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Okanagan artist Julia Hargreaves trained in England and received a masters degree in art from Manchester Metropolitan University. Working in watercolour, acrylic and oils, her designs have been used by many publishers and greetings card companies including Royal Doulton, Marks and Spencer, Henry Ling and Aries Design.
Julia was chosen out of thousands of artists worldwide to appear in the
International Artist publication “How Did You Paint That? –
100 Ways to Paint Still Life and Florals, 2004. She has also been chosen
as a Portfolio Artist for 2006 in the Ducks Unlimited National Art Portfolio.
In 2012 Julia partook in a Boreal Forest wilderness expedition funded by the Smithsonian Institution's museum of Natural History. Read the press release below.
Local artist in Wilderness expedition for Smithsonian ‘Visions of the Boreal Forest’ exhibition - July 31 to Aug. 31, 2012
In support of "Visions of the Boreal Forest" - A touring exhibition project of the Wilderness River Expedition Art Foundation (WREAF), the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
An uncontrolled forest fire, designated “Red 124” was to disrupt WREAF's month long "Heart of the Boreal Forest Expedition", painting and painting on the Bloodvein River, which flows through Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Ontario and Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba and empties into Lake Winnipeg. The goal of this 14th in an ongoing series of wilderness art and natural history expeditions, was to paint and photograph the pristine wilderness that forms the heart of the Boreal Forest. The Boreal is the largest terrestrial ecosystem on Earth and the region of the Bloodvein is within the southern portion of the largest, contiguous block of forest remaining in the world.
WREAF has partnered with CBI, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, CPAWS, outfitters and various outdoor equipment companies to facilitate these trips through the Boreal Forest (one including wildlife artist Robert Bateman) to enable artists to experience and record the Boreal Forest through canoe trips. The artists create paintings and photography and the final studio artwork is planned to appear in an exhibition "Visions of the Boreal Forest" being developed for the Smithsonian NMNH with generous support from TD Bank and targeted to open in 2014 or 2015 followed by a 3-5 year tour of Canada and the US.
"Visions of the Boreal Forest" will be a 6,000 sq ft tripartite fusion of art, science and indigenous perspectives of the largest terrestrial ecosystem on Earth with a uniting theme of wilderness travel, which for thousands of years has been and continues to be the inherent human experience of the Boreal Forest ." Rob Mullen (wilderness artist, expedition canoeist, WREAF founder/Director and co-lead curator of "Visions").
The crew of six consisted of; wildlife artist, Julia Hargreaves of Kelowna, BC and landscape artist Dawn Banning, joining WREAF veterans Rob Mullen and Canadian canoe experts, adventurers and photojournalists, Gary and Joanie McGuffin, their 12 yr old daughter Sila and 1 yr old malamute Luna. Artists Julia Hargreaves of Kelowna BC and dawn Banning from Windsor Ontario, were chosen from 500 artists on the Artists for Conservation website. Julia Hargreaves was chosen to paint the migrant songbirds, which, because of the destruction of their winter habitat are increasingly at risk.
The initial trip, which was to be a whitewater canoe trip down the Bloodvein River and into Manitoba, was revised, after the forest fire exploded overnight from 200 hectares into a raging inferno, which eventually covered an area of 21,575 hectares. The crew of experienced wilderness paddlers was inadvertently heading straight to wards the fire. “It was the cloud of orange smoke and hot ashes landing on our tents, which alerted us that something had changed.” The following morning a park ranger landed from a helicopter onto their island campsite and informed the crew that they had better leave right away.
Back again at the start point in Red Lake, Woodland Caribou Provincial Park officials assisted the crew Director to choose another route, this time through several lakes towards the Southern end of the park, a route which was to take in several ancient pictograph sites, acres of wilderness lakes, and pristine old growth forest
“Spending time in the wilderness was a very life changing experience”, said Okanagan wildlife artist, Julia Hargreaves. “I felt safe the whole time I was there and had chance to study all aspects of the forest, from the tiny lichens, to the rocks, water and magnificent skies, the silence and stillness broken only by the call of the loons. The water is so pure I drank straight out of the lake. Living with the very minimum basic requirements was very liberating and I didn’t miss the comforts of home. I have thousands of reference photographs and lots on site sketches, to use for the wildlife paintings I will produce for the Smithsonian exhibition and I am thankful for this opportunity to significantly add to the public awareness and discussion of conservation issues affecting the Boreal forest.”
The importance of the Boreal Forest cannot be understated. This is the largest, intact forest remaining in the world. It is an ecosystem of lakes and trees and moderates our climate. It’s a source of oxygen; it purifies our water, and is home to many First Nations communities and to thousands of species of birds, animals, plants and insects.
For further information visit www.wreaf.org and www.borealcanada.ca