Books by Diane Astle are part of the October show at the Hope Arts Gallery. (Jessica Peters/ The Standard)

Two artists bring strong views to Hope Art Gallery

Hope is Where the Heart Is runs until Oct. 28

October in the Backroom features two members of the Hope Arts Gallery, Moira Stewart and Diane Astle, titled “Hope is Where the Heart Is.”

Their show runs from Oct. 1 to 28.

Moving to Hope less than two years ago, Stewart says she is grateful to have found such an active and supportive arts community that has welcomed and inspired her ongoing creative exploration. Mostly self-taught, and having being involved to a lesser scale with art communities on the island and Lower Mainland, she is always in wonder of not only the beauty that surrounds us, but also of the abundance of talent in this world.

Stewart wishes to invoke increased awareness and the importance of preservation of our natural environment through her varied themes of paintings and photography. Some of this inspiration comes from outings and experiences with the Hope Outdoor Group. She is displaying intuitive/abstract pieces alongside other creative endeavors. At the present time, Stewart offers head massage sessions through Spa6 here in Hope.

Astle is exhibiting puppets made from foam and fabric. She also has a variety of pottery, plaques, earring holders and knitting bowls. Some are raku fired, some are sager fired. She has taken classes at the Art Machine. Novels on dragons are another facet of Astle’s talents. Learning as she writes, she gets guidance from a writer’s group and her editor. She feels her writing is clear, concise.

Writing started out as entertainment for Astle, but she now sees it does make a statement; the importance of being true to yourself and belief in a God who treasures that in each individual. She is also the Hope United Church minister. She believes the realization of her talents has come about through persistence and hard work. This has been part of an amazing journey that began from a place where she thought she had no talent. She is glad to have moved to Hope where art is made available to all.

The gallery, at 349 Fort Street, is operated by the Hope and District Arts Council and run by volunteers. Hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 604-869-3400 or email

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