Tom Argue Next Artist-in-Residence At Leigh Square

Jade carver Tom Argue.

Jade carver Tom Argue.

Leigh Square Community Arts Village has named carver Tom Argue its seventh Artist-in-Residence. The residency will run from October 5 – December 21, 2015.

Argue, a Coquitlam resident, works in BC jade and other natural materials and has been carving and creating since 2000, when he was taught and inspired by his father-in-law, Queen Charlotte City master carver Fred Watmough.

Argue will use The Gathering Place at Leigh Square as the site for the creation of a new body of art work made from B.C. Jade. On Saturday, November 14 and Saturday, December 12 he will meet with the public and provide educational opportunities for the community to learn about his art process in the Gathering Place’s Community Room, from 2 to 6 p.m. Focussing on creating pieces made from BC sourced Jade. During the demonstrations Argue will demonstrate techniques and tools used to create jewelry that he has created in the past. He will create one-of-a-kind small sculptures that aim to showcase the natural colours and beauty of each piece of jade through backlighting and delicate designs.

Materials for Argue’s work will be provided by Kirk Makepeace from Jade West Mining Group.

In some of his creations Argue will combine with jade such materials as marble, agate, Yew wood, Yellow Cedar and BC Coral.

“I love the nature of jade,” said Argue when asked about his passion for that medium.  “The toughness of the material that allows strength even when carved to delicate proportions and the way the colour plays when shining through it. Jade has allowed me to play! 

“Many jade artists feel a spiritual connection with the stone and I struggled to understand that for a while. One of the speakers at the 2014 World Jade Symposium referred to jade as “The Bones of the Mother,” referring of course to Mother Nature . As I reflected on that, it became my attachment to the stone. It fit with the reason I enjoy creating with natural material, bone, wood, coral. Mother Nature has given us a gift of many materials and I try to respect that in my work.”

Argue’s residency marks the second year of a new program focused on establishing artists within Port Coquitlam’s artistic centre. The public can visit Tom at The Gathering Place at Leigh Square between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, except Thursdays, until December 21. To view more of Tom’s work, please visit

The Leigh Square Community Arts Village encourages and facilitates community development through arts, culture and heritage within Port Coquitlam and serves as a cultural meeting place, a 21st century community arts centre.  See for details. 

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