Perfect Strangers opens

Exhibition paired up artists, local residents for portraits

They were strangers when it all began - now, they are works of art.

New West Artists are gearing up for their second annual art show at the River Market: New West Artists, New Works.

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This year's show includes a special feature, Perfect Strangers - which features the portraits of 28 New Westminster residents, created by 28 different artists.

The works will be unveiled for the first time tonight (Friday, Nov. 25).

The show has had a few hurdles to overcome along the way - not the least of which was the departure of its curator, Laura Vladimirova.

Vladimirova, a resident of New York City and a U.S. citizen, wasn't able to extend her Canadian visa to oversee the show's completion.

"Initially, I conceived the show because when I arrived in New West, I was enamoured with the kindness of the community," she says. "I never felt like a stranger but like I had lived there all of my life. The charm of the people, the beautiful gardens and the history of the city inspired me. I wanted to give the artists and residents the same feelings of excitement, openness and newness."

Vladimirova describes Perfect Strangers as her "love letter to the city."

Once Vladimirova had to leave, the executive board of the New West Artists group stepped up and took over the show's completion.

The collection of portraits - which includes drawings, prints, photographs and sculptures - will be on display upstairs at River Market starting tonight at 6: 30 p.m. and up for a month thereafter.

The Perfect Strangers exhibition is on display in the Network Hub space.

The New Works exhibition is on this weekend, Nov. 25, 26 and 27. It will include the work of more than 50 artists.

Check out www.newwestartists.com for details or drop by River Market to check it out.

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