There’s just over a week left to take advantage of a local show and sale of handmade artistic creations down at the Campbell River Art Gallery.
The team at the gallery has transformed the space into what they are calling the Fine Arts Shop until Dec. 22, featuring “thoughtfully selected, high quality fine art by professional and emerging artists from across Vancouver Island.”
Executive director Sara Lopez-Assu says she’s happy they were able to still make something like this happen this Christmas season, despite the challenges of a global pandemic and various restrictions being put in place by the province.
“It’s been going really great,” Lopez-Assu says. “We had to throw it together kind of at the last minute due to COVID, because we weren’t sure what we were going to be allowed to do, so we didn’t want to plan something and have it not come together.”
And even once they knew what they were going to be able to put on and the selection committee gave Lopez-Assu a list of some artists they’d like to invite, things still had to change.
“We started off thinking it would be B.C. artists, but once travel restrictions came into play, we decided to keep it to artists from the Island,” she says.
“It got closer and closer to home as we went along, and as I told the selection committee, I didn’t know how successful we’d be at getting them, because it was very, very short notice.”
But it turned out that the artists she approached were happy to jump on board.
“All the artists were actually super keen,” she says. “I think it speaks to the pent-up desire after a very difficult year to be able to show what they’ve been working on and potentially make some revenue. They were so grateful for the opportunity and very enthusiastic, and it made for a really diverse and exciting show.”
Lopez-Assu says she’s happy they could create a “unique opportunity” for the people of Campbell River to see a diverse range of professional and up-and-coming artists, working in all kinds of mediums, from all over the Island, in one place.
“You’d have to go a long way down the Island to find a commercial art gallery with this kind of offering,” she says.
They also wanted to ensure while they were showing higher-end work by professional artists, they also made the sale accessible for everyone.
“There’s certainly been a learning curve for some people when they see some of the prices,” she says, “but that’s also created an opportunity to have some really wonderful conversations about how art is work, that work has value, and it comes with a price tag. When you buy fine art, it ought to be viewed as an investment. Not just an investment for you and your family, but also an investment in the artist themselves.
“But we still wanted to be accessible,” she continues. “We have some pieces that start at a hundred bucks, but there are also absolutely pieces from well-recognized professional artists in the $5,000 range. There’s something for everyone, whether they’re just starting their fine art collection and are a bit timid about the investment, or they have a well-established collection they’re adding to or want one major focus piece for a particular room for their home or business.”
You can view the pieces in the sale at crartgallery.ca/giftshop/fineartsshop or during regular hours of operation on a drop-in basis to see them in person.
For those who may be uncomforatble with general public viewing, there is also a “by-appointment” form you can fill out at crartgallery.ca to book a free, private showing of the work.
Drop-in hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 5 p.m., Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.