One of two unidentified woman painted by local artist Melani Wongs. Photo: Angela Bandelli

Do you know these women?

Identity of two subjects of portraits by Ashcroft artist being sought

Do you know the women featured in two portraits by a former Ashcroft resident? If so, you can perhaps help the portraits find their way to the women’s families.

The Sidewalk Gallery in Ashcroft is featuring a display of paintings by Melani K. Wongs, one of the founders of the Ashcroft Art Club in 1968, and the gallery is hoping that someone can help solve a mystery by identifying the subjects of two of Wongs’ paintings.

Wongs was an active member of the Art Club for many years, and a passionate artist who produced a variety of paintings with a wide range of subjects, including the landscapes of the B.C. Interior, fruits, flowers, portraiture, and more. She passed away at a young age.

A collection of Wongs’ artwork was donated to the Sidewalk Gallery, and some of the paintings can be viewed at the gallery, located in the Rolgear building on Railway Avenue in Ashcroft. Among the paintings are portraits of two women, neither of whom is identified, and gallery manager Angela Bandelli is asking for residents’ help in identifying the subjects, as she would like to give the paintings to the women’s families, or to someone who was friends with either woman.

All of Melani Wongs’ paintings at the Sidewalk Gallery are available for purchase at a cost of $50 each. The full proceeds from the sale of each painting will be donated to either the Ashcroft HUB or the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society; whichever the purchaser prefers.

Paintings displayed in the Sidewalk Gallery can be viewed at any time. Anyone who knows the identity of one or both of the women in the portraits, who would like to purchase a painting, or who would like to see more of Wongs’ work, can drop by the gallery during business hours, or contact Bandelli at (778) 229-8428.

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The second of two unidentified women painted by Melani Wongs. Photo: Angela Bandelli

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