The promise of twinkling lights, Christmas carollers, hot drinks and seasonal treats draws both the art lovers and those looking to discover, to the annual Oak Bay Art on the Avenue Gallery Walk.
With the annual light up the Sunday before, Oak Bay Avenue is aglow and “magical” just in time for Thursday’s festivities.
“I think it’s the best village anywhere,” says Sue Hayes of Side Street Studio. “It’s beautiful. People can just enjoy the pleasures of the galleries.”
The Dec. 1 gallery walk is a chance to stroll the Avenue, experience the pleasures of local galleries, buy unique Christmas gifts and indulge in culinary delights.
“The big thing is to actually have a more personal event for our customers. It’s not just a time when we’re trying to sell to our customers. It’s a thank you for being our customers all year,” Hayes said. “It gives me a chance to see people that often rush in and rush out. We can talk and explain things about the artists.”
Side Street Studio offers locally made gifts, and during the event, guests can meet local jewellery artist Sheila Smedley.
“Often people don’t have a chance to come and browse, get Christmas shopping ideas. A lot of people want to come get things that are made locally,” she said. “You can chat with them you’re not running around, it’s more of a social time.”
The Avenue Gallery hosts its fourth annual All That Glitters jewellery event with artists in attendance. The exhibition showcases wearable art created by the finest boutique jewellers in Canada including Barbara Adams, Doreen Schneider, Veronica Stewart, and Neil Prakash and Hiroko Kobayashi who will all be in attendance.
Eclectic Gallery hosts its popular “Small Works” exhibition that runs to Jan. 7 and features more than 100 pieces by local artists, all modestly priced and just in time for the holiday season.
The Winchester Galleries boasts a reception to open an exhibition of new work by internationally acclaimed sculptor Joe Fafard that night. Creatures Great and Small runs runs through Dec. 23.
The Gage Gallery Arts Collective holds the opening reception for a collection of work inspired by the Chinese proverb: “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”
The Red Thread exhibition features a dynamic display of paintings, photos and sculpture from this diverse group of artists. The Red Thread opened Tuesday with a reception tonight during the gallery walk, and closes Jan. 7. The gallery also offers a new Small Works Gallery with a selection of artwork from all the artists in the collective.
“There’s music and eats and there’s always things on the street as well,” Hayes said. “Hopefully it’s a nice evening. A nice evening will bring people out.”
Galleries throughout Oak Bay village are open for the 13th annual Art on the Avenue Gallery Walk, a part of the Oak Bay BIA Christmas Festival, Thursday, Dec. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.