What’s on at the Galleries

Explore spring's colourful exhibitions at local art galleries

At Madrona Gallery

This spring, the Avenue Gallery proves that even small things can make a big difference.

On Thursday, May 5, the Oak Bay gallery hosts the opening of a special exhibition “A Little Something…” in support of Victoria Hospice.

This annual “small” exhibition comes just in time for Mother’s Day and features 20 gallery painters producing more than 100 miniature gems. With pieces starting at just $95, there’s a little something for everyone, and the Avenue Gallery and its artists will donate partial proceeds to Victoria Hospice.

The gallery will showcase the miniature masterpieces from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 5; the exhibit continues to Sunday, May 8.

At Oak Bay’s Winchester Gallery, Saturday, April 9, brings the opening reception for LIFU, with the artist in attendance from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibit continues to April 30.

Also on the Avenue, Eclectic Gallery hosts works by Jennifer McIntyre and Carolyn Kowalyk through May 7.

From McIntyre’s fluid acrylics and layered glazes emerge lush tropical environments filled with birds and flowers. Subtle and complex colours are the signature of her work, creating imaginative flights both surreal and fantastical. “Above all, her work is joyful, colourful and expressive,” says the gallery’s John Taylor.

A frequent exhibitor at the Sidney Fine Arts Show, where she received Best in Show, Kowalyk is an intuitive abstract painter who “applies layers of texture and pigment, exploiting happy accidents while moving with the flow of paint on canvas.

At the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, local students unveil their first exhibition of contemporary art, New Extreme, tonight (April 8) at 6 p.m. in the Massey Gallery. The exhibition continues to April 24. The youth were mentored by local artists as they explored various aspects of being an artist and engaging with contemporary art.

The gallery also opens two Japanese exhibitions this month. Nanga: Literati Painting of Old Japan, Saturday, April 9 (also the inspiration for this month’s Family Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. April 17), and Modernization in Meiji Japan (1868 – 1912), opening April 22.

The University of Victoria’s Visual Arts department hosts its annual emerging artist showcase: the BFA Graduation Exhibit, featuring art created by more than 35 graduating fine arts students. The entire Visual Arts building will be filled with painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, installation and extended media works. Join the department for the opening reception Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. The exhibit continues through Saturday, April 23. Admission is free and all are welcome.

At UVic’s Legacy Art Gallery Downtown, take in Emerging Through the Fog, an exhibition about two Nuu-chah-nulth men, “Fog-God” Art Thompson (Tsa-qwa-supp) from Ditidaht (1948-2003) and Hjalmer Wenstob (Tlehpik) from Tla-o-qui-aht. The exhibit features prints and paintings of Tsa-qwa-supp from the gallery collection and interactive carvings by contemporary artist Tlehpik, inspired by the work of his teacher and friend Tsa-qwa-supp. When Tsa-qwa-supp visited the young Tlehpik it was always by emerging from the fog.

The exhibition runs until  May 28. On April 21, artist/curator Hjalmer Wenstob will host a public tour of the exhibition at 7 p.m.

Also downtown, join Madrona Gallery tomorrow, April 9, for the opening of exhibit of new paintings by Rick Bond.

An established artist currently based in Vernon, B.C., Bond continues to develop his bold approach to acrylic painting, demonstrated in the works selected for this exhibit.

“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 Madrona’s Michael Warren.

The reception runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and the exhibition continues to April 22.

West End Gallery celebrates spring May 7 to 19 with depictions of West Coast scenery by Joel Mara, who developed a special appreciation for nature during his childhood growing up in Campbell River. His fascination for coastal life has never left and aiming to create a feeling of “being there,” Mara shapes and paints to merely suggest an image; it is up to the viewer’s eye to fill in the details.

Enjoy an afternoon on the Inner Harbour, taking in the Robert Bateman Centre and Narratives from the North, showing through April 14.

Linked by strong narratives from both Norse and Inuit folklore, the show explores the powerful work of Inuit master sculptor Abraham Anghik Ruben, whose sculptures speak of cultures lost and times forgotten.

Since 2005, Ruben has explored the relationship between the Inuit and the Viking Norse.

“I have always tried to learn from others, either Inuit or other elderly people who can pass on their knowledge of what life is about. I try to put that into my sculpture,” the artist reflects.

Ruben’s sculptures are paired with paintings from Robert Bateman’s own journey to the Canadian Arctic, plus more than 100 other original works on permanent exhibit at the Centre.

 

 

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