Local artist Chili Thom has died, Arts Whistler announced on Wednesday (Nov. 30).
The 40-year-old had been battling cancer.
"Chili was instrumental in the development of arts and culture in Whistler," said Heather Paul, chair of the Arts Whistler board, in a post on the organization's website. "He was a brilliant painter and an unwavering advocate for our community's artists. For almost two decades Chili was an active member of Arts Whistler, including bringing the artists' perspective to the table and by serving on the board of directors. But even more importantly, Chili was someone who encouraged others to be all they could be."
Thom was best known for his stunning landscapes. He often gleaned inspiration from his mountain home -- and, later, the untamed ocean a world away -- and turned it into paintings that are at once rooted in place and otherworldly, with bright, bold colours, snow-covered trees and his signature clouds. But the multi-talented artist was also a DJ, backcountry guide and filmmaker.
His death comes just one day after Arts Whistler announced that his work will be featured at the Audain Art Museum in June 2017. According to Arts Whistler he was part of the planning group -- alongside his friends and family, as well as Arts Whistler and the museum -- that is organizing the event.
"Arts Whistler extends its deepest sympathies to Chili's family, friends and all who were touched by his art and commitment to creativity," the post goes on to say. "Chili was a beloved member of the Whistler community; to lose this funny, warm and fearless man in such an untimely manner is heartbreaking. His energy, creativity and commitment to supporting others will be greatly missed.
Read the entire post here.