The Michael Wright Art Gallery (MWAG), Outlet Gallery, City Hall Gallery, and Port Coquitlam Community Centre feature a rotating program of exhibitions by local and regional artists. The exhibitions advance knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the visual arts by integrating art into community life and contributing significantly to the cultural landscape of Port Coquitlam.


Exhibition Viewings

Visit the exhibitions in person or view online. Schedule and addresses listed below.

Shelter in Place by Lacey Jane Wilburn

June 29, 2022 – September 27, 2022

This series of expressive and intimate paintings illuminate the altering relationships to private and domestic space as a result of the pandemic. As a global society, we are undeniably living in a time of separation and distance. “Throughout this experience, I have been both challenged and deeply compelled by my domestic world, my relationship to the rooms in my home are becoming radically more important.” These works are about probing into the quiet moments of indoor solitude, the personal areas of human life that are often overlooked, or considered as incidental.


Inside Euphoria by Kristy Shandal

June 29, 2022 – September 27, 2022

In this pandemic, our homes can sometimes feel more like prisons. I hope to renew the vibrancy and scope for life that still exists within everyday moments and everyday spaces. The subject matter of these works features domestic routines – washing dishes, opening the fridge, taking a bath – through the lens of an embodied ritual. With this exhibition, I hope to instill in the viewer a sense of appreciation for the beauty of daily life.


Kristy Shandal: Artist Interview

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your background and how did you begin your professional practice?

It’s hard to say exactly when my ‘professional’ practice as an artist began. I’d say I’ve checked all the boxes on the technical list that states that I am a professional and I would say most of those have been completed in the last 16 months. I recently graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a BFA, I’ve sold pieces, I’ve shown work as part of a group, and now I am presenting in my first ever solo show. I must be a professional now, right?

Yet even with these accomplishments under my belt, I still keep struggling with imposter syndrome when speaking about my work or calling myself a ‘real’ artist. My relationship with art, as a maker and an observer, regularly alters between all-consuming and a battle between competing priorities. From a bored suburban child with a love of using drawing as an escape, to an overworked adult fighting for the time and space to keep my fascination with painting alive. But even when the other fragments of my life seem to require most or all of my resources, I know I’ll always come back to art.

Part of why I make art is to escape the hard edges of reality. I was born and raised in Prince George, B.C. During this time, I experienced the privilege of a relatively mundane childhood with the usage of art as a natural extension of other favourite childhood past times; playing, pretending, and daydreaming. After moving to Burnaby at age twelve, I experience a few lonely early-teenage years. The day I knew I wanted to be a painter was in grade 11 when my art teacher introduced me a ‘dry-brush’ technique. We painted the entire door of her classroom with large swooping multi-coloured clouds. I felt an internal euphoria that I had missed since early in my childhood. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since, the absolute satisfaction of pushing paint around.

2. What subject matter do you work with and why?

The subject matter of my work is another thing that varies. Although I am often inspired by plants, outdoor spaces, and the human body, ‘Inside Euphoria’ is a specific response to quarantine, and features only indoor scenes as the subject matter. Some pieces represent only the space and objects, creating an empty feeling like that of a still-life, while others have my own body invading the scene. In both of these versions, I wanted to imitate my own perspective.

With this series, I wanted to specifically highlight ‘home’ as a sacred space. I wanted to push back against the negative association of being ‘stuck at home’ because of this pandemic. I wanted to recognize the privilege of having a home to keep me safe during this time. And I wanted to illustrate the routines that ground me in this space of softness and safety, however simple they are.

3. How does the idea of community relate to your practice?

This work explores the individual relationship I have with my home. During quarantine, the time when I was making the bulk of this work, our homes had to mutate daily – becoming our schools, our workplaces, and our spaces for community engagement. These different kinds of ‘home-hybrids’ didn’t always feel fun or work perfectly but during this time, it was the only option in connecting to a community that has struggled to rebuild normality.

4. What is your dream project?

I would love to design a mural one day. In high school, I assisted in the painting of a mural for the City of Burnaby, at that time, I was unable to fully appreciate being able to give back to my community in the sharing of art. Now I am often so blown away by the quality of the public art on the lower mainland and I would be honoured one day if I could leave my fingerprint on the landscape of this community.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

I felt like a big part of learning to critique work in art school was trying to avoid binary words like ‘good’ and ‘bad’, or ‘like’ and ‘dislike’. I had an older teacher in one of my painting studio classes who did not filter himself in this way when talking about art. He would often use words like this when describing a painting. One student in our class pushed back on him, asking  “What exactly makes a painting ‘good’ or ‘not good’?”

