Sooke Fine Arts Society wraps up year with election

New members are encouraged to join Sooke Fine Arts Society

More than two dozen members of the Sooke Fine Arts Society gathered in late October for the society’s annual general meeting to hear firsthand results of the summer’s Sooke Fine Arts Show, vote in new directors, and approve new bylaws.

“The turnout of members and prospective members was most encouraging,” said SFAS Board of Directors Dave Bennett.

Show reports confirmed the successes of the 2014 season, which saw some 8500 visitors flock to Sooke for the annual event, featuring 375 original works of art by island artists exhibited in a temporary gallery in the SEAPARC Leisure Complex.

Numbers were up modestly across the board—from the artists exhibiting and art entries, to guest attendance and art purchases, despite financial impacts from the devastating fire that closed West Coast Rd in July, turning away more than 150 guests traveling from Victoria to attend the Taste of Sooke evening.

Board directors took the opportunity to award Bob Tully, a long-time volunteer with the show and head of the gallery’s set-up team, with a lifetime membership in recognition of his unstinting contributions to the Society.

“The achievements of the hundreds of volunteers, the office staff, and the Board of Directors in preparation for the 28th season were both highlighted and acknowledged,” confirmed Mr Bennett, ”as well as the creativity of the contributing artists.”

Members also unanimously voted in two new directors, Frederique Philip and Rick Gates, and renewed terms for current directors Loretta Fritz and Sue-Lin Tarnowski.

Director Linda Teneycke also unveiled upcoming art socials and workshops, part of the Society’s efforts to increase membership and expand its year-round programming.  The new Member Services committee organizes pop-up events such as artist talks and gallery excursions throughout the year.

The first event of the post-show season is a catered dinner followed by an artist talk delivered by Ken Miner, winner of the ‘Best Photography’ award at the 2013 Sooke Fine Arts Show. “Understanding the Complexities of Photography” will explore photography as art, and what goes into making a great photograph.  The autumn ‘art social’ takes place Friday, Nov. 14 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Sooke.

This is the first of four events planned for the months ahead, including a full-day gallery and lunch tour in Parksville and Coombs (Feb. 17); a lunch and guided tour of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (March 11); and an evening with renowned artist Carey Newman (May, date TBD) as he discusses his recently-completed “Witness Blanket” now on tour across Canada.

Society members enjoy discounts for events, and non-members are encouraged to sign up for a $10 membership, which also entitles holders to 10 per cent off in the Gallery Gift Shop at the 2015 Sooke Fine Arts Show.

For more information on member services or becoming a SFAS member, contact Executive Director Catherine Keogan at 250-642-7256 or by email sfas@sookefinearts.com

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