It’s only been a year since Dave Currie became a Squamish resident, but the 47-year-old artist has already created quite a presence in the town’s art community.
Currie called Whistler home for 25 years, serving as executive chef of both the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside Hotel and the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre Hotel.
But since moving to Squamish, Currie has devoted all his time to painting West Coast experiences in a unique, mosaic style using acrylics.
“I started painting in 1999 in Canmore, Alta.,” he said. “I was in an art store looking at some paintings and I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that.’”
Currie soon began developing his own style, and using his natural talents to help make end’s meet in Whistler.
“When I was in Whistler, I lived in the clock tower upstairs from the Boot Pub,” he said. “I used to pay my rent by making posters for the bands playing there. But after I did my first real painting, I had people becoming interested in my work.”
Since moving to Squamish, Currie has sold his works at the farmers’ markets, and has art cards, prints and original works for sale at various venues, including the Squamish Adventure Centre. He’s also contributed his works to support various organizations like the ALS Society of British Columbia, The Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society, the 2010 Paralympics, the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, North Vancouver Outdoor School Alumni Society and more.
“I find it very therapeutic,” he said of the creative process. “It’s great for my inner peace.”
Currie wants to share that inner peace with locals and tourists alike, as well, and plans to set up a gallery and perform live painting demos at the Newport Market in downtown Squamish beginning in the spring.
“On May 10 I begin doing live painting every Saturday at the Newport Market,” he said. “I’ll either be out front or inside depending on the weather.”
But don’t expect to see Currie complete a painting before your eyes in a day.
“I won’t be finishing a whole painting every day,” he said. “My works take hours and hours… and hours, to complete. But, I want to show the process and have people ask questions.”
Currie said he wants to connect with more locals and show tourists how vibrant the arts community is in town.
“There are a lot of artistic people in Squamish,” he said. “I think it would be great to connect with all those people — locals and visitors — and maybe have some of them look at my work and think, ‘Hey, maybe I can do that, too.’”