Across the Distance is the first International Call to Artists by the Langley Arts Council.

The Langley Arts Council was overwhelmed by the response from our community regarding this Call to Artists. We had applications come in from artists located around the world, and we're absolutely blown away by all of the talented artists who applied! 

We received the most applications the LAC has ever received for a Call to Artists, and the LAC Jurors chose over 80 artworks to display in this exhibition.

The Langley Arts Council reached out to three artists who have never shown with the LAC before to ask them about their artistic practice and share their answers with our community. We've featured Katie Lemieux, Alex Lavrov, and Prasad Mestri.

Katie Lemieux

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Tell us a bit about your practice. What Medium/Mediums do you work in?

For the first several years of my practice I was exclusive to charcoal illustration. I have a deep interest in texture and the physical, tactile qualities of art. After experiencing the malleability of clay, my work shifted to sculpture. I am deeply mesmerized by the similarities between clay and flesh, the juxtaposition between malleability and vitrification. I still draw, but when I do I find it still reflects my fascination with texture.

Have you shown in an international exhibition before?

I have been very fortunate to have shown in several international exhibitions. I have shown my work in China, Croatia, USA and Canada, an incredibly humbling experience.

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, though non-verbal communication strikes a chord with me that I continue to carry within my practice. Empathy, posture, facial expression and gestures largely fuel my interests when sculpting or drawing. This pertains to both human and animals alike, as every living being has a means of communication.

Have you always been creative? or Why did you start making art?

I have always been interested in creating thing dating back to as far as I can remember and I can confidently say I have never considered a career that was outside my artistic interests. Making art for me was a means of communication, especially as a shy child. Years later, my youngest sibling was born with autism and he too experiences alternative ways of communication. This only fuels my art practice and I continue to create work that explores how we as humans and animals connect to each other and with the world.

Alex Lavrov

Where are you from?

I was born in Ukraine in 1981 (part of the soviet union then).

In 1997 moved to Israel and eventually to Canada in 2007.

Lived in Lower Mainland ever since. Currently residing in Vancouver.

Tell us a bit about your practice. What Medium/Mediums do you work


I work predominantly with oils on canvas. I find it the most pleasurable experience out of all mediums I've tried throughout my life (drawing, watercolour, a bit of sculpture, some craft making).

Have you shown in an international exhibition before?

Yes, I would say. I've participated in a few international exhibitions before. They were like this one, an online exhibition.

Where do you find inspiration?

I've been asked this question many times before. My answer often surprises people, because I don't work out of inspiration. I just do what I do. To put it in other words, creativity just sort of flows out of me at any given moment as long as I let it do whatever it wants to do. I don't have a specific subject matter in mind or waiting for some kind of a muse to come and provide me with inspiration.

I approach a new canvas with a spirit of "OK. Let's see what's going to come out of my subconscious now", then I start improvising. As an oil painter, I work in layers. My paintings are done in 3 to 4 coats of paint. It starts as a combination of blurred shapes and colours and with each subsequent layer these shapes become sharper and the picture becomes clearer. After that, I can identify what the painting is about. At this point, I would give it a title and describe the subject matter as I interpret it.

Have you always been creative? or Why did you start making art?

I had some potential in kindergarten and then in school. I could draw and paint better than most kids. But I didn't take it seriously up until age 15 or so. At that age, I started to attend the local art school but eventually had to drop out.

I'd say that somewhere around age 16 I began to express myself through art more and more. At that age I was damaged psychologically and emotionally thanks to the environment I grew up in, and art was my way out of that condition, the light that helped me navigate through dark corridors of my unconscious, if I may use the analogy. These days, 20 some years later, I can say that I'm in a good place. Making art still remains my favourite activity, and other than self-expression I use it as a tool to understand the nature of conscious, unconscious and subconscious minds. 

