Artists gather to celebrate life of trailblazer Peter Rodseth

Peter Rodseth was a well-known woodsmen, carver and environmental activist.

Annerose Georgeson stand in front of her series of abstract trucking paintings.

Environment and artisan enthusiasts from around the Nechako Lakes gathered at the Burrard Market in Vanderhoof Friday, March 27 to remember Peter Rodseth.

The well-known woodsmen passed away in December 2014 and will absolutely be missed in our communities, Clare Singleton, a local artist, said at the gathering while shedding a tear.

“He was such a huge influence on Vanderhoof’s art culture and an all around bring-people-together type of guy, truly a rare human being. I want to thank Peter for his vision for the community for he held so many of us together,” she said.

Artists Singleton, Annrose Georgeson, Mary Lynn Lawrence and Michael Rees displayed their newest collections as guests indulged with live music and baked goods in remembrance of Rodseth.

Other artists from around the Nechako Lakes came out to the event including Linda Lee from Upper Nechako Country and Pat Gauthier from Fort St. James.

“I absolutely loved the night, walking around visiting with the artists,” Lee said.

Although the reason for the gathering was a sad one, the celebration was kept upbeat as people indulged in art on Rodseths behalf.

As a former forestry technician, wood carver and painter, Rodseth was known for his dedication to the Nechako River and community as a whole. Although he was born in Prince Rupert, he lived most of his life in Vanderhoof in careers that revolved around the fields of forestry.

He was an avid outdoorsmen and environmental activist who became a master carver and creative builder of trails. Some of his hand-cut trails still exist today in Vanderhoof along with numerous wood carvings such as the one that hangs in Vanderhoof’s BC Access Centre. The large multi-panel wooden mural depicts historical, environmental and natural history themes.

A common found memory of Rodseth is him walking with his dog around town. Woody’s bakery donated a special almond cake for the art show made in Rodseth’s name which also proved to be nostalgic for all who tried it.