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Special Exhibits at The Gallery!

The Arts Council is pleased to announce the launch of a new and exciting, “double header” experience for art lovers! Starting this summer, The Gallery is hosting a monthly guest artist with acclaim in a particular media. The work of a talented local featured artist will be highlighted along with the guest artist’s work.


ELIZABETH SZYMCZAK – A Dancer Paints Dancers

Szymczak_photo2“I have always had a passion for dance, particularly the juxtaposition between the physicality of  the discipline and its  expressive aspects. Dance is a technical art with its own vocabulary, it takes so much control and rehearsal to achieve the beautiful results seen on stage, and celebrates careful thought with unfiltered expression. I see the process of painting the same way. This body of work is a direct mirror of my love for both disciplines. Just as a dancer is trying to find their artistic voice, a visual artist is trying to do the same; yearning for that delicate balance between technique and expression.

I primarily focus on the contemporary dance genre, as this is the discipline I am most familiar with and less costume gets in the way so that I can study more anatomy. I draw and paint dancers as they move in rehearsal and on stage, which helps keep my brushwork fresh. I choreograph dancers into compositions for photographs, which allows me to control the costume and lighting conditions. In addition to working from life and photographs, I rely on anatomy books, invention, travels, thumbnails, drawings, and color studies for referential material. But the real magic happens in the unplanned moments of the painting process. Beyond technique, figure painting can metamorphose into so many conceptual directions, so I try to guide the viewer towards an inner, more personal and emotional narrative.” www.elizabethszymczak.com





“A native Californian, I attended The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Upon graduating, I moved to New York City and worked as an advertising art director. I finished my career as a TV commercial film director, and finally concentrated on my life-long
dream…painting! I love watercolor and oil painting and enjoy landscapes of places that I have seen and remembered, many of which include water. I moved back to California last year, have a home in Big Bear, and paint pretty much every day. Life is good!”




Founded in 1988, The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of residents and visitors with visual art and music. Throughout the year, The Council produces a variety of events and performances that provide a venue for talented artists and musicians. These include the Artwalk and Art on the Lake Festivals, Music at the Mansion, receptions and special exhibits at The Gallery, and programs at the Performing Arts Center. Through these events, fund-raising and support of music and art in the schools, The Arts Council works to keep the Valley’s cultural life alive and well.

The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley is a 501 (c)(3) organization.


“Big Bear Lake Arts” is the name we’ve given to an ensemble of programs, events and activities provided by or in partnership with The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley. The Council’s current efforts are focused on creation of a Village Arts Campus, a cultural center where visual and performing artists from throughout the area can teach, create and share the arts for the enrichment of youth and the community.

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