Catching Stars is Catching Interest: Bowen Island's Newest Art Gallery

A new art gallery, Catching Stars, has graced Snug Cove, in a brand new building. Bowen Island Accommodations caught up with Emilie Kaplun, who, along with Marie Neys and Pauulet Hohn, started this business togethera seed of an idea that bloomed into full fruition with a soft opening a few weeks back.


Emilie Kaplun at her new gallery. Photo by Pauulet Hohn

BIA: How did you three come together with this idea, and how do your backgrounds make this a successful partnership?

Emilie: We knew that we worked well together having worked on past projects. All 3 of us have previously owned Galleries and have taught creative courses and had the desire to continue our passions of promoting art on Bowen.

We felt that we each had something unique to offer to the business. Marie Neys with her background in marketing and running galleries, Pauulet with her amazing skills in graphic design, photography and website design, and myself with a history of running my own retail gift shops in Port Stanley, Ontario and Vancouver, and my education in art history and business.

Emilie Kaplun, Pauulet Hohn, and Marie Neys. Photo by Marilyn Cote-Dupuis

BIA: What made it the right time to do this project?

Emilie: The new pub building was being designed with retail spaces underneath, so we jumped at the idea to have a Gallery in such a fantastic location and a brand new building.

BIA: What makes Catching Stars a unique opportunity for the local artists you’ve chosen to represent?

Emilie: We really wanted to offer a space where local artists could have a permanent installation of their artworks to showcase throughout the year to tourists and locals alike.

Some artists have the opportunity to work in the Gallery and rent their dedicated space. Because artists are often working solo in their studios, we wanted to give them the option to be client-facing and talk about their work and creative process with the public.

We also wanted to offer an alternative for those who want to focus their efforts and energies being in their studios or who work off island and have busy lives, to simply have their work in the Gallery and we would do the promoting and selling of the work.

Our mission is to showcase and market local artists' work and get the word out to locals and tourists alike about the amazing creative talent we have on the island. Between our social media efforts, our website and all of the promotions we are doing throughout the lower mainland, we want to further publicize the fact that Bowen Island is a destination for those seeking unique art and galleries.

Photo by Pauulet Hohn

BIA: How would you describe the Bowen Island art scene?

Emilie: The Bowen Island art scene is really an eclectic mix of all ages, styles and mediums. When we started the planning on Catching Stars Gallery and did our research, we learned about artists from word of mouth who we had never heard of before, because they didn't have representation on Bowen. We are so lucky to have such amazing creative talent on this island, in so many different types of work.

BIA: Who are the collectors so far for the art that is featured, off-islanders or on-islanders, and why should visitors and locals alike visit Catching Stars?

Emilie: Visitors to the island benefit from seeing an amazing collection of some of Bowen's fabulous artists and a comprehensive collection of artworks.

Locals benefit, as we have brought in a mix of some off-island artists, in order to keep an interesting variety of works and introduce new artists to the island with specific mediums of work that we couldn't necessarily find in our local pool of artists. Bringing in some artists from beyond Bowen Island allows us to have a greater outreach in terms of our publicity and marketing.

Those artists that live and work in Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and the Sea to Sky corridor are helping to promote Bowen Island by letting their regular customers know about Catching Stars Gallery when they do their shows and promotions. This brings more people to the island and again shows the greater artistic community that Bowen Island is an arts destination.

A piece by local sculptor, Cathryn Jenkins. Photo by Pauulet Hohn

BIA: What are visitors’ favourite items or artists so far? Are there favourite subjects that people are drawn to at Catching Stars?

Emilie: So far people have been coming in and telling us who their favourite local artist is, and that they are collectors of their particular work. I have a customer who collects my earrings and hair accessories for herself and as gifts, who has had frequent trips to Catching Stars Gallery since we have been open.

It's really amazing to see how much locals want to support the Bowen market and help the artists to thrive.  We have gorgeous bronze and stone sculptures by local artist Cathryn Jenkins and her work has been exciting everyone as they walk in the Gallery and are greeted by a baby Sea Lion. Our theme in the Gallery is ocean and beach, and it does seem like people have been really drawn to art with that subject matter.

Photo by Pauulet Hohn

Pauulet Hohn's beautiful turquoise mosaics that are ocean-inspired with a collection of seashells have been a favourite, as well as Marie Neys' seascape oil paintings. Both allow customers to bring home a little piece of Bowen. Natural wood artworks have been a hit as well, with much of the wood being found on Bowen Island.

People have been purchasing the Salt Spring Tea that we offer to customers in our bottomless pot, (try the "Bowen Island Berry" tea!), as well as the Howe Sound Soapworks soaps that have been "Bowenized" with local beaches and destinations on Bowen where each soap features a different artist, including artist Liz Watson's "Snug Cove Synergy" bar, and the "Mount Gardner Grit" soap bar which features label photography by your Jan Stevens, of Bowen Island Accommodations.

BIA: Any exciting events at Catching Stars coming up we should know about? Anything else you’d like to add?

Emilie: Yes! Our Grand Opening Party will be held Saturday June 23rd from 3-6 pm at the Gallery. Or if you can't make it to the party, stop in during regular Gallery hours, sip on a cup of tea and "find what inspires you" in our beautiful new Gallery that reflects the amazing creativity and natural beauty of Bowen Island.


Thank you, Emilie, for sharing what Catching Stars is all about, and we wish you a fabulous Grand Opening! Visitors can find the gallery at 479 Bowen Island Trunk Road, unit 1.

Catching Stars Gallery is open daily from 11-5 and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11-8 throughout the summer. Find more information at