The Pacific Rim Whale Festival came to a close on Sunday with the unveiling of next year’s poster art.
Port Alberni’s Crystal Crossman winning design is a vibrant portrayal of a grey whale jumping out of the water with a colourful sunset and lighthouse serving as the backdrop.
“We’re really excited to work with this beautiful oil painting for next year’s poster,” said festival coordinator Sue Payne.
Crossman told the Westerly News she was thrilled to be chosen as the festival’s poster artist.
“I feel amazing, so honoured and absolutely grateful. I’m in awe,” she said.
“I hope that it will create smiles, that’s really what I’m hoping for and to be able to share that with people is the greatest honour of being an artist. I just hope that when people see it, they enjoy it as much as I did painting it.”
Crossman said she works with oil paints because of the intense colours she can infuse into her creativity.
“It’s very versatile and brilliant colour is what I love,” she said adding the oceanic scene was a comforting vision for her to put together.
“I’ve always had inspiration from the ocean…The ocean makes me feel like I’m at home. I feel comfortable and it gives me inspiration to continue with my art.”
She said the piece illustrates her interpretation of what makes the festival so special.
“I think of family, fun, happiness, playtime and community,” she said. “I wanted to convey that in my work…It’s playful, colourful, fun, vibrant and appealing to the magic of Whale Fest.”
She added she’s excited to attend next year’s event to experience how her art is received.
“I love seeing happy faces and wanted to be part of something really wonderful that happens every year here on the West Coast,” she said. “My family lives in Ucluelet and I just feel that Tofino and Ucluelet have a sense of community and I love how they invite and welcome people into their home to share that, so I really want to be a part of that.”