Linda Hensellek

Winchester welcomes winter with artistic flair

Oak Bay gallery intends to start an annual winter tradition Saturday with The Winter Exhibition

Winchester Galleries kicks off winter in Oak Bay with floor to ceiling art.

Paintings are “hung in an irresistible cheek-by-jowl manner,” says Elizabeth Levinson of Winchester Modern, the Winchester sister gallery in Victoria.

“We’re really wanting to offer an alternative to the Christmas sweater or socks under the tree. We suggest an artwork that might become an heirloom, whether it’s from an emerging artist, something more accessibly priced … or an established big name in Canadian art.”

Winchester Galleries intends to start an annual winter tradition Saturday on Oak Bay Avenue with The Winter Exhibition.

The wide range of work includes local artists such as Oak Bay’s Adam Noonan, Avis Rasmussen, Terry Fenton, the late Fenwick Lansdowne, Andy Wooldridge and Manish om Prakash as well as many famous Canadian abstract painters including Jean Paul Riopelle, Claude Tousignant, Harold Klunder, Jean McEwen and Michael Morris. There will be lots of previously unseen works including paintings from Antoine Bittar and Douglas Fraser as well as William Perehudoff paperworks.

“The hanging is inspired by The Summer Exhibition that has taken place continuously since 1769 in London’s Burlington House,” Levinson said.

They’ve done the salon-style hanging before.

“It was just fabulous. People walked in and just said ‘wow’. You’re looking from lower down than we would normally hang, right up to the ceiling, so there’s so much to take in,” Levinson said.

The Summer Exhibit has a steel band march down Piccadilly in London. To emulate that merriment, the Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra will play Saturday from about 10 a.m. to noon up and down Oak Bay Avenue and perform on the plaza at Winchester Galleries.

“They’re really going to serenade everyone who’s out on the avenue Saturday morning … and lead a merry group back to the gallery,” Levinson said. “I think it’s going to be one of those overwhelming, lively kind of events.”

Regular Winchester performer harpist Elizabeth Ely will perform inside the gallery from noon to 4 p.m. The Winter Exhibition runs to Dec. 3 in advance of the Oak Bay Gallery Walk on Dec. 4.

“This is also a nice lead in to that evening, which is very popular on the avenue,” Levinson said. “Oak Bay has really become an arts centre.”

cvanreeuwyk@oak

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