At the Galleries for November

Galleries welcome winter with a host of new exhibits

Blu Smith’s The Mirror Smiles Back is part of Rage

Art lovers have a busy fall of exhibitions and special events to indulge their passion.

From Oak Bay’s Avenue Gallery comes Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light, Blu Smith’s third solo exhibition at the gallery, through Nov. 14.

“This dynamic line from Dylan Thomas’ famous poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night encompasses the essence of this collection,” Smith says. “One of the central themes of my painting has always been about capturing the light. It’s about the ability to harness that fleeting moment where the light burns with intensity or smolders with the glow of an ember. It’s a fight to hold to that perfect moment in life before it transitions to a different state and dissipates forever. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Also coming to Avenue Gallery this month is an exhibit of  new wood-turned sculpture by Douglas Fisher. Featuring  unique design with indigenous iconographic influence, “I have long been fascinated with the art of indigenous cultures from around the world. Upon first inspection it seems so simple and yet at the same time is very powerful. I hope to transcend these cultures in my quest to explore a personal aesthetic,” Fisher says.

At Oak Bay’s Winchester Gallery, enjoy two exhibitions this month: Robert Murray’s Small Sculptures and Topographical Reliefs, and Tad Sizuki’s Days End, Nov. 3 to 26.

Join the gallery for an opening reception this Saturday, Nov. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. with Suzuki and Murray in attendance.

Dec. 1 is a trio of exhibitions to Winchester: Joe Fafard’s Creatures Great and Small; Joe Coffey’s Symbiosis; and a selection of paintings from Antoine Bittar.

The exhibit continues to Dec. 23. Join Winchester for an opening reception Thursday, Dec. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

The opening coincides with the Oak Bay Gallery Walk, when the Avenue fills with a variety of special shows and events.

Oak Bay’s Eclectic Gallery hosts its Small Works exhibit Nov. 7 to Jan. 7.

“One of our most popular shows, always well-received by our clients and visitors, (find) a wonderful array of over 100 pieces of original artwork all priced under $500 just in time for the holiday season,” notes the gallery’s John Taylor.

At downtown Victoria’s Madrona Gallery, tucked in Trounce Alley, Nov. 5 to 18 brings an exhibition of work by Jutai Toonoo (1959 – 2015).

“A man who had a commanding presence in contemporary Inuit art, Toonoo rarely conformed to traditional expectations. Often expressive, raw, personal and unidealized portraits articulate themes of religion, social issues, and his personal battles with cancer,” the gallery notes.

Discover works from throughout Toonoo’s career, highlighting his important contribution to arts in Canada. Join Madrona for an opening reception Nov. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Next at Madrona is the Nov. 19 to Dec. 3 exhibit of work by Nicholas Bott.

Over the last four decades, the iconic Canadian artist’s  bold palette and post-impressionistic style has garnered international recognition and a worldwide base of collectors. This collection features new work from across Western Canada and a recent trip to the eastern Arctic.

The opening reception is Nov. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Also in Victoria, West End Gallery hosts the seventh solo exhibition of works by Quebecois landscape artist Guy Roy Nov. 12 to 24. A Solo Exhibition of New Paintings is filled with passion, spontaneity and movement on grand canvases that threaten to burst with bold colour and dramatic light.

In nearby Rockland, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria welcomes a host of special events this month.

This Sunday, jazz lovers will enjoy the Ian McDougall Quartet with special guest Craig Henderson, performing at the gallery on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 ($25 for U-JAM and AGGV members) and include admission to the gallery’s exhibitions.

The gallery will be a feast for the eyes and ears Nov. 10, when from 7 to 9 p.m. Carol Sawyer and Lisa Miller perform.  Reconstructions and Deconstructions music is inspired by the repertoire of Natalie Brettschneider and her contemporaries in conjunction with the exhibition Carol Sawyer: The Natalie Brettschneider Archive. Free with admission or membership.

The Winter Small Works Show and Sale kicks off Nov. 18 in AGGV’s Massey Sales Gallery, with a public preview and sale scheduled Nov. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. The popular Winter Market welcomes shoppers beginning Nov. 24,

The University of Victoria’s Legacy Gallery in downtown Victoria continues its exhibit In Defiance, from artist/collaborator Lindsay Delaronde through Jan. 7, while on campus, the First Peoples House hosts Natural | Supernatural, Nuu-chah-nulth serigraph prints from UVic’s permanent collection.

Curated by Allison Grey Noble and Caroline Riedel, the exhibition includes prints by artists Patrick Amos, Joe David, Ron Hamilton, Tim Paul, Art Thompson and Glen Webster, and visually articulates histories and stories that are important to the people of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations.

Also on campus through the continuing education department is a workshop led by Chinese brush painting artist Andy Lou, whose A & A Gallery is in Broadmead.

Approaching his teaching in a relaxed manner, Lou begins with a demonstration so his students can see how he moves his brush, mixes colours and composes to create the subject matter.

The students then create their own piece. Some may replicate Lou’s, others will add their own flare. Using bottled ink and colour in tubes – a simple and modern adaptation – students paint on rice paper, whose water-absorbent property allows the brush, ink, colour and water to flow in a poetic way.

The emphasis throughout is on an enjoyable experience: “Painting should be fun and not hard work. Don’t be afraid to try something new, merge tradition with new techniques and explore,” he says.

Lou’s one-day contemporary Chinese brush painting workshop through UVic’s Continuing Studies is Saturday, Dec. 3. For more information, call 250-472-4747 or visit

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