The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria is celebrating its history thanks to a Ladner artist.
Recently the hotel commissioned 10 pieces of art that celebrate the hotel and its stories by artist Victoria Heryet.
Inspired by vintage Canadian Pacific travel posters, each piece of art has been created in a retro style and focuses on a significant aspect of the hotel. The art project coincides with the launch of the hotel’s Heritage Hall.
“Where the Heritage Hall speaks to our grand history, the new art pieces speak to our current offering. From weddings, to Q Bar, to Croquet at the Empress, we now hold a collection of art pieces that communicate to our guests all that there is to experience at Canada’s Castle on the Coast,” said Fairmont Empress in a news release. “The art is on display in the cabinets next to the main elevators on each floor. Guests are invited to tour the art, which varies from floor to floor.”
Heryet, who is a fine artist, illustrator, calligrapher and chalk artist, said she was honoured to be chosen to create the paintings for the permanent collection.
“I’m very happy with how everything came together,” she said. “I did some work with them before and did a re-production of a love letter that was written by Prince Albert to Queen Victoria and I also did all the calligraphy for the invitations for their grand re-opening, so they were very familiar with my work.”
She said she started work on the project last December and after going back-and-forth and settling on the final designs, began painting in March.
“I had six weeks to do 10 paintings. It was a bit of a marathon,” she recalled. “There is always deadlines, so I’m used to working all night long and doing what you need to do to get the job done.”
Heryet was born in the U.K. and immigrated to Canada at the age of 14.
She received her art education at the Kootenay School of Art in Nelson. Freelancing in the art departments of newspapers and magazines, including Vancouver Magazine, her fine art career evolved as she developed her illustration and lettering portfolio, also working with agencies and doing private commissions. Painting became her focus when she had her children and wanted to work from her home studio in Ladner.
She owns and operates Vancouver Chalk Works that specializes in creative chalkboards for businesses and events.
Besides the new work in Victoria, three detailed watercolours are currently hanging in Gallery 1710 in Tsawwassen. Heryet is a member of the South Delta Artists Guild and regularly shows her work in the gallery.