February exhibits draw on wide array of artistic talent

What's happening at local art galleries this month

See Meghan Hildebrand’s The Scarf at Madrona Gallery.

See Meghan Hildebrand’s The Scarf at Madrona Gallery.

Art lovers have a lot to explore at local galleries this month.

In Oak Bay village, Avenue Gallery welcomes Shinah Lee’s Abstracted Florals through Feb. 15.

Lee demonstrated her artistic aptitude at a very young age, notes the gallery’s Heather Wheeler. Originally from South Korea, Lee moved to Montreal at age 13.

Following from Feb. 15 to 22 is new playful miniatures series from Kimberly Kiel in which she uses her signature bold colours and impasto brushwork to create the movement and whimsy of these miniature scenes.

Eclectic Gallery opened its Winter Salon this week, a chance to enjoy new work by a dozen talented artists.

Continuing through March 31, the Winter Salon covers a wide range of styles and technical achievement, including encaustic paintings by Alanna Sparanese.

Sparanese combines beeswax with resin, oil pigment and photo transfer, then using a blow torch, she fuses the layers together.

Other artists rounding out the show include Chris Alers, Desiree Bond, Martina Edmondson, Krysia Gallien, Naomi Grindlay, Eduard Kajdasz, Susan McGillivray, Avis Rasmussen, Linda Skalenda, Carolina Tudela and Brian Wenger.

Also on the Avenue, Winchester Galleries welcomes Sorel Etrog: Evolution of the Figure Feb. 14 to March 18.

Join Winchester for an opening reception next Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. with the artist’s nephew, Jonathan Gendler, in attendance.

The award-winning Canadian artist enjoyed a career that spanned over 50 years and represented Canada at the 1966 Venice Biennale. Important commissions included EXPO ’67, Sunlife Centre Toronto and Olympic Park Seoul Korea. In 1968, he designed the Canadian Film Award more commonly known as the Genie Award.

He has collaborated on books with Eugene Ionesco and Samuel Beckett and his film Spiral was shown on CBC in 1975.

The Winchester exhibition includes bronze and steel figurative work that has been curated from key periods in the artist’s career including Early, Links, Screws & Bolts, Hinges and Rivets.

Accompanying Etrog’s sculptures will be an exhibition of works on paper by Yves Gaucher, Ann Kipling, Harold Klunder, Jean McEwen and Jean Paul Riopelle.

Re-visit the past with Glimpses of the Past: Student Life at UVic, as part of the University of Victoria’s Alumni Week festivities.

Spanning 108 years, the exhibit presents photographs and ephemera from the early days of Victoria College and the UVic. In addition to photographs, ephemera displayed includes a cheering pom-pom, frosh hat, Victoria College crest, a first-year arts pin, and more.

Explore the exhibit in Room A005, Mearns Centre for Learning – McPherson Library through Feb. 28.

Oak Bay Avenue’s Gage Gallery continues its solo February exhibition of paintings by Joanne Thomson to Feb. 18. Equal parts exquisite small watercolour paintings on paper from Thomson’s Mason Jar Series and powerful watercolour on canvas depictions of diverse forest ecosystems, this exhibition presents the familiar in unfamiliar ways and the unfamiliar in familiar ways. Expect to laugh and contemplate, Thomson says.

Join the gallery Feb. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. to take in Make Art with your Sweetheart, a free art-making event. And on Feb. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m., join Thomson and Alanah Nasadyk from Habitat Acquisition Trust for Shore do love YOU, a by-donation art-making event at the Gage Gallery to raise awareness of shoreline restoration in Metchosin.

Opening Feb. 23 at Gage is Boxers & Beauties, featuring works by artists Arden Rose and Sherry Tompalski. The Feb. 23 opening runs from 5 to 8 p.m. with the exhibition Feb. 21 to March 11.

Goward House, in Cadboro Bay, opens a Retrospective Art Show of the Art and Calligraphy of John Nip later this month. The Monterey Recreation Centre’s noted Chinese brush painting artist and instructor died in October. The show and sale of his works opens Sunday, Feb. 26 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The show continues weekdays to March 29.

At Madrona Gallery in downtown Victoria, Pulp + Process II continues through Feb. 18.

An exhibition of contemporary Canadian art on paper, featured artists include Meghan Hildebrand, Morgana Wallace, Luke Ramsey,  Megan Dulcie Dill, David Antonides, Shuvinai Ashoona, Tim Pitsiulak and Ningeokuluk Teevee. Join Madrona in celebrating the medium of paper and the diversity of approaches and styles it allows.

On Broad Street, West End Gallery welcomes new artist Naomi Cairns in the Reflections of the Salish Sea exhibition opening tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 11.

Born on Vancouver Island in 1984, Cairns became interested in art at an early age, studying at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Lyon in France before earning her BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

The award-winning artist is the youngest recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award. She and her husband spent three years sailing around the southern and northern Gulf Islands, which has influenced her recent body of work, exploring interactions of the sea’s edge in large-scale paintings.

Reflections of the Salish Sea continues through Feb. 23. Meet the artist at the Feb. 11 reception from 1 to 4 p.m.

At Alcheringa Gallery on Fort Street downtown, Raven Visiting is a specially selected exhibition of rare graphic works by renown Haida artist Don Yeomans, showing Feb. 11 to 25.

The exhibition examines Yeomans’ exploration and use of contemporary subject matter expressed through his masterful use of traditional formline. While Yeomans continues to work in unconventional material, he no longer makes serigraphs, making this exhibition all the more interesting in understanding the artist’s evolution as an artist throughout his career.

Continuing through April 1, the University of Victoria’s Legacy Art Gallery downtown showcases artist and carver Ellen Newman Neel (Kwagiulth, Kwickwasutaineuk and ’Namgis), often described as “the first Northwest Coast woman carver.”

Ellen Neel: the First Woman Totem Pole Carver commemorates the 100th anniversary of Neel’s birth in Alert Bay and 50th anniversary of her death, and is the first public exhibition of Neel’s work in more than five decades.

Visit the Robert Bateman Centre for its Boxed Sanctuary, featuring local artists’ work as they explore personal expressions of sanctuary.

Selected artists have submitted mixed-media boxes in various forms that are filled with images, reclaimed materials, hand-crafted objects, photographs or drawings that explore the question: What is sanctuary?

Through this exhibit, the centre hopes to highlight the importance of sacred spaces. Whether an old growth forest or a childhood home, building a sense of place is a crucial backbone when engaging with our natural world.

Coming up on the local art scene:

• Art Gallery of Greater Victoria welcomes back Dr. Daniel Mato for his popular Sunday Art Lectures Series, a perennial sell-out. The sessions take place from 2 to 4 p.m. over four Sunday afternoons: March 5, March 12, April 2 and April 9. Coming up first is Siren Call of Paris, a look at Paris as the centre of western arts and culture from the 1870s to the 1950s. Tickets are $100 for the series. Individual lectures are $35 or $30 for members and students. Purchase tickets at the gallery or online at aggv.ca/events.

The Victoria Sketch Club opens its 117th annual exhibition March 14 at Glenlyon Norfolk Junior School, 1701 Beach Dr.  Join the opening from 7 to 9 p.m. The show continues daily through Sunday, March 19.