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A highlight on Vancouver Island’s cultural calendar takes place at the Mary Winspear Centre in beautiful Sidney-by-the-Sea from Friday, October 17th through Sunday, October 19th, and promises to continue a tradition of showcasing excellence.
The Sidney Fine Art Show (SFAS), now in its 12th year, is one of the largest and most anticipated juried art shows in British Columbia.
Produced by the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula (CACSP), it showcases the best of the region’s most recent fine art, while providing a significant economic boost to the region.
This year, the show features seven master artists: Noah Layne, Craig Benson, Tara Juneau, Clement Kwan, Leonard Butt, Marion Evamy and Stephanie Steele. This group of artists has been presented with a SFAS major prize at least twice, and are in the running for a prize for best master’s work.
The show begins October 16th with an Opening Night Gala Reception for Sponsors and Patrons, who have the first opportunity to view and purchase the artwork chosen for the show. To become a patron and experience this exclusive and unique gala and sale, visit the show website: www.sidneyfineartshow.ca/patrons.
An Awards Ceremony follows in the Charlie White Theatre. Prizes are awarded in categories including “Best in Show” and “Best 3-Dimensional.” Winners will be listed in the show catalogue (they can also be seen at www.sidneyfineartshow.ca). Each person attending will also get to vote for their favourite piece and those results will be tabulated at the end of the show.
Art show chair and show designer Sandy Bligh said 441 artists submitted one or more works, which were judged over a two-day period in September. All of the pieces in the show are for sale, ranging from small prints in the $350 range to more imposing pieces from master artists.
Bligh is one of the over 300 volunteers who dedicate their time each year. Collectively, they put in more than 6,000 hours over the course of staging the show. As the Show Designer, Sandy creates the look and layout of the show, so that it provides a welcoming and easy-to-follow flow throughout the gallery space.
Says Bligh: “My goal in designing the show is to welcome and engage people with the art, inviting them to move through the exhibit by organizing the works in a way that allows each piece to make an individual statement while at the same time blending them within an aesthetically exciting and pleasing grouping.”
The daunting task of judging more than 1,040 entries and selecting the 400 pieces of fine art to be displayed in this year’s show falls to three highly-qualified jurists. Nick Tuele is former Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Kayleigh Hall is Curator and Operations Manager at Contemporary Calgary, and Janice Robertson is Artist and Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
There are two special evening events at the show from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday night is Celebrate Local Night. Savour the best of local art while sipping on local Saanich Peninsula wines and ciders and sampling wonderful Island-made cheeses and charcuterie. Saturday night is Meet the Artists Night with participating artists in attendance.
Admission at the door is $6 per day or $10 for a three-day pass (children 12 and under are free). Hours are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For anyone interested in the best fine art of this highly artistic region of British Columbia, this art show is not to be missed … mark your calendar!
Art by Mel Williamson: “Hand Picked”
Art by Carolyn Kowalyk: “Star Gazing,” “Heat”