A group of local art lovers dedicated to promoting the Columbia Valley as a destination art market have organized the second annual Artist in Residence program for Panorama Mountain Village. The program, this year called “In Our Backyard,” will feature renowned valley artist Denise Lemaster in a private Panorama home, which for one day will be open to the public as an art gallery.

“What we’re trying to do is feature one Columbia Valley artist a year up at Panorama… (to) expose the people who are visiting at Panorama to the artists in the valley,” said Victoria Page, who along with Deirdre Hamstead is the event’s volunteer organizer. “There’s a very high calibre of art that should be known here.”

Lemaster, a professional artist for over a decade who enjoys playing with forms and shapes, creates expressive paintings, primarily with oils, that showcase the beauty of nature.

“Art is a way to celebrate the environment,” Lemaster states on her website. “Engaging artworks that showcase natural beauty encourage people to appreciate their surroundings and foster understanding.”

Lemaster does very well in high end galleries in Calgary, such as the Stephen Lowe Art Gallery, said Page.

Last year’s event went extremely well, she said. More than one hundred and fifty people attended the inaugural showcase with master printmaker June Thomsen.

“I think it was her best personal event ever,” Page said.

“In Our Own Backyard” takes place on Saturday (August 4) at the home of Dave and Doris Penner at #3 Mount Brewer View in Panorama, just before the parking lot for the Greywolf Golf Course. Entry is free, and wine and appetizers will be provided. The reception and showing will run from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and those interested in attending this unique artist showcase are asked to RSVP by contacting Deirdre Hamstead at dehamstead@gmail.com.

“We are grateful to Doris Penner for the use of her home which will feature the art better than a lot of galleries might,” said Page. All of Lemaster’s work at the event will be for sale.

To view more of Lemaster’s expressive canvases online, visit www3.telus.net/deniselemaster.