By Kristi Alexandra
When a Kwantlen art instructor recommended that Cody Lecoy apply to the YVR Art Foundation’s annual scholarship, he took it to heart. The 21-year-old fine arts major, whose main area of expertise is acrylic painting, took the opportunity to engage in the airport’s program — one that inevitably increases exposure for young aboriginal artists and facilitates education and mentorships. After creating a proposal for a large painting to be shown in the airport, Lecoy was granted $5,000 to complete the work within a year.
“For this particular proposal, it incorporates Northwest Coast design,” he says of the planned painting.
“I’m looking to create a fusion of the two styles I’m learning at school — which are more traditional methods of landscape, portraiture-kind of painting. I’m trying to find out my own style within Northwest Coast design.”
The ever-humble Lecoy is slow to assert that he knows exactly what he’s doing, but he maintains that this particular opportunity is starting to solidify his career as an artist.
“I had a general idea of what I wanted to get across,” he says, alluding to the anticipated eight-by-four painting for the airport. “I’m still working with it, I don’t have a concrete plan yet.”
The young artist is also incredibly receptive to guidance, showing an eagerness to learn from the pros when he says, “I’ll be working under a mentor for a year, who’s a pretty well established artist in Vancouver — Lawrence Paul. He has similar style to what I do. I’m really excited to work with him and bounce ideas off of him, and it’ll help me to find where I’m going with my painting.”
From Penticton, Lecoy was originally drawn to Kwantlen to pursue baseball. Realizing that his true passion was painting, he continued in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Now, the artist is in his third year of the program with some impressive successes under his belt — aside from being selected winner for the 2011 YVR Art Foundation’s annual scholarship, he’s also one of the initial members of the Kwantlen Arts Collective, a student group of about 15 who put on their own art shows and provide support for fellow student artists.