Peterson Landing Commissions Artwork from Kamloops Artist

Posted On Nov 8, 2018

Peterson Landing, the newest building developed by the Kelson Group, is not only a beautiful building on the outside, but is well appointed on the inside with fine furnishings, beautiful colours, and pops of brilliant artwork by local Kamloops artist Debbie Milner-Lively. Painting since she was a young child, Milner-Lively is thrilled at the opportunity to have several paintings commissioned by Kelson Group's President Ron Fawcett.

"Ron Fawcett's passion for art is outstanding," says Milner-Lively. "I've had the opportunity to work for Ron for a few years now and am beyond humbled to have been commissioned to do these paintings for Peterson Landing. I love what I do and when others recognize my talent and give me opportunities to create for them, it's a wonderful blessing."

Debbie's talent for art was recognized when she was a young child, always wanting to draw and paint. Her Mom enrolled her in "painting in the park" classes and her incredible talents earned her a scholarship to enjoy a year's worth of free painting classes. She majored in arts in grades 11 and 12 in a North Vancouver arts school where she received a scholarship to continue her studies post-secondary, but life took a bit of a different path.

"Instead of going to school for arts, I got married and started a family," says Milner-Lively. "My passion for painting never did go away, so when my kids were a little older, I joined the Kamloops Arts and Crafts club and went to their weekly paint socials."

From there, Debbie painted and entered competitions. She entered two submissions into an Okanagan competition which were seen by the owner of the Hampton Gallery. The owner connected with Debbie to talk about selling her artwork at the gallery.

"That was a thrill for me, but I hid for 6 months as I was too chicken to put my artwork on display!"

After getting over her jitters, Debbie started displaying her artwork at the Hampton Gallery which turned into a 19-year collaboration. She also taught for about 14 years for the City of Kamloops through Parks and Recreation programs. It was when she decided to branch off on her own to teach studio classes when she made the acquaintance of Ron Fawcett.  

"I first met Ron when my work was at the Hampton Gallery and I needed to find studio space out of my house," says Milner-Lively. "A friend said I should talk to Ron Fawcett about commercial rental space. I couldn't afford much but Ron found me a beautiful little space and charge me a very low rental rate plus $50 a month that would go toward a commission painting for him. I was in that space for a couple of years and just loved it. I did that commission piece for Ron and painted his old homestead. It's been a great relationship."

Today, Ron and the Kelson Group have commissioned Debbie to do the artwork for their downtown office, Peterson Landing, and their new building in Surrey.

"I feel blessed by God to have the talent to paint that I do," says Milner-Lively. "To be blessed with this work for the Fawcett family to share my work is just amazing, and I'm so thankful."

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