Artist and retired fighter pilot Brian Croft is perhaps best noted for his extremely detailed, historical paintings of urban scenes around Metro Vancouver and B.C.
And his newest print, to be unveiled Friday evening by Red Robinson at the kickoff to this year's The West Fine Art Show in Surrey, captures the vibrant nightlife of Chinatown in 1960.
The scene Croft has captured is looking west down Pender Street. Each year he chooses a neighbourhood as the focus of his next project and, for this year, he decided on Chinatown in Vancouver.
He said the image was one he, like many locals, remembers from his youth, and when he saw a photograph online of the streetscape, he had found his subject.
"It really was the restaurants that shone," he said.
"Chinatown" captures the period details, right down to the reflections from the neon signs and interiors seen through the windows.
"This painting is all about detail, really," he said.
Croft spends a great deal of time working with archive photos and doing research to get the image just right.
For "Chinatown," he pored through hundreds of period photographs to get all those details just so.
The West Fine Art Show, running from Friday to Sunday, is organized by Croft and Murray Phillips, another noted West Coast artist. There are 18 outstanding artists taking part in this year's show, plus work by Red Robinson and Shell Busey.
The event is free to visit, and on Saturday the artists will be hosting a free pancake breakfast.
Phillips, who first came up with the idea for the event, said the artists pay for everything themselves, and also donate 25 per cent of all sales to Indspire, which gives grants and scholarships to indigenous youth to pursue their educational goals.
Senator Gerry St. Germain and his wife, Margaret, have offered their property as venue, at 19339 8th Ave. in South Surrey. There is plenty of free parking and there will be live music all three days as well.
For a full schedule and hours of The West Fine Art Show, see www.westart.ca.
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