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A photo of the forest floor with ferns and fallen small trees

Cumberland Museum and Archives – Hayashi Studio

Last winter through June, I helped at the Cumberland Museum and Archives on a database migration project. Each time I would go in for my volunteer shift, I looked forward to taking breaks and examining the black and white portraits on display. Their composition and lighting were perfect. Their subjects, distinctly diverse, were focused yet relaxed. These Cumberland photographers from so long ago who excelled at portraiture were part of the Japanese photo studio Hayashi Studio. A short film has been released about the studio, their critical work, and the history they documented.

From the Cumberland Museum and Archives’ Facebook page:
The Cumberland Museum and Archives is proud to promote this new video and the team behind it, Scopitone Films. The film looks at Cumberland’s Japanese Canadian history and the former photography studio located on the top floor of Cumberland’s first brick building, where Riders Pizza now stands.

The photographs taken at the Hayashi Studio were used as part of a Touring exhibit presented by the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. The exhibit featured eighty photographs from Cumberland, New Westminster and Vancouver representing almost 50 years of BC history through the eyes of Japanese Canadians.

The book — Shashin: Japanese Canadian Photography to 1942 — catalogued and accompanied the exhibit.
Come visit the museum to see photographs from the Hayashi collection, pick up your copy of the book Shashin,…”

Watch the film Hayashi Studio

Daniel Seßler

Brian Middleton's digital artwork of a mountain and lake in green hues

Brian Middleton and Diane McCarten “Still Evolving” Art Exhibit at the MAC in Parksville, BC

I’m excited about an exhibit at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville. (By the way, I had the pleasure of making the new website for the MAC).  Brian Middleton & Diane McCarten are partnering up for an exhibit called “Still Evolving”. It opens October 16th and runs until December 1st, 2018.  I haven’t yet seen Diane’s work, but I have seen Brian’s.

I am picky about art. Sometime earlier this year or maybe last year, I was at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach and there was a group exhibit on upstairs. My mother, who has a studio at TOSH, had said matter-of-factly “Brian does digital art now. He has a piece in this.” I found it, a landscape of angular mountains like crystals with rainbow colours above—was it titled “Where You Will Find Me”? I couldn’t stop analysing and talking about it and it’s title. I was impressed!

Brian Middleton, who is based in based in Parksville, BC, does art he calls “Virtual Impressionism”. He uses an iPad to create it. More from his website:

“”Virtual Impressionism” is the term I use to describe the essence of this work.

Originally, the term “Impressionism” was used to describe a movement in painting in mid-nineteenth century France.  It was characterized by a focus on depicting a visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and colour.

“Virtual Impressionism” continues to focus on the changing effects of light and colour, but using the illuminated screen as canvas and virtual tools as brushes and paints.”

Hope this exhibit is well attended and good luck to Brian and Diane.


Brian Middleton & Diane McCarten – “Still Evolving”
October 16 – December 1, 2018
Opening Reception – Sunday, October 21 from 1-3 pm
McMillian Arts Centre: 133 McMillan Street, Parksville, BC