We pleased to announce that Alex Lavrov will be having a solo exhibition at the Township of Langley Civic Centre "Civic Gallery" in 2021. Alex's exhibition will take place from January 13th, - February 22nd. Be sure to follow the Langley Arts Council on Social media to receive updates about our upcoming exhibitions.

Prasad Mestri

Where are you from?

I am from Dahanu, a small coastal town in the state of Maharashtra, India. I study in the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai under the Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts (Painting)

Tell us a bit about your practice. What Medium/Mediums do you work in?

I am currently studying Bachelor's in Fine Arts in the Sir J.J. School of Art. This is my 4th and last year of my Degree. I plan to do my specialization in Painting. I have simultaneously studied Portrait for the last 4 years along with my specialization subject. I always try to relate my artwork to a particular topic. I always have preferred doing realistic artwork and I prefer it to date. Although, since the last few years, I have developed an inclination towards the Creative Style of Painting. I have always, since the very days of my childhood, observed different social traditions happening around me. I grew up in a small town, hence superstitions have always influenced my life in one way or another. I try to inculcate these things through Creative Painting that has had an impact on my initial life. It would not be wrong to say, the roots of my artwork are the culture and traditions prevailing in my country.

I have always liked to get a little experimental with my Mediums. I have never limited myself to using one medium. Watercolours, acrylic colours, oil colours, pastels, charcoal, ink and Arabic gum are the mediums I have used for my paintings. Also, handmade paper, cloth, rice paper, natural papers, wood and natural, canvas are the surfaces I use for my artworks.
As to differ some of my artwork from my regular artwork, I have used a variety of Print Techniques. To name a few; Lithograph, Etching, Aquatint, Soft ground, Leaf ground, Gum Bight, Wood Carving and Viscosity are the techniques I have used a number of times. 

Have you shown in an international exhibition before?

No. This happens to be my very first time displaying my art in an international exhibition. Although, my artwork has been recognized many times on the local as well as national levels such as Master Dinanath Pratishthan Award in 2016, Gladstone Solomon and Solomon Abraham Award for best Portrait and Landscape in 2017, Solomon Abraham Award for Portrait Painting in 2018 and Dot line Space Art Foundation Award for Best Creative Work 2019.
I have recently given thought to portray my artwork on a larger level and yours is the first platform that I have chosen. 

Where do you find inspiration?

I have always found local Indian artists inspiring. Indian art has been my inspiration for years. Famous Indian artist Prabhakar Barve, Baburao Sadwelkar and Shankar Palshikar have inspired me very much with their art.
Since the time that I have been able to portray my thoughts and ideas through my art and known that Art can be a form of social work too, I have tried to do my best to shape the mentality of local people. Indian culture and traditions have a number of flaws. Transformation of the society is what we require in this moment. I portray subjects like superstitions through my efforts. There are surely somethings I would like to change in the Indian Society and if my artwork is successful in doing so, that will also be my own success too. Hence, I try to find inspiration from such successful artists to make my art more understandable to people.  

Have you always been creative? or Why did you start making art?

My art has always been my pride. I was great at drawing, painting, etc from a very young age. I participated in various competitions at school level and won prizes. This made me realize that there actually might be a chance for me to develop a career in what I like the most, Art. Sir J.J. School of Art is every art student's first choice in India. It was exactly where I wanted to study. The classic method of teaching and the very qualified professors are exactly what I needed.
Not one specific reason, there are many reasons behind my interest in making Art. It is mainly based on my interest that developed along time. Pursuing everything I have till today has purely driven by one sole thing, my love for art.

The LAC wants to thank all of the artists that took the time to make work, apply for this Call, and for choosing to showcase their work with the Langley Arts Council. We thoroughly enjoyed looking through the submissions and we look forward to providing more opportunities for international artists in the future.

Thank you to Alex, Katie, and Prasad for taking part in our short Q&A and allowing the Langley Arts Council Community to hear more about yourself and your creative practice. Be sure to view the Across the Distance exhibition HERE.

Are you interested in taking part in our next International Call to Artists? Check out the call below!