Vancouver Island: Arts and Culture Powerhouse? Just ask Terry O’Reilly.
Ladysmith BC – A plan is underway to establish Vancouver Island and coastal area as an arts powerhouse. Spearheaded by the Ladysmith Arts Council, the goal is to situate our island region as a significant cultural force and destination.
And they’re kicking off the project with the help of Terry O’Reilly, host of Under The Influence on CBC.
“More artists live and create here per capita than anywhere else in the country,” explains Ladysmith Arts Council President Kathy Holmes. “We are sparking an Island-wide conversation about the role the artists and culture sector can play in amplifying existing regional economic development and tourism activities.”
Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund, the initiative recognizes that digital technologies are facilitating unprecedented collaboration and value creation, and explores how they can be used to enhance individual and collective marketing, communications and audience development efforts.
Terry O’Reilly will be the keynote speaker during an interactive live webcast on August 8 at 6pm, including a Q&A session with the much-loved marketing guru.
Artists are invited to join this free event from the comfort of their couch or campsite. All that’s needed is a decent internet connection. Organizers are hoping the accessible online format will draw creatives from all corners of this coastal region.
Stz’uminus First Nation artist John Marston, whose studio is located in the Ladysmith Arts Council building, has already signed up for the live webcast. “Storytelling is a fundamental component of my work, and I’m excited to hear Terry O’Reilly talk about how to integrate it more effectively into my online presence,” he says.
The second half of the workshop will feature Inga Petri, a Whitehorse-based consultant with deep expertise in applying digital technologies to uplift the Canadian arts and culture sector. Inga will offer practical tips and tools about existing and emerging technologies, and attendees will also be introduced to a new geolocation art app being piloted on Vancouver Island.
“We’re already hearing from many artists who are really ramped up working together to grow our sector,” continues Holmes. “There’s an energy brewing about what’s possible here on Vancouver Island thanks to our creative density and digital technology.”
A separate strategy meeting is being held July 25 at 10am for tourism associations, local governments, arts councils and economic development agencies who want to join the conversation.
Registering for either event is dead simple. To join the Island artist digital skill building workshop featuring Terry O’Reilly, go to http://www.crowdcast.io/e/terry. To sign up for the multi-stakeholder strategy meeting, go to http://www.crowdcast.io/e/arts.
These events are a collaborative effort between the Ladysmith Arts Council, the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District, as well as two local social enterprises: artfinds.me and streamofconsciousness.ca
For more information contact Kathy Holmes or Ora Steyn at the Ladysmith Arts Council
firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-245-1252
Or event coordinator Jenny Farkas at email@example.com or 250-896-6446
Trees at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery
On the west coast we live in a rain forest that provides life for a multitude of organisms and animals. The cedar tree was the staple of life for the First Nation people of the area; providing shelter, clothing, baskets for cooking and carrying, rope, planking, and an integral part of spiritual life and cultural practice. Our forests are also rich with arbutus, hemlock, pine, fir, dogwood and alder. All these trees serve a place in the joy of island life.
Trees not only provide us with great beauty but they are our main source of oxygen on the planet. They bare fruit for us to eat. Some bloom exotic, breathtaking flowers, others shelter wildlife, and provide man with a living in the forest industry. How would we live without them?
This month we challenge the artist to tell their story in paint, clay, stone, fabric or glass. Intake days are March 1 and 2, 2016 between noon and 4 pm. The show runs from March 3-27th.
Opening night gala evening is Saturday March 5th at 7 pm. The Guest speaker is Penny Maday and she will share her journey in the art world. Penny created and runs Island Girl Art Studio on Hammond Day road in Nanaimo. The studio offers small classes that feature lots of support and instruction in a nurturing atmosphere for all ages. She offers inspiration in mixed media art, acrylic and water colour.
Penny has been an artist for over forty years and a teacher for almost thirty. She has taught in public and private schools and First Nation Schools in two Canadian provinces, as well as developing and delivering art curriculum for numerous community agencies and public education courses for youth and adults. Her story will inspire and invigorate you.
