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At the Galleries: Greater Victoria arts scene sees new works, award-winning artists

Fall into new works showcases

Excitement is building for William Liao’s first solo exhibition, Encounters with Life, at The Avenue Gallery.

Artistic inspiration began at an early age for Liao. Growing up in Beijing, China after the Cultural Revolution, he was surrounded by classical Chinese culture as well as new European art. These are the influences which continue to define and inspire his work today. With seven years of professional training, he graduated from Beijing Normal University, with a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts.

Specializing in florals, landscapes and figurative works, Liao’s paintings combine traditional mediums with modern techniques, providing his audience with another dimension of experience.

Recognized for his talent, Liao has won the Art Battle Vancouver, received the Silver Medal at the Signature Medal Show at Federation Gallery, as well as First Place in the Acrylics in Action show.Encounters with Life runs Oct. 13 to 24. Visit for more.

West End Gallery hosts Ryan Sobkovich’s premiere Victoria exhibition through Oct. 13.

Sobkovich is an accomplished young phenom from Wasaga Beach, Ont. Scouted and nurtured from a young age, Sobkovich has been professionally exhibiting in galleries since he was 16. Aware of the importance of education, he consciously took the time to advance his education and graduated from Georgian College, School of Design and Visual Arts in 2016 with honours in the advanced fine art program. Sobkovich’s love of nature inspires him to paint the dramatic wilderness of Canada and now at 27, he is a veteran artist and one to collect in Canadian art.

The gallery boasts an exhibition of new paintings by Irene Klar from Oct. 15 to 27. Klar’s much-anticipated solo exhibition is inspired by water, whether it be the sea or rivers near and far. Klar focuses on the people who rely on water – those who make it a timeless source of life, travel and trade. Throughout the collection, she uses bright colours, paints intricate textile prints and simplifies shapes down to their basic forms. Recognized throughout North America, Klar has painted commissions for Amnesty International Canada, Amnesty International USA and the Trans-Canada Trail. She is also widely represented in both public and corporate collections.

Visit for more.

Madrona Gallery brings the Silver Lining to Greater Victoria with a solo exhibition of new paintings by Corrinne Wolcoski.

In the Silver Lining series, Wolcoski has put together a collection of large-scale paintings that are rooted in her desire for the sense of freedom and solitude that come only from immersion in the remote locales depicted in her work. Wolcoski finds inspiration through her travels around the Pacific. Through many trips up and down the coast, she has developed a keen understanding of the way light plays upon the water, and the dramatic cloud formations held in by surrounding mountains. With these in mind, she creates scenes that emanate tranquility and solitude.

Wolcoski graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2003 and is heavily involved in the Vancouver arts community. She is a member of the Eastside Culture Crawl and was the vice-president of the Emily Carr University Alumni, as well as a chair for the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Gallery Committee. Wolcoski is also a member of Artists for Conservation and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This will be her sixth solo exhibition with Madrona Gallery.

Silver Lining runs now through Oct. 15. Visit for more.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria opens the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2021 exhibition this month. The showcase of award-winners is curated by Jaimie Isaac, chief curator at the AGGV.

“It is a rare opportunity to see the work of these artists, who live in all parts of Canada, together in one location,” CEO and director Nancy Noble said.

An evening event opens the showcase on Oct. 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., followed by an all-day public open house on Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. The award-winning artists take part in a panel discussion between 10:30 a.m. and noon during the open house.

Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts is a lifetime achievement award recognizing an artist’s career, body of work and contribution to the visual arts, media arts or fine crafts in Canada. In 2021, eight artists and arts professionals were celebrated in recognition of their exceptional careers.

Six of the awards recognize artistic achievements, won by Germaine Arnaktauyok, Lori Blondeau, Dempsey Bob, Luc Courchesne, Bonnie Devine and Cheryl L’Hirondelle. One award recognizes excellence in the fine crafts, the Saidye Bronfman Award, won by Lou Lynn, and one award recognizes an outstanding contribution to contemporary visual arts, media arts or fine crafts, won by Bryce Kanbara. The winners each receive a medallion produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and a cash prize of $25,000.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m., L’Hirondelle is the special guest for the first Family Sunday of fall. Families are invited to enjoy engaging stories and teachings of the buffalo hide, the four directions and more. Family Sunday is included with admission to the AGGV.

The exhibition runs through March 5, 2023.

Visit for more.

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About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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