Mother-daughter artists Ellen Blackstone (left) and Nela H. at Newton Cultural Centre. (submitted photo)

Mother-daughter artists Ellen Blackstone (left) and Nela H. at Newton Cultural Centre. (submitted photo)

VISUAL ART

‘Art does heal’: With mother’s help, injured Surrey choreographer rediscovers painting

Mother-daughter ‘Fusion’ art show in Newton features works by Nela Hallwas and Ellen Blackstone

A new “Fusion” art show at Newton Cultural Centre features paintings by a mother-daughter duo.

The September-long exhibit showcases the work of Ellen Blackstone, a North Vancouver-based artist specializing in oils, and her daughter Nela Hallwas, who runs the XBa dance school in South Surrey.

Hallwas calls the Arts Council of Surrey-presented exhibit “a fabulous life event” for her.

“This is the first time we are doing an exhibit together,” said Hallwas, who also goes by the name Nela H.

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“I was taught to draw and sketch early on in life, and visual arts were always a part of who I was, though always taking a back seat to my work with dance,” she added.

A serious injury left her immobilized a couple of years ago, and it was devastating for Hallwas to not be able to move as a dancer and choreographer.

“But following my mother’s advice and insistence,” Hallwas said, “I found the ability to move again through my work with paints and canvasses. Art does heal, in so many ways. I was back in the studio soon enough and found my choreographic voice back through my visual art.”

The exhibition runs from Sept. 4 to 28, with a reception planned on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 13530 72nd Ave., Surrey.

Looking ahead, Hallwas said XBa will host a group art sale/event on Nov. 30.

“We held the same event last year and featured live music by Sami Ghawi, and had some of my performers roaming through,” she explained. “It was a blast. People came and enjoyed wine, music, and hung out for a few hours with artists and their original works.”



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Art by Nela Hallwas featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Nela Hallwas featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Nela Hallwas featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Nela Hallwas featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Ellen Blackstone featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Ellen Blackstone featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Ellen Blackstone featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.

Art by Ellen Blackstone featured at the “Fusion” exhibit at Newton Cultural Centre.