Monstrous Array. Dimensions variable. Ink and graphite on paper. Installation view at the Kootenay Gallery of Art, Castlegar, BC. 2022

Jim Holyoak is a Nelson-based artist with a national and international career. The Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar is fortunate to welcome Holyoak in an exhibition called Vestigial Trail that will run from June 23rd until August 20th.This exhibition will feature works collected during Holyoak’s travels, as well as new works reflecting the shapes of the monstrous today as it relates to our lives in the Kootenays.

We all know monsters as the stuff of popular culture – vampires, zombies and the like. But here in BC’s interior, the mountains, when blanketed in cloud or snow, in darkness or in smoke, can transform into unknown beings looming over the valleys at their feet. For millennia, Indigenous people and now settlers have shared this place with grizzlies and cougars, with whispers of Sasquatch stalking the forests and giant serpents swimming in the depths of lakes. Forest fires have always existed but recently they have taken on a new bestial life, swallowing whole villages and mountainsides. People retreat indoors from the fire to find the invisible monster known as COVID sneaking upon us in our workplaces, our schools and our homes. Holyoak’s drawings examine both the mountains and the monsters we live with.

Jim Holyoak will create a large-scale, location-specific drawing during a residency between June 23rd and July 8th. The public can watch Jim while he works, with specific times that they can meet and talk with him. Within the exhibition space will hang collections of large and smaller scale drawings depicting monstrous places and beings. To exhibit his book-works, tables will be arranged for visitors to touch and read handmade zines, comics and sketchbooks. The Vestigial Trail exhibition will also include a visitor studio room with books about monsters, and tables where visitors can draw and write on chalkboard walls and on postcards to reflect and respond to questions such as: What is a monster? Where do monsters come from? Who is the monster? What do monsters tell us about ourselves?

There are several public events, including an opening on June 23 at 7 pm. The next evening, June 24 from 5 pm – 9 pm, there will be a Live Music & Drawing event with Nelson musician Jesse Lee and Jim Holyoak. Guests can draw or watch Jim draw and listen to Jesse’s music created on guitar, keyboard, loopers and percussion. On Saturday, June 25 at 1 pm, there is an all ages, all levels monster drawing workshop. Participants can register for this free workshop through Eventbrite. A link can be found at

Holyoak’s residency wraps up on July 8 and the next day, July 9 at 11 am, Jim will talk with curator Maggie Shirley about his art, his residency and much more.

All events for this exhibition and residency are free to Kootenay Gallery members or by donation for non-members. The Kootenay Gallery is located at 120 Heritage Way, Castlegar. Our hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm .For more information, go to the webpage at, call the gallery at 250-365-3337 or email

Both the Kootenay Gallery and the artist are grateful for funding received for this exhibition from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Columbia Basin Trust through the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.

Alterity of Person and Place. Ink and graphite on paper
Live Music & Drawing, Workshop and More at Jim Holyoak Exhibition

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