Doors open at 7:00, refreshments will be served, and you can feast your eyes on the Tree show. Please join us and meet your art friends and neighbours in the Ladysmith area. The sponsor for this show is the Ladysmith Pharmasave. www.ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com Waterfront Gallery 610 Oyster Bay Drive, Ladysmith. 250-245-1252
The Ladysmith Fine Art Exhibition 2015
The Ladysmith Fine Art Exhibition 2015
It’s noticeable that the Ladysmith Arts Council and the Waterfront gallery are making a mark in the arts on the Island. With the expansion in the gallery and the gift shop and the elevator, it’s a force to be reckoned with. And now the back, due to its appeal, is the 6th Biennial juried Ladysmith Fine Art Show (formally known as the Multi-Media Show) from Saturday February 6-27th, 2016 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery. This marks the 6th alternating years, and is expected to be another rousing success. This juried show brings artists together from all over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and is an eclectic mix of original fine. Three distinct categories are judged: 2-dimensional works, 3-dimensional works, and photo/digital. The prizes are substantial, the judges are professional, the competition is energizing and the results always surprising.
Up to 150 unique pieces will be accepted for the show. Best in Exhibition wins the top prize of $1000.00; $500 for first in each category; $250 for second in each category; and third place, $100 in each category as well as a Peoples Choice award. This show challenges the artist to bring the best quality of art to the gallery. 2013 Best in Show winner was Carrie Kendall for her Dinner for Eight. The results keep everyone guessing until opening night.
“The Multi-Media show is a measure of artists against other artists and against themselves in their category”, notes Kathy Holmes, the President of the Ladysmith Arts Council.
The show will be sponsored generously by many local businesses and organizations. One of the main sponsors this year is Ladysmith Credit Union and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Division.
The entry deadline for all applicants was January 15th with a robust entry in all categories this is proving to be a great exhibition of what artists are creating on Vancouver Island.
The prizes will be awarded at the Opening Night Reception, February 6, 2016 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery. Make sure you have this on your calendar as it is expected to be an exciting evening complete with appetizers in the studio room. It is destined to be a full-house opening night and show. Mark your calendar! The Show is Open from noon to 4pm until February 27th at the Waterfront Gallery 610 Oyster Bay Drive Ladysmith www.ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com.
Sherry Bezanson January 16
The Elevator is in the House!
On November 6, 2015 the Ladysmith Arts Council and Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery is celebrating the newest addition to the already impressive list of accomplishments over the last five years. The Elevator Project has successfully been completed and is up and running. The project began with a contribution of $500 dollars from art benefactor and gallery appreciator Pamela Fairchild in 2013. Ms. Fairchild, who has since relocated to Montreal to be close to family, lit a fire in the minds of the board of directors with the comment that she unfortunately was unable to bring her disabled husband upstairs to see the art shows. From that moment on heaven and earth was moved to create a gallery that was accessible to all in the community, not just the able-bodied.
The final costs of the Elevator Project came to $80,000; most of it from a grant from Employment and Social Development Canada for the sum of $40,000. The City of Ladysmith was also a main contributor, along with BC Rehabilitation, and donations from local renown artists Grant Leier and Nixie Barton, and Ladysmith Credit Union, Chemainus Sketch Group, Ladysmith Lions Club, along with small and numerous donations from members and visitors.
The major visionary and activist behind the Elevator Project was Kathy Holmes, President of the Ladysmith Arts Council. Ms. Holmes started the Pear Project as a fundraiser in 2013, following Pam Fairchild’s $500 investment, with a goal to making $1000 to go toward the Elevator Project. She reached that $1000 goal nearly a year ago after making and selling 100 handmade ceramic pears. Other small art sales such as the Cupcake paintings also contributed as well as community fundraisers such as Davy Jones Locker in October of 2014.
“I want to compliment our contractors: Brian Childs & Company Construction, and all the subcontractors that made this a reality. They were all a joy to work with – reliable, hard-working and they embraced the vision and knew it was a community project with meaning. The elevator brings access to those with physical disabilities that have previously been excluded from all gallery and Arts Council functions”, exclaimed Ms. Holmes.
“In addition, the by product of the Elevator Project is an enhanced and upgraded entrance to the gallery, a designated gift-shop area, and a student gallery in the downstairs hallway. So whether you are taking the elevator or walking up, there is a beautiful and lively new updated look. It is an ambitious project for a gallery our size”, adds Holmes.
Join the celebration on November 6, between 2-5 pm for tea and refreshments. There will be speeches from local dignitaries, government representatives, and from the Ladysmith Arts Council board of directors. And elevators rides are free!
“Art is here!” smiles Kathy Holmes.
