By Jules Older

Whatever the artistic medium, there is an excellent chance Chili Thom has tried—and excelled—at it: wood carving, oil painting, photo shooting, music composing, and creating topsheet art for skis and snowboards. His images have appeared on many leading brands: Salomon, Atomic, Prior, Atlantis, Olive, Arbor, Landyachtz and MEC.

Thom was born in British Columbia, has hiked the rugged wilds of the Pacific Northwest, and has even spent six years as a wilderness guide. Today, his favored medium is acrylic paints; his favored style, linear brush strokes and saturated colors, which he employs “to capture a sense of time and motion in the outdoors.”

Thom discovered Whistler on his fifth birthday during a family ski trip, “and I just fell in love with the place.” His first job was waiting tables at Sushi Village.

Somewhere in the Rockies.
Somewhere in the Rockies.

What holds him here is “the amazing outdoor opportunities as well as the incredible people. I have never been anywhere else that the community really comes together and support each other in whatever endeavors you choose.”

His feelings for place are equally enthusiastic: “Whistler has the best of all worlds. Great snow, amazing terrain, killer summers, young athletic beautiful people, a great arts scene, and just allaround good energy. It’s a tough place to beat.”

As for the effect of Whistler on his art, Thom waxes poetic. “Whistler,” he says, “has almost entirely influenced my work. The outdoors is my main inspiration because it is where I feel most at home and comfortable.  The surrounding wilderness areas of Whistler, Squamish, and Pemberton are extremely easy to access and really diverse in what they have to offer. I see perfection in what evolution has led nature to be. Every leaf, flower and animal has adapted perfectly to live in balance with the totality of nature.”

He adds, “Whistler has also been a great place to gain international recognition in the art world…that makes it a viable place to be based.”

Chili Thom’s works are on display at Sushi Village and at the artist’s own gallery.