Whistler artist Baz Carolan is unveiling two dozen new paintings... and a new name.
Baz One, as he is now known artistically, opened a solo show — his first — at the Crystal Gallery on Friday, May 1.
"I'm changing my name to simplify things. A lot of people can't pronounce my second name," the Irish native laughs.
The gallery takes up a huge space in the basement of the Crystal Lodge, located beneath the Lululemon store in Village Green. The gallery's whitewashed walls can take a lot of art, and One will fill the space.
"There was the opportunity to show here and I knew it a few months ago, so I painted as much as I could," he says. "The amount of work I needed to complete allowed me to develop different styles, more detailed work, that I haven't done before. I've drawn a lot of inspiration from comic books."
Along with the paintings, One has created two murals right on the gallery's walls. One is taking shape over the course of his month-long residency at the Crystal Gallery.
"People can come in, get a bit interactive, and check it out to see what I'm doing," he says.
State of the Art and Artwalk were the early influences on One. The 26-year-old has been painting seriously for two years, and has a diploma in photography.
"This is a whole different experience," he says, looking around the space. "Time to put my stamp on things and let people know I'm here."
He also got his work on a Prior Snowboard for the next season, the artwork of which will also be on the gallery's wall.
Robyn Savage, the manager of the Crystal Gallery, says this is the second locals' show, the first was with Whistler painter Andrea Mueller.
"When I took over the gallery I saw this potential to bring local art to the forefront of the Whistler arts scene. I saw a massive opportunity to give local artists a chance to display their work in this really cool, authentic gallery space," she says.
"I wanted to use my role here to give back to that artist community, a chance to participate in something that feels a little more grandiose or bigger."
But the artists also help the gallery, Savage adds.
"There is a lack of traffic in the gallery down here, because we are in a bit of a weird spot. I thought that reaching out to the community and spreading the word through local artists and people is a great way to get tourists and art lovers down here," she says.
Whistler art has long been firmly established as reflecting the natural beauty surrounding the resort and this is generally reflected in many galleries here. The Crystal Gallery has a combination of landscapes and modern art. Savage says the nature pieces continue to get a lot of attention because of that tradition.
"We have a balance. I think it's nice that we have Dave Mossop's (nature and mountain) photography. It speaks to the mountain culture. Then we bring in some super contemporary pieces, it speaks to everyone a little bit," she says.
One's show runs until the end of May.