The teacher took a second and said “A good painting has a presence that goes beyond being a picture of something.” I hadn’t heard anyone illustrate that idea in such a simple way before. Unless you’re going for photo realism it can be very difficult to know when to stop working on a piece; often you can go too far and end up ruining what was previously working. This phrase sticks in the back of my brain while I paint now. I am constantly asking myself “does this work have its own unique presence?” and once I know it does, that’s when I decide that the work is finished. It wasn’t intended as ‘advice’ exactly, but to this day, that’s how I use it.

6. Name three artists who’ve inspired you.

Three artists who inspire me are Susan Rothenberg, Philip Guston and David Hockney – all amazing painters.

I feel a kinship with Susan Rothenburg because she speaks a lot about the pleasure of painting. Her mark-making feels like the paint has been franticly slapped onto the canvas, which works perfectly with her relatively simple subject matter.

The work of Philip Guston has much more controversial themes, but his brush strokes have similarly frantic energy that I am drawn to. I have been heavily influenced by his use of pink in many of his paintings, it has such a unique quality, I try to use pink in everything I make.

To me, much of David Hockney’s work has a much more quiet and sombre feeling. He uses colour in such an interesting way, it always inspires me to push the colours in my paintings to non-sensical intensities.

7. How has COVID-19 impacted your professional practice?

 This series is a direct reaction to how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted my life during my final year of art school. This pandemic was experienced by most, at home, doing our regular at-home routines.

The Peaceful Places We Seek​​ by Charlotte Heffelfinger

June 29, 2022 – September 27, 2022

Charlotte is a self-taught, mixed-media artist from Port Coquitlam. Her art is solely inspired by the places that bring solitude: the mountains, the forests, the peaceful places we seek. Her works are created using acrylic, watercolours, and fine pen.

“Let my art create a tranquil place for your mind to wander and escape.” – Charlotte


Charlotte Heffelfinger: Artist Interview

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your background and how did you begin your professional practice?

I am a self-taught, mixed-media creator from the South-Coast of British Columbia. I am privileged to live on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nations.

My art is solely inspired by the places that bring me solitude: the mountains, the forests, and the peaceful places I seek. My hope is that my creations brings individuals as much serenity and appreciation of our natural world, as it has brought me. Currently, I experiment with acrylic, watercolours, and fine pen. In some pieces, you’ll find all three!

From a young age, I truly enjoyed creating art through drawing, pottery, and painting. My grandmother was incredibly artistic, and her talent and sheer passion for the arts fostered a deep admiration within me. Although I currently use a variety of mediums to explore my creativity on small canvas and paper, as of recent years, I have focused on exploring the world of watercolour mainly on larger canvases. To this day, I paint as a hobby when I’m not working my full-time job. In addition to painting, I love to play outdoors, and am often hiking, skiing, or climbing. Unsurprisingly, my love of the outdoors serves as my muse and constant inspiration for the pieces I create.

Beginning my professional practice took a lot of courage. Ultimately, it was the support and encouragement I received from friends, family and the art community that prompted me to allow myself to focus and truly devote myself to my passion. I am incredibly grateful and indebt to you all.

2. What subject matter do you work with and why?

We live in a busy world where our minds can become lost in the chaos, ultimately relying on our mental health to take on the toll. I paint what I feel creates a sense of centeredness and peace within the self. I am also an advocate for preserving these “outdoor playgrounds,” respecting the land we set foot on, and honouring how they came to be. Above all, taking the time to educate ourselves on the indigenous nations we reside on.

3. How does the idea of community relate to your practice?

We must all work together to keep these outdoor spaces the way they are naturally and respect the land that we have the privilege to explore and play upon.

4. What is your dream project?

I have so many dreams and they come in many different forms. One would have to be to paint a mountain mural somewhere, or seeing my art displayed in places where many locals and travellers could observe (like on a book cover, a craft beer can or wine bottle!). I would also love to write, illustrate, and publish a little book of haiku’s that I’ve written over the years.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

I have been given so much advice over the years. It’s hard to choose! I feel the one I resonate most with is to trust your intuition, and to listen to that creative voice that speaks to you. Following that, would be to explore and create as much as you can. Challenge yourself and accept the messy. Above all, have fun!

