Wendy Wacko

Founder

Executive Director



“ Rebel with a Cause “

 

 Canadian Art has been a passion since childhood.  Wendy was influenced by frequent visits to the McMichael collection, home of Tom Thompson, The Group of Seven and Emily Carr.

Further early influences included painters David Milne, Andre Masson, Georgia O'Keefe, Tom Thompson, Doris McCarthy and Joni Mitchel. The poetry of Leonard Cohen and the novels by Robertson Davis enhanced an awareness and devotion to the Canadian creative community.

 Wacko Studied art in the late 1960s and early 70's in Toronto. Her post graduate studies took place at the Central School of Art, where she was taught by Doris McCarthy and later the New School of Art that was (at the time) led by Gordon Rayner and an avant-garde group of modernists. It was visit to a 1972 exhibition of McCarthy landscapes at the Merton Gallery that become a major turning point for Wacko and inspired a clear path for the next forty years.

Interested in Canadian landscape painting and all that it embraced, in 1972 Wacko travelled to live and paint in the Canadian Rockies.

 In 1977 she married local Jasper Theatre owner Dwain Wacko and the same year was lucky enough to meet up with Doris McCarthy for a month of painting in the Canadian Rockies. That chance encounter led to a 28 year ongoing adventure in landscape painting, traveling the world with her mentor and friend. Encouraged by her husband, Wacko was able to reach across the globe to explore and develop her Artistic ambitions.

1978 – 1992 Wacko produced a series of award winning films that included Doris McCarthy Heart of a Painter (licensed by CBC), a BBC co-production entitled Mountain Men, a Television Movie

 Strikers Mountain (starring Leslie Neilson), and a mini series co-produced with the Australian Film Corporation Golden Fiddles (starring Kate Nelligan).

 

 From 1977 to 2015 Wacko had 15 solo exhibitions of her paintings and is presently represented by the Scott Gallery in Edmonton and the Madrona Gallery in Victoria. Most well known works have been memories of vistas that carry you five hundred miles or more from a point of view that is a mile high - Dreamscapes that explore joy of process and color theory.

 In 1992 the frenetic life of an independent film producer was abandoned and the gallery that has grown to become  'Mountain Galleries' was founded.

 In February 2017, Wacko visited London to view the David Hockney exhibition at the Tate Britain. This landmark exhibition has given the world a glimpse into the future and an understanding of the ongoing challenge of representational art to find new and authentic ways to create artistic vision.

 

 “There are places, just as there are people and objects and works of art, whose relationship creates a mystery, an enchantment which cannot be analyzed"

Quote - Paul Nash - 1889-1946

Wendy Wacko - Artist Page

Elizabeth Peacock 

Co-Director

Gallery Manager

Fairmont Chateau Whistler



 Originally from the UK, Elizabeth Peacock graduated from Northumbria University with a BA Honours Degree in History of Modern Art, Design and Film Studies. She began her career with Sotheby’s London in the Contemporary Art department; after which she embarked on a 1 year tour through the United States, Australia and Asia; absorbing the diversity and beauty each new country had to offer. Subsequently, she returned to her home town of Newcastle where she continued her career with the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, working on exhibitions by artists such as Yoko Ono, Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.

 Elizabeth decided to relocate to Canada in 2010; and Whistler, with its vibrant culture and expanding art scene, was a natural choice. In October 2010, Elizabeth joined Mountain Galleries and so began a new love affair with the Canadian Arts.

 

 "I feel fortunate to be part of Mountain Galleries' team and proud to work with such fantastic artists in the most beautiful surroundings. To me, helping people take home an everlasting memory of their time in Canada is something special. There is a positive energy that emanates from our clients, from us and most of all from the art displayed in our Gallery."

Benjamin McLaughlin

Communications Director

Senior Sales Associate

Artist

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

 Benjamin McLaughlin joined the Mountain Galleries team as an Artist and Sales associate in Fall of 2011.

 

 As Communications Director, McLaughlin oversees the entire digital marketing, analytics and web presence for the company.  He has also partnered with Mountain Galleries to exclusively launch his design Ubuntu: Sound Resonating Furniture series.  

