Galleries welcome spring

Spring shows bring colour and creativity to the local galleries

West End Gallery opens an exceptional exhibit of work by Greta Guzek

It may be a few days early, but spring has sprung at local galleries.

The 107-year-old Victoria Sketch Club hosts its annual spring show this month.

The oldest art group in continuous operation in Western Canada, current members continue the tradition today.

The much-anticipated annual exhibition and sale features more than 100 paintings, on exhibit March 15 to 20 at  the Glenlyon-Norfolk school gym, 1701 Beach Dr. Stop by for the opening, 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 15 or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through March 20 (closing at 4 p.m. Sunday)

Here on the Avenue through March 16, Avenue Gallery showcases new pieces by award-winning jeweller Kevin Cremin, who has been creating fine jewellery for more than 20 years. Originally trained in the U.K., Cremin is a double winner of the De Beers Diamonds Today competition.

Oak Bay’s Eclectic Gallery continues its exhibit of Dan MacDougall’s Sea Wall Project and Alanna Sparanese’s encaustic works, showing through April 2.

For his Sea Wall Project, McDougall makes photographs on his walks along Dallas Road, then creates sketches for paintings which are then re-photographed and printed on fabric.

“He manipulates these into three-dimensional sculptures encased in bell jars similar to how museums might preserve fragments of nature. The juxtaposition of painting and sculpture engage the viewer to consider a non-objective understanding,” says Eclectic’s John Taylor.

Sparenese brings considerable skill in the ancient Egyptian encaustic process using bees wax, resin and pigments, Taylor says.

With compositions “both real and elusive … she introduces photo transfer to the process, building up layers of tone, then fusing the layers with her blow torch. Fire and ice.”

Downtown, West End Gallery opens an exceptional exhibit of work by Greta Guzek, Island Passages, March 19 to 31. Bold contrasting colours, distinctive brushwork and distorted perspectives lend themselves to her playful expression of coastal life. Greta’s depictions of windswept shores, charming seaside cabins and the ever-changing beauty of local arbutus trees have captured the hearts of collectors for over 15 years.

“Out of my journey through the islands this past summer, came the inspiration for these new paintings. I was reminded again of the connections we have with the earth where we are rooted and sustained, and the water through which we journey and dream,” says Guzek, who will join the gallery for an opening reception Saturday, March 19 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Madrona Gallery welcomes an exhibit of Historic Canadian Works March 12 to 26.

The gallery’s second exhibition of important historical Canadian work, the display  includes paintings, drawings and prints. Find  work by leading Canadian artists from the turn of the century onward, with a focus on those from the West Coast. Artists include Maxwell Bates, David Blackwood, E. J. Hughes, Joseph Plaskett, Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith, Takao Tanabe and others.

Coming up in April is an exhibit of new paintings by Rick Bond, showing April 9 to 23. An established Canadian artist currently based in Vernon, this collection sees Bond continuing to develop his bold acrylic painting.  “His representations of the natural vistas and charming urban settings of Western Canada are impressionistic to the point of abstraction and always bursting with colour,” notes the gallery’s Michael Warren.

Join the gallery for an opening reception Saturday, April 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.

On Fort Street, Alcheringa Gallery presents Navigating New Directions, modern masters of the Sepik River, of Papua New Guinea, March 12 to April 13. Join the gallery for the opening reception Saturday, March 12 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Red Art Gallery celebrates spring with March Madness. One artwork will be posted on the gallery’s Facebook page each Wednesday through Saturday through the rest of the month, while a “daily special” image will show the amount of “mad money” which will be credited towards the purchase of that artwork, on that day only. For more information, visit redartgallery.ca.

Oak Bay Avenue’s Winchester Gallery is closed for spring break, re-opening April 5 with an exhibit of Lifu, showing through April 30, with opening reception Saturday,  April 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. with the artist in attendance.

The University of Victoria’s annual Master of Fine Arts exhibit is at the Visual Arts Building’s Audain Gallery, presented this year as a solo series, rather than a large group show.

These exhibits function as the thesis work for the MFA candidates, three exhibiting this month: Tristan Zastrow (March 14 to 18), Ryan Hatfield (March 21 to 25) and Rachel Vanderzwet (March 28 to April 1). Join the artists for a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. each Thursday.

editor@oakbaynews.com

 

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