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North Island College fine art students celebrated at year-end exhibition

Week-long show at Comox Valley campus opens May 4

Emerging artists from North Island College’s fine arts program will host Looking In/Looking Out, a public showcase of their work, from May 4 to 11 at the Comox Valley campus’s Shadbolt Studios. A special opening celebration is set for May 4 from 1-4 p.m., with a formal welcome and introduction of the featured artists taking place at 2 p.m.

“This exhibition is really about showing how each student’s artistic voice and range has grown by the second year of their fine art studies,” said Sara Vipond, chair of NIC’s School of Fine Art and Design. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate fine art diploma students and their work.”

The curated art show is an opportunity to profile the work of second-year student artists who have created art using mediums of video, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, print media and ceramics. It also gives students the opportunity to learn valuable exhibition skills for professional artists.

“It’s a chance to understand the nuts and bolts of putting on a curated show, and it’s a lot of work,” said Vipond. “They get professional practices experience, like preparing for opening night and labelling and arranging work for display.”

Keegan White is one of the 13 students whose work will be displayed at the show. His painting Untitled, an encaustic work created using heated beeswax and colour pigments, is featured on the exhibition posters.

White aims to pursue a BFA at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and later a master’s degree in Ireland or Germany. He decided to pursue his fine arts diploma at NIC after attending an art exhibition at the college as a teenager.

“It’s an excellent program,” said White. “I’ve seen beginners with no training graduate and become some of my favourite artists in the Valley.”

NIC’s access to artistic technology and close working relationships with instructors are major benefits to students. White said his fine art training at NIC has inspired him to become a teacher one day.

“The instructors encourage you to keep going and they won’t let quit, and I think that’s very important for new artists,” he said.

Looking In/Looking Out will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during weekdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Saturday dates (May 4 and 11).

The next intake for NIC’s Fine Arts diploma starts in September. For more information, and to apply, visit