In accordance with Patrizia’s final wishes, all proceeds from photographs sold from her collection of work will be donated to the Lucerne Scholarship Society for a new Chiaroscuro Arts Award awarded annually to a Lucerne School Grade 12 student.
Fifty years ago, an adventurous young woman from Italy landed in Canada with her Milano motorcycle-riding boyfriend from university. She’d been studying languages and was fluent in Italian, French, German and English. The short trip abroad elongated, the boyfriend returned to Milano, and Patrizia Cassi stayed for just a little while and a few adventures longer.
First the lure of tree-planting in the wild beauty of BC caused her to stay, then love called her name. Patrizia, her dear friend Kim, and Bob Menton tree-planted throughout BC. She’d never planted before, but quickly became fast, accurate, and made more money than experienced planters. She’d never cooked for a crowd, let alone for hungry tree-planters, yet became a fine camp cook. Patrizia’s natural ease and ability to pivot and excel came to the fore. Patrizia and Bob married and bought an old Doukhobor log house in Hills, BC. She nurtured the hidden beauty of the house and garden in Hills with hammer in hand and shovel at the ready—first with Bob, and for these last decades on her own. She never looked back. Except to visit her brother Toni, sister-in-law Evelyn, and friends and family in Italy. Patrizia cherished being both Canadian and Italian.
Patrizia’s love of beauty has been a throughline in her life. Natural beauty, architectural beauty, the beauty of sculpted perennial beds and a well-planned and naturally haphazard garden, a painted door peeling in interesting tones, a cabbage leaf covered in frost, the beauty of words in many languages, the perfection of well-curated objects—all these fueled her artistic spirit. Eventually her art needed more expression.
She pursued photography and print-making at college in Vancouver for several years, learning and exploring these art forms. Patrizia shot images, and developed her own black and white and Cibachrome photographs. A small room in the house in Hills became her darkroom and she built the Chiaroscuro Gallery studio to share her work. Her photography can be seen on her website: patriziamenton.com.
For over 27 years, being an artist and photographer sustained her spirit and expressed her passion for life. She shared her work at galleries in BC and Europe. Two favourite local projects showcased Patrizia’s beautiful images. First she photographed New Denver locals and the iconic food served at the renowned Apple Tree Sandwich Shop in a cookbook titled Recipes and Rapscallions. What an iconic collection of photography and recipes! She also photographed John Norris’ artistic garden for a beautiful book entitled John’s Garden. Patrizia’s exquisite photographs were an ideal complement to John’s well-crafted words and garden meditations.
Sharing her art with others nourished Patrizia’s photographic soul. She took breathtaking photographs in exotic places including Indonesia, Mexico, France, Germany, and Cuba. And always—she captured the unexpected and spectacular notes of beauty from her two homes—Italy and Canada.
Another love was volunteering for art organizations. Patrizia supported arts in community in Canada and Italy. She helped found and volunteered at the Alfa Guild Gallery in Nakusp. She served for many years on the Hidden Garden Gallery Board in New Denver. She cultivated friendships with artists in Bordighera, Italy and worked tirelessly to build a gallery space and support the arts in her Italian community. Art in food, garden, and photography were her passions and she created art and supported art everywhere.
A Commemorative Show of Patrizia Menton Photographs
Patrizia Menton left the world far too soon in January 2023. Yet her final gift was a wish to pay forward her love of art to the next generation of young artists through an annual arts scholarship. At the June 27 – July 2, 2023 Patrizia Menton Commemorative Art Show, her photographs will be beautifully displayed and offered for sale. The proceeds of all photographs sold at this inaugural Hidden Garden Gallery show will be donated to a new Chiaroscuro Arts Award, administered by the Lucerne Scholarship Society.
The purpose of the annual Chiaroscuro Arts Award is to foster the artistic talent of a Lucerne School graduate who has demonstrated through a portfolio of work over time, their love of art. The scholarship Patrizia envisioned was to sell her work, donate all proceeds, and thereby support someone who like Patrizia, has contributed to the arts in school or community.
Donations to the Lucerne Scholarship Society should be tagged for the Chiaroscuro Award and are tax deductible. Patrizia’s photographs can be purchased using e-transfer or cheque made out to the Lucerne Scholarship Society. Donations by credit card can also be made via the Canada Helps website at canadahelps.org/en/charities/lucerne-scholarship-society/. Please specify that the donation is for the Patrizia Menton Chiaroscuro Award.
The Hidden Garden Gallery looks forward to seeing you at this special show commemorating Patrizia Menton’s photographic legacy. All guests to the show are invited to share a memory or wish for Patrizia. Your support of Patrizia, and through the Chiaroscuro Award, your support of young artists in the community is greatly appreciated.
Please join in celebrating Patrizia’s photography June 27 – July 2, 2023. Closing reception with music by Paul ‘Garbanzo’ Gibbons. Refreshments provided, July 2, 2023 from 7 – 9 pm.