Margot Stolz is the new Artist in Residence at the Summerland Art Gallery.
She combines her drawings, paintings and photos with pure beeswax. It is a 2,000-year-old medium that is seeing resurgence of late.
“Beeswax has the ability to encapsulate things forever,” Stolz said. “Because of the lack of bees and how they have been dying, I feel really honoured and fortunate to work with this right now. Years from now we might be working with synthetic wax. There may not be any more beeswax.”
As a permanent resident of Summerland, Stolz said the South Okanagan has always been a choice place for her and she is inspired by the landscape here.
“Nature is a huge inspiration for me,” she said. “I do art to express myself and as a therapy for my own healing journey, but I don’t think I would be doing it if it wasn’t for my connection to nature. Art and nature are my spirituality.”
Stolz left her full time career as a teacher, because of a violent incident that left her suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Being able to do her art full time has been her therapy.
She said the butterfly motif comes up in her work because she relates the stages of a butterfly’s life to that of someone with PTSD, explaining how, first one cocoons, because the symptoms are so bad. Slowly one grows and morphs into something else, and then emerges back into the world, having recreated oneself.
As an artist she is very grateful for the opportunity to work out of the Art Gallery studio.
“Normally artists work in isolation, so if you want public accessibility with visibility, this is a godsend,” she said. “Here anyone can drop in, ask questions and watch me work.”