 

 Originally from Omaha, NE (USA), he completed his degree in Industrial Design from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC.  McLaughlin now splits his time between working in the gallery at Chateau Whistler and his design studio located in Vancouver.



 "I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to promote and evolve my work through this partnership with Mountain Galleries.  To be surrounded by such accomplished artists, is very inspiring and motivating.  When work does not feel like work, you know that you've found the right fit."

Ben McLaughlin - Artist Page

John Webster

Senior Sales Associate

Artist in Residence

Fairmont Banff Springs

With an interest in art nurtured from childhood, John Webster chose advertising as his path, graduating with a Diploma in Advertising from Sheridan College in 1982. John first pursued his commercial career as staff artist for Metroland newspapers before being hired to head point-of-purchase marketing at The Canadian Tire Corporation. For the next 20 years he ran his own advertising company tackling a wide range of projects.

John was introduced to the works of Canadian icon Doris McCarthy by Mountain Galleries' owner Wendy Wacko on a ski trip to Jasper in 1999. So began a longtime friendship that culminated in Mr. Webster's move west in 2007 to work at Mountain Galleries' Whistler location.

"I love the work of the artists we represent and very much enjoy meeting people with an appreciation for art. There is a wonderful feeling that comes when you bring together the right piece with the right person and you know that they will gain so much joy from that piece for so many years to come."

John Webster - Artist Page

Sharon Smith

Assistant Director

Artist in Residence 

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

 Sharon Smith graduated with distinction from San Francisco's Academy of Art College in 1988. Upon graduation, she was honoured to show in the annual New York Society of Illustrators Show. Returning to her home in Vancouver, Sharon promptly attained representation in communication arts, working for ten years in the industry. She has carried on her passion for painting while raising her family in Whistler, participating in numerous group shows and workshops during this time.

 

 A treasured addition to the Whistler Mountain Galleries' team since July 2010, Sharon's extensive art and illustration background bring valued expertise to our discerning clientele.

 "In a world of things increasingly high tech, working in an atmosphere of art inspired by nature is a breath of fresh air. The gallery is a fun place to work and share thoughts with people who have an appreciation of art."

Sharon Smith - Artist Page

Christine de Brabandere

Assistant Curator

Sales Associate

Fairmont Banff Springs

 Christine holds an MA in Medieval and Renaissance art history from Memorial University in St. John’s Newfoundland, as well as a Graduate certificate in Museum and Gallery Studies from Georgian College.

 

 Originally from London Ontario, Christine has had the opportunity to live across Canada and abroad. She began her career at Dumfries Museum in Scotland, where she learned the importance of celebrating ones heritage. Christine joined the Mountain Galleries team in March of 2019, and she looks forward to using her experience and passion to support Canadian artists.

 

 An avid hiker, she is thrilled to be living and working in Jasper among its beautiful scenery and vibrant culture.

Curated Articles by Christine:

Atlantic Medieval Association Conference

Collection of Featured Articles by Christine HERE

Known in Jasper as OB1, Ben has recently joined the Jasper team. He brings 20 years of managment experience from leading of our Park Warden First Responders. 

Ben Alderman

Volunteer

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Barbori Garnet

Gallery Manager

Sales Associate

Fairmont Banff Springs

Jacqueline joined the Mountain Galleries Jasper team in 2019 from Toronto, Ontario after receiving her BA Honours Degree in History and minoring in Museum and Gallery Curation. When in Toronto, Jacqueline devoted her time to working and volunteering within art organizations including volunteering at the Art Gallery of Ontario , The Gardiner Museum and on Canadian Film sets. 

After enjoying a year working with Mountain Galleries in the Rockies, Jacqueline returned to Ontario to continue the gallery’s mission, celebrating living Canadian Artists here at Mountain Galleries East in Stratford.

 

Jacqueline’s affinity for the arts is best represented by the following;

“For the arts epitomize, intensify and clarify the experience of beauty for us as nothing else can.”  Lawren Harris, Group of Seven

Jacqueline De Grave

Gallery Manager

Sales Associate

Mountain Galleries East

 

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