A judge who paints, a slice of watermelon, and courthouse art

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Happy New Year! Last year’s eNews articles featuring paintings of BC courthouses and introducing their artists stimulated interest in this special genre. As a result, we’re able to share three more courthouse paintings – including one by a judge!

Jessica Kang
Jessica Kang is an artist and designer new to eNews. Originally from the Lower Mainland, she returned to Vancouver after living and working in Singapore, Seoul, London, Toronto, and New York for over a decade. Her watercolours are inspired by her passion to share her delight in travel, discovery, and the experience of learning to know a place through art.

Ms. Kang uses watercolour in a sketch-like, effortless way, hoping to “capture the energy and ambiance of locations, elevating them to a place of universal appeal and approachability”. She also explores the intersection of art, design & architecture in three-dimensional work like her public art exhibition, Windows to Nanaimo, shown at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre from May 2018 through April 2020.

Her paintings depicting Vancouver scenes are available as art greeting cards at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Public Library, Telus World of Science, and Fairmont Pacific Rim.

One of her inspirations is Arthur Erickson, architect of the Vancouver Law Courts, and Ms. Kang is often found in the Robson Square area, admiring his work and sketching it. This watercolour shows the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse at Robson Square where the Court hears family, small claims, youth, traffic and other ticket cases.

Robson Square Courthouse - artist Jessica Kang (not for reproduction without consent)

Tracey Kutschker
Shushwap artist Tracey Kutschker was featured in our first BC Courthouse Art eNews. An Ontarian who made her way further west after living and studying in Alberta, she is the Director/Curator of the Salmon Arm Art Gallery and Arts Centre.

As a landscape painter with a rich colour palette, Ms. Kutschker brought a creative and innovative approach to her role at the Art Gallery. She introduced a more challenging program of exhibitions and found an appetite for it in the Shuswap. An advocate of arts-based community development and engagement, she has spearheaded large-scale community art projects and worked to establish several accessible family programs at the Arts Centre. She has curated shows involving diverse groups of artists, inventive use of media, and a meaningful impact in Salmon Arm – work that requires enormous energy and attention to detail.

Painting local viewpoints and well-loved buildings like the Revelstoke Courthouse gives Ms. Kutschker a relaxing change from the challenges of directing a gallery and community art centre.

Revelstoke Courthouse – artist Tracey Kutschker

Judge Gregory Koturbash
The gift of a painting of the Revelstoke courthouse by local artist Tina Lindegaard inspired Judge Koturbash to begin collecting paintings of BC courthouses. His next step was to try his own hand at capturing the varied personalities of the buildings where he has worked as a lawyer and then as a judge.

Judge Koturbash explains that for him, painting serves several purposes:

“Painting helps me engage in the practice of mindfulness while feeding my need to be productive. It also taps the right (creative) side of my brain that never gets used because I hate dancing and singing. I hope as I continue to grow older it will also help me stave off the decline of my cognitive and dexterity abilities. … Painting is also something that I do with my kids. It so gratifying to see them engaging in mindfulness practice without even knowing it – no phones, and no social media. Also, as a dad you can’t beat having a captive audience.

The other day I asked one of the inmates from the Okanagan Correctional Centre to tell me about the kind of programming he was taking in the institution. He listed several programs but said his favorite was art therapy class. He said he had never painted before, but painted an angel in class. He said his classmates thought it was a slice of watermelon but he was proud of what he had done. How cool is that!

We all need our slices of watermelon in life. One of my slices is painting. I encourage others to explore their creative side, to overcome any fear they might have of being a beginner again, and to let go of any desire they have to be perfect!”

Penticton Courthouse -artist Judge Gregory Koturbash

A true Renaissance man, Judge Koturbash chairs the Court’s Criminal Law Committee, responsible for the interactive Criminal Law Boot Camp attended by all recently appointed BC Provincial Court judges.

In addition, he and Judge Richard Hewson led the Criminal Conditions team that developed standardized terms for the criminal law orders used by judges and lawyers. In 2018 that team, including Judges Hewson, Blake, Skilnick, Crockett and Birnie, judicial interns Robyn Goldsmith and Emily Jones, Virginia McMillan and Cindy Hoffman from Community Corrections, and Court Registry Operations Administrator Denis Senecal and DARS and CCD Product Manager Nereid Lake of the Court Services Branch, won a Justice and Public Safety Sector Award for Collaboration.

The award acknowledged the work done by the team over a three year period to develop wording for court order terms that would be clearly understood by both clients and enforcement agencies. In their nomination the team was described as “having worked collaboratively to review legal considerations and decisions, to solicit feedback from all areas of justice, and to ensure consistency in language that would reduce possible confusion around interpretation and enforceability”.

If you have a courthouse painting you’d like to share, please tweet a photo of it to @BCProvCourt or email it to eNews@provincialcourt.bc.ca.

For more about BC artists and paintings of BC courthouses, see:
BC Courthouse Art
More BC Courthouse Art