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Portfolio of
 Leslie Barnwell 

Hazelton, British Columbia

Media Type(s):

Artist Website Link

e-Mail Artist

Galleries in Portfolio:

Fear in Fragment
Gardens and More
Intimate Garden
The Rosemary Suite
Weaving Art
Wind Water Fire Earth

Interview with Artist


Tatshenshini, Windy Craggy

Artist Statement

I've been painting and writing for a long time, as long as I can remember it seems. Though the focus of this website is not writing, my poetry and visual art run concurrent in my life.

I guess most of us begin drawing when we are tiny and some of us stop, expressing ourselves in other ways. Some of us don't stop. I'm one of those, though I have not painted professionally for all of that time. I married, moved to Kispiox Village with my husband, Joe, taught school there, then moved up-valley where we built a log house and brought up two wonderful daughters, Maila and Freyja. Along the way I began to create work I felt I could share and have continued to do so.

My daughters have grown and moved away. I still live in the Kispiox Valley with my companion, John Stephens.

Over the years my artistic expression has taken many forms. There is always something new on the horizon. For the last several years I have been developing a medium I call woven watercolour. This unique work is very exciting for me. I continue to push the limits of this new approach to painting. Currently the Rouault series commands my attention. The vibrant, rich creations of French painter Georges Rouault inspire this work. These pieces entwine his vision and mine as I re-imagine his images in woven paintings. I continue to work in traditional watercolour, pencil and ink as well.

I do my best to walk with my eyes and heart open. One small vision. One great world.


Leslie Barnwell is an artist living in the Kispiox Valley in northwest British Columbia. She is both skillful and innovative in her use of colour, materials and ideas, using various techniques and styles. Leslie's paintings demonstrate her fascination with colour, pattern and form.

Her work also shows a deep concern for people, social issues and our place in the natural world. She has mounted more than 30 individual exhibitions; her works hang in Canada and abroad in public and private collections.

Leslie also writes and has been published in Creekstones: Words & Images, an anthology of work by British Columbia writers and photographers. Creekstone Press has recently published a book of her poetry and drawings entitled, The Rosemary Suite.


Individual Exhibitions:

2004 wind water fire earth Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George, B.C.
2003 voice beyond voice Conference Centre, Quesnel, B.C.
2002 selected
fear in fragment Smithers Art Gallery, Smithers, B.C.
justice behind walls website
1998 wind water fire earth Museum of Northern B.C., Prince Rupert, B.C.
1996 evolution of a sudden
moment Smithers Art Gallery, Smithers, B.C.
Northwestern National Exhibition Centre, Hazelton, B.C.
1995 fear in fragment Toured in B.C.:
- Northwestern National Exhibition Centre, Hazelton
- B.C. Judges Conference, Vancouver
- Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women, Burnaby
- Matsqui Institution, Abbotsford
- Metropolitan United Church, Victoria
- Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women Conference, University of Northern B.C., Prince George, B.C.

1993 voice beyond voice Asian Centre, U.B.C., Vancouver, B.C.
Faculty Club, U.B.C., Vancouver, B.C.
1992 selected work Wrinch Memorial Hospital, Hazelton, B.C.
1991 vast solitude Smithers Art Gallery, Smithers B.C.
1990 3 edges McPherson Playhouse, Victoria, B.C.
vast solitude Terrace Art Gallery, Terrace, B.C.
bodies have voices too Northwestern National Exhibition Centre, Hazelton, B.C.
1989 Thirteen exhibitions shown in public art galleries in B.C.
Prince George Smithers Hazelton
Prince Rupert Kelowna
Vancouver Richmond

Group Exhibitions:

1998 Fabrications Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam, B.C.
1997 weaving in music Bongate Mill Gallery, Appleby, England.
1997 The Black Line Kermode Gallery, Hazelton, B.C.
1996 Five Hazelton Women Kermode Gallery, Hazelton, B.C.

Juried Exhibitions:
Thirty paintings accepted in twenty-two juried exhibitions from 1978 to 1989. Several received honourable mention, best in show or cash awards. Examples of these exhibitions include:

B.C. Festival of the Arts
Artists at the Square, Robson Square Media Centre, Vancouver, B.C.
Federation of Canadian Artists Experimental Work Exhibition


1986 Lighthouse Page in book Artists of British Columbia.
1986 Ishmael Cover on July/August Issue of Canadian Baptist.
1985 No Room Reproduced in New Catalyst.

Paintings in Public Collections include:
Portrait Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario
Big Autumn Department of Microbiology, U.B.C., Vancouver, B.C.

Formal Education:

Simon Fraser University
Biology, Education

Teaching Experience:
Have taught in various locations including Vancouver, Kispiox Village, and the Kispiox Valley.

Art Education:

Childhood art instruction through Vancouver Art Gallery
1971 Drawing Course at U.B.C. (Nicolaides Approach)
1983 Saltspring Island Intensive Seminar with six instructors
Attended watercolour seminars taught by Claire Babcock, Zoltan Szabo, Carl Christopherson and Katherine Wengi O'Conner.

Art Teaching Experience (from 1975 to present):
Developed art curriculum for use in elementary schools. Workshop given in Kitsegukla. B.C.
Taught watercolour courses through Northwest Community College, Hazelton, B.C.
Led seminars on pre-school and elementary art, Kispiox Village, Gitanmaax Village.
Offer drawing and painting courses privately.
Taught creative writing course for Northwest Community College, Hazelton, B.C.


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