Works by more than 50 artists from Campbell River and the region are on display at the Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG) as part of its 37th Annual Members’ Show.
The exhibit is a snapshot of work by members of the gallery and the Campbell River Arts Council (CRAC), which co-produced the show.
“The members’ show is just a great opportunity to get an insight into the wide range of artistic – not just mediums but artistic intent that’s happening in the community,” said Ken Blackburn, executive director of CRAC, during the opening reception on Thursday evening.
“It’s been going on for over 30 years, and yet the show in 2019 – like I have to say in every past year I’ve participated – it looks just as fresh as ever,” he said. “And it’s because this represents what artists are doing now.”
The exhibit showcases a wide variety of disciplines, including blown glass, ceramics, photography, carved wood, quilt and acrylic, oil and watercolour painting.
“It’s this wonderful puzzle to put it all together but to achieve a sense of balance so that everyone’s work speaks to each other, but also has the space to speak on its own,” said CRAG curator of contemporary art Jenelle Pasiechnik.
“When I asked for descriptions of what people are inspired by to create their work, a lot of it came down to the observation of nature and all of our beautiful surroundings,” she said.
“It really made me think of the flâneur, which is traditionally a term from Impressionist Paris, when people first started to go out into the public and to actually paint outside of the studio, this mobility that has allowed us really to capture the most beautiful natural effects of light and nature.”
Dozens of people attended Thursday night’s reception. A group of drummers and singers from Wei Wai Kum First Nation opened the evening with words of welcome and songs, and music was provided throughout the night by guitarists Carla Haywood and Patrick Carpenter.
Pasiechnik will be giving guided tours of the exhibit, and several artists will be leading knowledge-sharing workshops in the coming weeks. Those events are by donation.
Also in this series is a professional development session led by artist Barbara Hunt on Feb. 19, which has a registration fee of $10. Details are available at http://crartgallery.ca. The show runs until Feb. 20, and admission is by donation.