Sherry Bezanson October `14, 2015
As the summer days shift radically to fall days, leaves begin to move closer to the ground (is that why it’s called “fall”), and it is time for your artistic leanings to consider the reaping of vegetables and fruit from the garden and orchard. If you do that we guarantee that you will have a creation ready for our next show, Harvest. The theme is in perfect timing with this fall season that is currently being laid graciously at our feet. Harvest show runs from October 1 through to November 2, 2015 at the Waterfront Gallery.
Intake for art happens on September 29, 30 upstairs at the Gallery. Bring your interpretation of Harvest; ready for hanging. And hanging day will be Thursday October 1, 2015; if you have some free time, please join the crew in putting up the Harvest show. Please remember that the gallery runs on 100% volunteerism and your time input is greatly needed and appreciated.
Opening night for the show is October 3, 2015 at 7 pm at the Waterfront Gallery and it is open to the public. The guest speaker is professional Coast Salish artist John Marston. Marston has been carving in the lower, back space in the Gallery building since late soring 2015. Here in Ladysmith artists and non-artists have grown to love to follow the career of John Marston. Marston’s lineage is from Stz’uminus First Nation and he grew up in a family of artists and has excelled in his art career.
Please join us for an evening rich in Harvest imagery. There will be the usual scrumptious harvest array of tasty treats, and beverages, coffee and tea. The sponsor of next month’s show, Harvest, is Little Valley Restoration who has been serving the island with quality auto body and collision repairs since 1980. Little Valley Restorations Ltd. is family owned and operated, and has a team of workers with broad experience. Thank you to the owner, John Neil, for appreciating and being a benefactor of the local the art community.
Sherry Bezanson July 30, 2015
A wander through the gallery on in-coming day reveals the preparation for the next Ladysmith Arts Council Show, Good Bones. A circle of deer antlers, composed of perhaps 50-60 sets;
installation pieces of pink and gold, and a mystery wall hanging that creates intrigue on the scale of The Da Vinci Code. That’s only the beginning of the charm and scale of Good Bones.
Good Bones indicates something that is solid, dependable, and for the common good. Artists were challenged to paint, assemble, and create their interpretation of Good Bones. And so they did. Approximately thirty artists have contributed to this latest show.
The Gala Opening was August 1st, 7pm Waterfront Gallery and the Guest Speaker was John Whitelaw. John Whitelaw, a retired pathologist, has been interested in natural history since childhood and gave an inspiring talk about his photography. A latecomer to serious amateur photography, he has attended workshops by American landscape photographer Charles Cramer, wildlife photographer Frans Lanting, and master print-maker R. Mac Holbert.
His current efforts are pretty much confined to ‘constructions/arrangements’, and the Japanese aesthetic ‘wabi-sabi’ (about the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete). Lately, he has collaborated with Smithsonian ornithologists, using a novel technique to photograph difficult-to-see birds of the Neotropical understory.
He captures his images with a full frame digital camera, obligatorily lightly processed with Photoshop®, and printed with an Epson® inkjet printer. They are essentially ‘as shot’.
Everyone is welcome to view this show from 12:00 noon to 4 pm daily and seven days a week throughout the summer months. The show runs from July 31 until August 25th. Opening nights are on the first Saturday of every month and feature a unique speaker, plentiful appetizers, and of course the good will of the gallery goers.
The gallery is currently undergoing construction for the new elevator; slight noise and construction activity is on the go, but not disturbing the quality of this show. The plan is that the elevator should be up and running before winter with the expectation that “no one is left behind”.
Barton and Leier Exhibit
On April 23-26, 2015 the LAC will be blessed with a 4-day showing of Grant Leier and Nixie Barton’s work. The ever eclectic twosome will bring some of their juiciest pieces to dazzle the local audience. As professional full-time artist’s waiting for the new work has everyone excited. Grant Leier’s newest pieces are mixed media on canvas, or wood with his signature brilliant colour and engaging themes. Nixie Barton’s newest work is with acrylic and encaustic.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our new body of work at the Waterfront Gallery”, Leier said. “I am revisiting figurative work from thirty years ago but with a dark twist, you may even see for yourself”
“Nixie is working in encaustic and mixed media on paper, investigating landscape based imagery with domino motifs and sewn embellishments”, Leier described.
Curator Leona Petrak explained that a duo show like this is a departure for the Waterfront Gallery that usually shows collective works from a mix of fine artists and emerging artists wit the Ladysmith Arts Council. Barton and Leier have shown nationally and internationally.
“It is an honour to have two great artists displaying and selling new work in our gallery”, said Petrak.
