Liquidity Winery becoming mecca for art

Liquidity Winery becoming mecca for art

Liquidity President Ian MacDonald wants the Okanagan to be world-class art destination. (Keith Lacey photo)

The South Okanagan has become a mecca for world-class wine and food and one winery owner is doing everything in his power to make it a must-see destination for art lovers.

Ian MacDonald, the president of Liquidity Winery in Okanagan Falls, is going above and beyond to bring world-class art and artists to his winery.

Besides commissioning Vancouver’s Jeff Burgess to complete the impressive large ensemble piece called “The Dinner Party,” MacDonald is bringing in three world-class artists this spring, summer and fall.

They include an exhibition called “Ocean” by David Burdeny, who was selected as the world’s top nature photographer in 2016; an artist lecture by world renowned sculptor Marie Khouri; and an exhibition called “My Music” by Canadian expatriate Tim Okamura, who has called New York home for the past 26 years and has claimed a reputation as one of the world’s most acclaimed portrait artists.

Burdeny’s Ocean will feature the artist’s own selection of his favourite images captured as he explored the world’s oceans. He will be on hand for a special “Walk and Talk” presentation beginning at 10 a.m. on June 3 to explain the stories behind his photographs.

Tickets are free but space will be limited.

Khouri, acclaimed as one of Canada’s greatest sculptors, will talk on July 15 focusing on her public art projects as she has now completed more than 20 public art installations across B.C. and around the world.

The lecture will begin at 3 p.m. on July 15 and will take place in the Liquidity production facility.

Okamura will be on hand for the opening of his exhibit called “My Music” on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m., where he will share the stories and influences behind his work.

Tickets are free, but space will again be limited.

“We have turned this valley into a world-class destination for food and wine and it has been a dream of mine to try and do the same with art,” said MacDonald. “I have a passion for art and we committed when building this place to try and make art a big piece of what we have to offer.”

He has a lot of contacts in the upper echelons of the Canadian art scene and he’s using those connections to attract world-class artists like Burdeny, Khouri and Okamura, he said.

“It’s not easy and it takes a lot of time and effort to bring these artists here, but as I mentioned, art is a passion of mine and I think it can put us on the map as the only winery in the region with an art gallery of this calibre,” he said.

Fortunately, Liquidity has quickly gained a sterling reputation not only for its wine and food, but also for the incredible beauty surrounding the winery and its commitment to showcasing top-level art and artists, he said.

His goal is to have Liquidity recognized as one of the premiere boutique wineries in Canada and attracting premier artistic talent is going to play a huge role in those efforts.

The fact members of the public can attend lectures, meet the artists he’s promoting and view the art on display free of charge is a very nice bonus, said MacDonald.

When asked if he wants Liquidity to become better known for its food and wine or promotion of the arts, MacDonald doesn’t hesitate for a second.

“I would like to think it’s the combination of all three,” he said. “We want to offer an experience to all of our customers and that includes amazing architecture, great views, great food, great wine and world-class art.”

For Burdeny and Okamura’s shows, all of the other artwork on display inside Liquidity will be removed so every piece on display will be those of the guest artist, he said.

Burdeny, Khouri and Okamura have all visited the Okanagan Valley in the past and it didn’t take a lot of convincing for them to want to make a return trip to showcase their artwork, he said.

There has been great response to his art shows from residents in Osoyoos and Oliver and he expects that to continue in 2017, said MacDonald.

Liquidity Wines is located at 4720 Allendale Road in Okanagan Falls – you take Oliver Ranch Road off of Hwy. 97.

To get tickets for the upcoming art shows, call 1-778-515-5500.

By Keith Lacey

Vancouver artist Jeff Burgess shows his large ensemble painting “The Dinner Party” that was commissioned by Liquidity President Ian MacDonald for display at the winery. (Keith Lacey photo)