6. Name three artists who’ve inspired you.

Emily Beaudoin

Gianna Andrews

Petra Bachron

7. How has COVID-19 impacted your professional practice?

Spending a great amount of time at home during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself painting more than ever before. Its meditative aspects calmed me in times of uncertainty, and it allowed me to escape to these mountainous vistas I yearned to be in when I could not.



Santorini – a Parable of Planning, Patience and Persistence by Manfred Kraus

June 29, 2022 – September 27, 2022

These images capture the astonishing beauty of Santorini, Greece and reflect on the parable between the physical struggle to climb these volcanic slopes and our societal effort to contain the pandemic. Through his photography, Manfred documents the contrast between old and new as a way to preserve our heritage in architecture and our ever-changing environment. This exhibition is a fundraiser to support ArtsConnect.



Manfred Kraus: Artist Interview

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your background and how did you begin your professional practice?

Looking back to my teenage years I learned from my parents to document our family life with photos creating reams of photo albums my mother was proud of. I started with a 35mm film camera and soon upgraded to a more professional medium format twin lens Rolleiflex camera receiving a “DIA – 1966” photo competition award of excellence with this camera.

My career started early as a studio Repro-Photograph using huge cameras producing lithographic plates of artwork for the printing industry. Changes in the industry opened up a door to study and learn the newest technic producing colour separations with a drum photo scanner. I came to Canada from Germany to install the first scanner at Grant Mann Printing, for the productions of the iconic “Beautiful British Columbia” magazine. In the early 1980’s I opened my own business Tri-Scan Colour servicing the printing industry in BC with lithographic colour separations. Again changes happened with the introduction of desktop computers and digital cameras that made scanning obsolete. I sold my company in time to start a new career as a landscape photographer up to now. With my robotic digital camera set up I am creating large stitched panoramic images capable for super sized prints up to 10 feet on photo paper, canvas or aluminium. I am semi retired now, offering my photo Giclee prints through galleries and my website.

Although I specialized in panorama photography I also shoot single frame images for a more creative look and exploring, documenting views around the world.

2. What subject matter do you work with and why?

My focus is on 180 degree wide view panorama landscape photography where a person can immerse one self and step right into it similar to popular wide screen TV’s.

These panoramas are treasures and show diversities of this word depicting a grand city, majestic mountains, roughed coastlines, wild rivers, dramatic seascapes, a charming particular architecture, the contrast between old and new and many more. The dance of light and dark plays a big role in photography creating different moods to explore. Sunrise or sunsets are dramatic and enjoyed by people but there is also the “Golden Hour” with warm hues, the “Blue Hours” after sunset with a night sky. All create a different response from the viewer and my Giclee art prints captured emotion in time-space that can be acquired for your enjoyment at home or office.

Artwork has a place in our busy live to relax and admire our natural world around us.

3. How does the idea of community relate to your practice?

My works speak of the interconnection of people, places and our beautiful natural world we should cherish and protect before it is gone.

4. What is your dream project?

I would love to travel, documenting the wonders of the world and sharing my experiences with people for a better understanding of each other.                                     

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

Don’t give up and chase your dreams. Find your own style or niche in the arts world. Success is slow for most artists.

6. Name three artists who’ve inspired you.

Ansel Adams, Peter Lik, Emily Carr

7. How has COVID-19 impacted your professional practice?

Covid affected my business in a negative way and sales dropped dramatically. Fortunately I receive a pension income to help me for my living expenses. This didn’t stop me to shoot new content around my neighbourhood and process images stored on my hard drive preparing for shows expecting better times. Covid ‘s imposed community restrictions gave me the chance to think more what I would like to achieve as a photographer and decided to apply for the PoCo Arts and Culture exhibition program.

Exhibition Viewings

Michael Wright Art Gallery
#200-2253 Leigh Square
Saturdays 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Outlet Art Gallery
#110-2248 McAllister Avenue
Tues, Thurs and Sat 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Port Coquitlam Community Centre
2150 Wilson Ave
Mon – Fri 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sat-Sun 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

City Hall Gallery
2580 Shaughnessy St
Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

For general inquiries please contact arts@portcoquitlam.ca


Lesley Perrie 
Public Art & Engagement Specialist
Tel 604.927.8442
Email perriel@portcoquitlam.ca