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The arts are incredibly alive and well in Sooke

An attendee at the Appetite for Art exhibition and sale at the Prestige Hotel on Saturday, March 8 checks out the work submitted by members of the Sooke Community Arts Council. - Jack Most
An attendee at the Appetite for Art exhibition and sale at the Prestige Hotel on Saturday, March 8 checks out the work submitted by members of the Sooke Community Arts Council.
— image credit: Jack Most

The Appetite for Art exhibition by the Sooke Fine Arts Society was a huge success by all accounts.

With over 80 art/appetizer pairing, the results were incredibly thoughtful and the chefs out did themselves in creating their own art in the form of food.

This was a first for the SFAS and The Mix by Ric’s and it will likely not be the last. Attendees strolled through the convention centre admiring the art, which ranged from wooden vessels by Phoebe Dunbar to photographs by Jack Most and paintings by Angela Menzies, and a whole host of other mediums by many local artists.

The 27th annual Sooke Fine Arts Show is already getting underway although the show dates are still in the distance, July 25 to August 4.

“Last year was an outstanding show, one-third of the artists were brand new to the Sooke Fine Arts Show,” said Catherine Keogan, Executive Director for the SFAS. “It was really wonderful to bring a fresh look to the show.

Keogan said she wants to encourage artists to submit because “anything can happen.”

Artists have been submitting works online since February 15. The end date for submissions is June 7 at 4 p.m. This year, more than $12,000 in awards will be given in all seven media categories, as well as Juror’s Choice, People’s Choice, Children’s Choice, Design Committee Award and the Jan Johnson Memorial Award for Social Commentary.

Submissions are welcome from artists across Vancouver Island and the coastal islands. If an artist has work not selected last year, they are welcome to submit again.

An independent panel of three jurors will review the submissions and select those pieces to be exhibited. The jurors are professionals in their fields and include curators, gallery owners, educators and working artists. This year’s jury consists of:

Ellen Manning, Mary Jo Hughes and Nigel Prince.

Ellen Manning is the founding director of the Victoria Emerging Art Gallery. Her interest in contemporary art has taken her around the world — from Europe to Asia.

Her goal is “to give talented emerging artists a voice and to create a new and exciting market for collections by offering accessible price points on original Fine Art.”

Mary Jo Hughes is the director of the University of Victoria’s Art Collections, which consists of 27,000 works of art. She oversees the university’s Legacy Gallery in downtown Victoria. She has been Senior Curator with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She has an academic background and has taught Canadian art history. Her enthusiasm in showcasing regional artists is truly inspiring.

Nigel Prince has been the executive director of Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery for three years. He comes from the United Kingdom where he was a curator for the Ikon Gallery which has two floors of successive exhibitions in all media. He has international art experience collaborating with galleries in Munich, Rotterdam, Venice and Toronto.

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