Grant Leier, a proficient painter, is best known for his magical and nostalgic work that has its roots within his illustrator background. He has a fond relationship with pattern and decoration. Nixie Barton’s paintings vibrate with an enticing energy. She describes her work as having "a wonky sense of composition", with colours and strong patterns. Both artists include found objects in their work that entice the viewer.
Grant Leier and Nixie Barton will receive the “Excellence in Culture” Award in Nanaimo on April 9th at the Port Theatre. They are recognized as having earned national reputations for their numerous solo exhibitions throughout North America. Their wide-ranging support of the arts was illustrated through mentorships, donations, and participation in the many aspects of the local, Canadian and international cultural communities.
Opening night is at 7 pm on Thursday April 23, 2015. Join us for an evening of refreshments and appetizers and have the first opportunity to get your hands on some of this newest work by two acclaimed local artists.
Sherry Bezanson Posted March 25, 2015
A Bus Trip: Shore to Shore
Here in Ladysmith artists and non-artists have grown to love to follow the careers of Luke and his brother John Marston. Both are local carvers from Stz’uminus First Nation that have excelled in their art careers. Marston’s lineage is from Stz’uminus First Nation and the brothers grew up in a family of artists and both have been carving since they were children.
Luke Marston’s latest project is all about honoring his ancestry. The impressive 14-footbronze sculpture, Shore to Shore, is being unveiled at Brockton Point in Stanley Park on April 25, 2015. The site in Stanley Park is the site of Marston’s ancestral village, Xwáýxway. The statue was carved in yellow cedar and cast in bronze and is a tribute to Marston’s great great grandfather Joe Silvey and his wives Kwatleematt and Khaltinaht.
The sculpture, titled Shore to Shore, depicts Luke's great-great-grandparents, Portuguese Joe Silvey, and his two wives: Kwatleematt (Lucy), a Sechelt First Nation matriarch and Silvey's second wife and Khaltinaht, Silvey's first wife, a noblewoman from the Musqueam and Squamish First Nations. Around the trio, Marsten has included tools of his grandfather’s trade: seine nets, whaling harpoons, and west coast salmon.
Silvey moved to Canada from the Azores in Portugal in the mid 1800s, and settled at Brockton Point, and then Reid Island. He first married Khaltinaht, from the Squamish and Musqueam First Nations, and had two daughters before she passed away at a young age due to tuberculosis. Silvey then married Kwatleematt, Marston’s great-great grandmother, from the Sechelt First Nation.
In April 2014 Mr. Marston travelled to the Azores to visit his great great grandfathers place of birth and to thank the Portuguese government for their contribution to the project. Marston and his family created the Portuguese Joe Memorial Society to help raise funds to complete this commemorative statue. Through their efforts, they raised $266,000 from the Canadian Legacy Fund, and $50,000 from the family itself. In addition, the Portuguese community put in $200,000.
This project has also drawn the attention of filmmakers and journalists. Peter Campbell is working on a 50-minute documentary film about Shore to Shore, and journalist Suzanne Fournier is writing about the project for Harbour Publishing.
Ladysmith Arts Council invites you to join a bus trip headed to Stanley Park, Vancouver, on April 25, 2015. The cost is $50.00 and includes the ferry and bus ride to and from Stanley Park. BC Ferry walk-on attendees will be met by a bus to be taken directly to Stanley Park. The commemoration will begin at 2 pm, and at the festivities O’Canada will be sung, an Opening Prayer performed and the unveiling of the statue will occur. There will be speeches from Portuguese and Government dignitaries, Coast Salish dancing, and First Nation Speeches.
Please come show support for this celebrated local Ladysmith artist. Sign up today at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery. Sign up early as seats are limited; the deadline is April 4, 2015. Sherry Bezanson Posted March 1st, 2015
Fire & Ice Show at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery
In Iceland on Christmas Day annually a 250 km foot race called Fire and Ice occurs covering varied terrain such as boiling mud pools, black volcanic ash fields, river crossings, lava fields, and sand dunes, finishing spectacularly at the 42 degrees hot springs. Closer to home, Whistler holds an annual Fire and Ice Show that involves fireworks, fire spinners and big air jumps through blazing rings of fire while the snowflakes fall.
Alternatively, if you missed both Iceland and Whistler celebrations, the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery has the Fire and Ice show opening in early January 2015.
Fire and ice are usually at either ends of the spectrum and are contradictions of extremes. The show embraces this contradiction and challenges the artist to confront their own interpretation of the theme and bring it to the canvas. Or the clay, or whatever medium is being used.
