artist marla thirsk

Tofino Artist Marla Thirsk


Marla Thirsk has lived on the West Coast off and on for 23 years; the last 11 permanently. She kept trying to leave but was always coming back. One of the old-timers told her that if she couldn’t stay away it was in her blood so she’d better just accept that and stay.

Marla has been the Pacific Rim Arts Society President for 7 years now; “I think it’s a lifetime commitment!” she says. Best known for the posters she has created for Whale Festival, Edge-to-Edge Marathon, Ukee Days and the Salmon Festival, Marla has just done her first one for the Bamfield Kayak Festival this year.

“ Watercolor is my first love, but I’ve worked in just about every medium”, says Thirsk, who’s paintings and posters have sold around the world, “I can’t remember a time I haven’t been doing Art in one form or another.”

Marla just finished illustrating her first children’s book and has another one in progress, another mural to do and is working on getting her Federation of Canadian Artists status. “I’ve still got my dream of having an Art School out here, much like Banff” says Thirsk, “but figure I’ll be doing that when I’m 80 or so. Good thing artists never retire!”

Marla Thirsk’s art can be visited in the Salal Room at the Wickaninnish Inn or the Lobby of Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet during Artists in Action as part of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival March 14 - March 22, 2009
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Tofino artist Marla Thirsk is a great supporter of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, the Pacific Rim Arts Society, Arts in the Gardens and others and is active in the communities of Tofino & Ucluelet. Her watercolours are well known beyond the West Coast of Vancouver Island.


march 2003

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