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Kelowna photographer Wendy McAlpine was recently awarded recognition as an expert-level photographer of the performing arts and her work will be on display at Bo.ttega’s The Grace Experience event this coming Sunday evening. The distinction McAlpine has been given ranks her among only six other Canadians who have received the same accolade, and the decision by the national panel of professional judges who green-lighted her status as an expert was unanimous. That sort of agreement among the panelists is rare, and it serves as a testament to Wendy’s work
Wendy is excited to take part in The Grace Experience this weekend because of its theme. She has created work in two collections especially for it. The first collection was shot over a weekend’s trip from Vancouver to Kelowna and is meant to reflect the beauty and grace that can be seen in the emergence of spring. “Every spring is grace,” Wendy told me. “Things don’t have to be as beautiful as they are, but they are.”
The collection starts on a gloomy, rainy day in Stanley Park and shows the transition from cold to warm as it travels across the snowy mountains and into our valley. The photos feature Wendy’s daughter, Jordan McAlpine, who is a dance instructor with Creator’s Arts Centre as well as a social worker at Inn from the Cold. Through the featuring of Jordan the theme of grace is furthered, and Wendy was able to flex her muscles in regards to capturing images of the performing arts.
Wendy has raised two daughters, and the second collection she is contributing to The Grace Experience reflects her experience in parenting girls. It’s themed on “The Three Graces” – also called “The Three Charities” – which are strength, creativity, and charm. McAlpine considers qualities like these to be more important for a girl to possess than beauty, and she discovered when she recently learned about the three graces that she had unknowingly riffed on the theme with her daughters when they were young. “Prettiness is a feature for a woman, but you don’t need it. I wanted to be sure Jordan and Renee knew that. Other things are more important, and the creativity of a person alone can make them beautiful.” Wendy is a lively and vivacious woman, and she related this comical anecdote on the subject: “My feminist diatribe to the girls when they were small was, ‘Strong, fast, and sharp teeth!’ So I would say, ‘What does a girl need?’ and they would flex their muscles and run around. I’m pretty sure if you asked them today what a girl needs, they would still tell you that!”
The Grace Experience at Bo.ttega Farm Inn this weekend runs from 7 PM - 9 PM, and it will feature a multitude of artistic contributions. There will be music, paintings, and dance in this interactive, free-to-the-public walk-through. All are invited to attend and to experience the powerful theme of grace as it is expressed through the creative gifts of the many artists.
Wendy McAlpine is up for Best Photographer in the Best of Kelowna competition. She is also sponsored by the Youth with a Mission organization (YWAM) to be a community photographer for advocacy and arts associations, which means that these companies can commission her to do their photography work without ever seeing the bill. If you are interested in viewing Wendy’s work you can attend The Grace Experience as well as go online to her gallery at: http://photographykelowna.smugmug.com/
Have you ever attended an event at Bo.ttega before? What makes you excited about events like The Grace Experience? We’d be delighted to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to post them below.
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