The Sooke Fine Art Show will take place virtually from July 24 to Aug 3. This painting by Richard Hunt is one of the wide range of pieces to be featured at this year’s event. (Contributed - Sooke Fine Arts Society)

Sooke Fine Art Show gears up for July 24 launch

Virtual event to feature more than 375 juried works from local artists

One of Sooke’s most relished events is just a few brush strokes away.

The Sooke Fine Art Show is gearing up to showcase a wide selection of local art, but this year the show takes place virtually. Artist submissions are in, and organizers are ready to launch the new website for the show.

Terrie Moore, executive director of the Sooke Fine Arts Society, said organizers worked hard to reflect the same feel of the in-person art show as much as possible.

“It’s been a 180-degree switch from previous years, and getting as many aspects of the live show up online has been a huge learning curve. Overall it’s been a really rewarding process,” Moore said.

This year, people can visit the show online anytime from July 24 to Aug. 3, although Moore added it might be possible to buy art from the website until the end of September. There is no fee to view the galleries.

A wide range of categories is featured in the show, including more than 375 juried works of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, fibre arts, jewelry, glass, and ceramics in a virtual format.

Despite the pandemic and the changes to this year’s format, the show had 87 per cent of its usual amount of submissions.

There will also be interactive elements included in the virtual show, such as artist demos, virtual performances, a youth art gallery, an online auction, senior’s tea, Artz4Kiz, and more.

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“The nice thing about our online show is providing access to people who may not have been able to visit the show otherwise,” Moore said.

“We’ll miss the excitement and camaraderie of working together on the physical show, but our priority is the well-being of our volunteers, artists, and our guests with respect to COVID-19 concerns. And while we’re excited about the opportunities this year’s online show presents, we are looking forward to returning to a physical show next year for our 35th anniversary.”

This year’s Purchasers Preview night will be held on July 23, where art lovers can get the first look at this year’s show. Local chef Pat Hogan of 4 Beaches Catering, has created a special appetizer box that people can purchase and enjoy while they “attend” the event at home.

Moore said this year’s show inspired a lot of connections between local businesses, organizers, artists, and community members, who all were willing to help out and make the event possible.

For more information, to donate or to sponsor the event, please go online to sookefinearts.com.

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