Balloons, cake and a rare 18-artist show filled Gage Gallery last week to mark its second anniversary.
“It’s been amazingly successful,” said Gillian Redwood, member artist on the events committee that organized the event.
The non-profit collective decided on 2031 Oak Bay Ave. because of its attractive appeal at an affordable price, the proximity to other galleries, and because Oak Bay seems like a community supportive of contemporary arts and appreciative of exhibits. All culminated in a successful first two years, says Redwood, adding it’s the most successful of co-operatives she’s been a member of.
“The standard of the art is high and that’s really important,” Redwood said of the many known member artists.
“There are also emerging artists as well, to learn from the established artists.”
During her solo show – the gallery hosts a new one every three weeks – as is common among the member artists, she was on site far more than just the opening gala. Redwood would sit and chat with visitors about her work – benefitting both artist and gallery visitor.
“The commission the gallery takes is affordable because it’s not a commercial operation,” Redwood said. Success is marked by the amount of visitors to the nearly 30 solo shows offered over the past two years.
“It’s a steady stream of people,” Redwood said. “We get a lot of visitors from out of town that come to Oak Bay because we have a lot of galleries here.”
Support of a regular local contingent also doesn’t hurt.
“They come on a regular basis and they bring their friends,” she said.
The artist collective still boasts 18 artists, one up from the 17 it started with, with a small number of artists in and out over the 24 months.
The Gage Gallery hosted a group show for the celebration that came down Aug. 13. Next up is Frances Beckow’s Singing Songs about the Salish Sea, featuring acrylic works inspired by our waterways, that runs to Sept. 3.
Enjoy an artists reception Thursday, Aug. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 2031 Oak Bay Ave.