall units. This is the second in a series of eNews articles featuring paintings that celebrate BC’s courthouses and the artists who have captured their character and spirit.
Inspired by one judge’s passion for “courthouse art”, this eNews includes paintings of the Vernon, Revelstoke and Nelson courthouses by a trio of BC artists. A previous article featured paintings of the Penticton and Salmon Arm courthouses, also commissioned or collected by Judge Gregory Koturbash.
Born in Colorado to a family of artists and musicians and brought up in the Ottawa Valley, Lainey Benson moved to Nelson, BC at the age of 17. Before becoming a fulltime artist she studied environmental planning at Selkirk College, married and raised a family, and worked with people with developmental disabilities.
Ms. Benson cites Emily Carr, Clarence Gagnon, John Kasyn, John Casson, William Kurelek and Ted Harrison, as well as contemporary Canadian artists, as inspiration. Her recent work uses several layers of acrylics on a black background to achieve a bright, vibrant and uplifting effect in Nelson streetscapes and Ottawa Valley landscapes. Her art can be seen regularly at exhibitions in the Nelson area.
This painting of Nelson’s courthouse shows Ms. Benson’s reverence for light and colour.
Nelson Courthouse – artist Lainey Benson
Tina Lindegaard has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. Born in Copenhagen, she moved to Canada when she was 10 and grew up in western Canada. She attended college in Kelowna and then worked as a flight attendant for many years. Her love of art led her to Thompson Rivers University where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on painting, photography and sculpture.
Ms. Lindegaard sees art as a way to raise awareness and “give back”, so she dedicates many of her works to causes she supports. She has also teamed up with local teachers in projects combining art and science. One year Grades 5, 6 and 7 students each chose and researched a wetland bird. Under Ms. Lindegaard’s guidance they experimented with different media including painting, paper maché and felting. They sewed bags to carry sketch books on field trips and created books containing their research and artwork. At the end of the year their books and art were displayed at the Revelstoke Art Gallery. Another year, salmon were the focus of students’ integrated activities.
She has lived in Revelstoke for 26 years and operates Begbie Studios – not directly named after BC’s Judge Matthew Begbie, but after Mount Begbie, a Revelstoke landmark named after the judge and the subject of her first painting.
As a painter, Ms. Lindegaard strives to relay messages of living with passion and conviction. Her painting of the Revelstoke courthouse shows her gravitation to vibrant colours and intense contrasts.
Revelstoke Courthouse – artist Tina Lindegaard
Jamie Frazer was born and grew up in BC’s lower mainland where she attended the Emily Carr College of Art and Design and studied painting at Kwantlen College. Her career as an artist has taken her across Canada, to Europe and to the United Arab Emirates, with endeavours including teaching classes, painting signs and murals, and painting designs on windows. “I’ve painted anything and everything”, she says.
Now settled in Armstrong BC, she teaches painting to adults and children. She has worked with acrylics since 1966, developing an impressionistic style using strong colours she creates herself. Her paintings of landscapes and buildings like the Vernon Law Courts show the vivid colours and loose style she favours. Currently, her work is being displayed in Yoho National Park.
Vernon Law Courts – artist Jamie Frazer
Other courthouse art
If you have paintings of BC courthouses you’re willing to share, tweet them to @BCProvcourt so we can include them in a future of eNews.