Intake dates are December 30 and 31 and the Opening Gala is January 3, 2015 at 7pm. The opening night guest speaker is local acclaimed Coast Salish artist, Luke Marston. Marston lineage is from Stz’uminus First Nation and he grew up in a family of artists and has been carving since he was a child. His parents, Jane and David Marston, are experienced carvers who provided Luke with his introduction to the art and skill of carving. When first carving, Luke sought guidance from Haida/Nisga'a artist, Wayne Young. Wayne taught him about detailed finishing and refined form and design.
Luke continued his education with Coast Salish elder, Simon Charlie, from whom he learned about his people's history and traditional stories and he worked for many years demonstrating carving at the Royal British Columbia Museum at Thunderbird Park in Victoria, BC. Luke Marston strives to preserve his culture and share it with the public; his carving work is shown around the world. In 2010 he was commissioned to complete a Healing Bentwood Box for the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This large cedar chest now travels throughout Canada as a symbol of healing for First Nation peoples across the country. Luke is also the great-great-grandson of Portuguese Joe Silvey.
Please join us at 7 pm on opening night to hear Luke Marsten’s artistic journey, gain local insight and artistic inspiration. www.ladysmithartscouncil.com Sherry Bezanson Writer in Residence
Four Day Sale
Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery is pleased to announce a gigantic Art Sale from November 27-30. The private collection of over one hundred pieces of art has been slashed from the original cost and is available to buyers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily on those 4 days only. Included in this collection are acrylic, oil, abstract, watercolour, and 3-dimensional pieces. The paintings and sculptures are in a variety of sizes.
The owner is downsizing and is offering many fine works by artists such as Dennis Brown, Sylvia Verity-Dewar , Mary Fox, B. Faulkes, Rob Elphinstone, Jack Fisher, Gail Ralphs and many more. The Waterfront Gallery is located at 610 Oyster Bay Road. Come early to avoid disappointment or missing that one special and irreplaceable artwork.
Many people come to a point in their lives where moving into a smaller living space is necessary. Is there a formula for successfully downsizing one’s life and art collection? Reducing an art collection is never an easy task. How do you decide what to keep and what to share with others? How does the artistic soul survive this upheaval? It can be a daunting task both physically and emotionally. But, do take heart those of you that want to make the big switch from a larger home to a more simple, smaller one. It has been done before. For some it might be a desire to simplify one’s life and enjoy the advantage of becoming a minimalist. Downsizing can make one feel freer, to be able to shut the door of your house and travel, to not have upkeep responsibilities. The essence of this sale is that buyers are able to benefit from one collector’s shift in wall space.
Images of some of the paintings are available for previewing at http://www.ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com/huge-art-sale/
Keep checking that page for more photos to be loaded. And there are also photos on the Ladysmith Waterfront Arts Centre Gallery Facebook page. Please come and view the art available during this gigantic episode of downsizing.
By Sherry Bezanson Novemer 18, 2014
Play that Melody
Whether it’s classical, salsa or electronic, music has the rock that rolls us. It moves us, literally and figuratively. It soothes the ruffled soul and calms us, human, plant and animal, into a gentler more serene place. If you’ve ever turned the music up loud for housework or shop-work, you know what I’m talking about. There is a transcendence element to music when its rhythms are rocking us.
Musical metaphors are rife in the language of art. It is popular in mixed media art in the last several years to use music sheets in one’s work. Most people have an affinity to music; it enlivens, pacifies, and uplifts. Music is the movement of the soul, a definitive language and expression that is a cousin of fine art. Both express thoughts, stories, emotions, views, ideas and opinions of human life. On a cultural level, art and music change over time and influence fashion and dance.
This month intake for Play that Melody is on October 28 and 29 at the Waterfront Gallery. Get your mojo swinging and grooving and bring in one of your creations. If you are not a member, then still bring your work in and take out a one-year membership for $24.00 to show your work. It’s worth it and you’ll be inspired each month to get to your studio or easel. The Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery welcomes new and emerging artists. Opening night is November 1 at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome and come hear one of the LAC’s favorite and dynamic guest speakers: Paul Fudge. Paul Fudge is a seasoned artist and instructor who paints in oil and acrylic.
Please join the LAC members and studio artists for a night of reflecting on how melody and art intertwine. The Play the Melody show will continue until the end of November 2014.
By Sherry Bezanson
October 26, 2014