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At the Galleries: Avenue Gallery in Oak Bay celebrates Canada’s 150th this month

Galleries across the region celebrate art in various ways

Join The Avenue Gallery in Oak Bay as it celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation with the group painting and sculpture exhibition, My Canada, opening Saturday, May 13. Eighteen gallery artists from across the country take this unique occasion to reflect on their visions of Canada, and celebrate what it means to be Canadian.

The Oak Bay artist collective Gage Gallery, showcases Shelby Assenheimer through May 13. To Watch II explores the blurred lines and existing tensions between corporations and personal sovereignty. Disconnection from nature and technology’s invasive character are also contemplated in this body of work. Fabricated objects and the natural are juxtaposed in concrete sculptures and paintings, bringing the effects of their abrupt contrasts to mind. Simplistic depictions of human figures in free fall express fragility; their undefined features bring up the ephemeral qualities of self-identity. Hope for regeneration is felt, as To Watch II tests the notion that past knowledge can re-emerge into the present, reawakening human consciousness to blueprint a future of symbiotic relationships.

Marilyn Chapman and Janis Blyth showcase at Gage Gallery May 16 to June 3. The Guardians’ opening reception is Tuesday, May 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. The artists come together in this exhibition of abstract and semi-abstract work to imagine spiritual, sacred places. The Guardians transcends everyday stress and worry and takes our spirits on a journey to places of refuge where we can calm our souls, connect with the earth and find peace.

In this recent work, the artists blend a variety of mixed medium as they explore mythology and folklore, bringing forward the teachings and lessons from the stories of our past and connecting them to our modern day world. Their creations represent protectors of home and family, guardians of our earth and its people – spirits honouring the past and preserving the future.

Gage Gallery features Margo Cooper June 6 to 24. We All Get There Eventually is a collection of acrylic and mixed media paintings which reflect the artist’s observation of some of life’s small but significant moments. We are all moving through life in the same direction – from beginning to end. What determines our individual lives – relationships? Curiosity? Resilience? Bravery? The opening reception is Thursday, June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Modern Visionaries wraps May 13 at Oak Bay’s Eclectic Gallery. You will want to revisit this show as many new pieces of artwork have been added to the fourth annual exhibit of original artwork by Victoria’s Limners and their contemporaries. These historic works are all from private collections. The quality and diversity of the artwork is the best yet, a truly remarkable show at Eclectic.

At Winchester Galleries, FIVE is an exhibition of contemporary art from Vicky Christou, Jeremy Mangan, Neil McClelland, Sean Mills and Carollyne Yardley. The showcase runs to May 27 at the Oak Bay Avenue gallery.

At the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Adelle Andrew shows in the Massey Sales Gallery through May 23. The reception for Adelle Andrew – Life as an Artist, is May 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Two incredible exhibitions close this month. May 14 is the last chance to see Emily Carr and the Young Generation, which showcases Carr’s work alongside of the artists she influenced. May 28 is closing for the large showcase of Jan and Helga Grove’s remarkable talents, Life with Clay: Pottery &Sculpture.

Every month the AGGV hosts an afternoon of hands-on art-making for the whole family. This month it falls on May 21, during the Victoria Day long weekend. Family Sunday runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and this month is inspired by the exhibition Close to Home: Local and Regional Artists in the AGGV Collection.

The AGGV Studio Annual Exhibition kicks off on Thursday, May 25 with an opening reception, the show runs for one week in the Massey Sales Gallery.

On May 22, Victoria Day, the AGGV is open from noon to 5 p.m.

The Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team opens Rooted in History: Celebrating the Garry Oak Ecosystem opens at the Bateman Gallery in the Inner Harbour. Canada’s Garry oak ecosystems exist only on southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and two areas along the Fraser River. Less than five per cent of these ecosystems remain in a near-natural condition, their decline mainly due to habitat loss as a result of land develpment. Artists exhibit works depicting the beauty of this significant ecosystem, highlighting both the beauty and plight of the endangered environment.

Marion Evamy hangs a show at Oak Bay Marina this month, featuring 20 new works, many created while on retreats to Mexico this winter.

Calling all artists: You have to ship your work for an exhibition but how do you safely get it there in one piece!? Learn how to pack and ship your artwork with AGGV Preparator, Technician and artist Corey Bryson. This Communities and Collections: Behind The Scenes workshop “How to pack your art so s*%$ don’t break” takes place May 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Space is limited, to register for this free event email your name and phone number to

There are also a host of exhibition engagement tours in May:

May 6, 2:00 p.m., Life with Clay Pottery & Sculpture by Jan and Helga Grove.

May 7, 2:00 p.m., Close to Home: Local and Regional Artists in the AGGV Collection.

May 13, 2:00 p.m., Close to Home: Local and Regional Artists in the AGGV Collection.

May 14, 2:00 p.m., Emily Carr and the Young Generation

May 20, 2:00 p.m., Moving Forward by Looking Back

May 21, 2:00 p.m., Close to Home: Local and Regional Artists in the AGGV Collection.

May 27, 2:00 p.m., Life with Clay Pottery & Sculpture by Jan and Helga Grove.

May 28, 2:00 p.m., Close to Home: Local and Regional Artists in the AGGV Collection.

West End Gallery features its West Coast Artists Group Show May 20 to June 10.

A group exhibition as unique as the artists who paint them. Whether it’s classic depictions of the rugged West Coast or a more whimsical take on West Coast life these paintings truly capture the essence of the landscape. Participating artists include: Steven Armstrong, Naomi Cairns, Richard Cole, Ken Faulks, Greta Guzek, Dana Irving, Patricia Johnston, Paul Jorgensen, Mary Ann Laing, Glenn Payan, Deborah Tilby and Peter Wyse.

The gallery is open daily. Visit for details.

Discover some of South Vancouver Island’s finest artists during the 2017 Hills to Shore Artists Tour May 13 and 14. Seventeen local artists from Gordon Head, Cadboro Bay and Mt. Tolmie display their work in studios, homes and gardens. From fibre and fabric artists to jewelers, painters, and potters, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse into these artists’ processes, spaces and worlds. It is also a great plan to either find something special for Mother’s day or to go with her and enjoy the day.

The self-guided tour takes place May 13 and 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Free admission. On tour days, look for the bright yellow signs.

Maps, brochures and further information available on, Facebook Page and many local merchants in the Cadboro Bay, Gordon Head and Mt. Tolmie areas.

Trusty Steed by Peter Wyse

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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