Fernie Art Exhibit
Last week Jody and I went to the Fernie Museum on 2nd Ave, a 5 minute drive from Red Tree Lodge, to see the “I Am Fernie” art exhibition. In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Kyle Hamilton (Fernie Photographer) has selected 150 of his portraits from his I Am Fernie project as an art exhibit at the Fernie Museum in collaboration with Fernie Art Station. His original goal was to capture a portrait of every man, woman and child of Fernie over one year.
This journey started three years ago when Kyle started photographing Fernie residents in their daily life. Whether they have been living here for 5 minutes or a whole lifetime, Kyle took their pictures. Over this time Kyle has taken more than 1000 photographs of the people who call this town home.
Surrounded by Portraits
The first thing I noticed when walking into the room was that almost all of the portraits are staring right at you. Close to 150 pairs of eyes follow you around the room as you read and learn more about the individuals in the striking black and white portraits. As I looked closer at each of the pictures, the individuality of each person really came to life. I started to wonder who the people are, where they have come from, and what they do. And in true Fernie style, you can feel the mountain culture shining through. Most of the residents have on either a toque or some kind of hat!
This Is Fernie
Along with each portrait, there is a small description from each person. These descriptions tell us why they live in Fernie and what they love about their town. The recurring theme throughout is community; that small town vibe in a place where there is so much to do and so many adventures waiting to be had. One of my favorite quotes is from Lindsay Vallance, who said; “Fernie exists on a narrow line between the antics of human endeavor and the wordless, timeless core of nature. You can walk out your door in any direction and be humbled by what you see.” The faces of the people of Fernie and their words are a reminder of the wonderful place we all call home. I love that everyone here takes the time to look up from daily life and doesn’t take for granted the beautiful mountains around us.
Although there are 150 different faces throughout the whole exhibition, it really feels like a single snap shot in time. Leaving I felt a touch of nostalgia; this is Fernie, right now, at this time, and damn, do they look good!