A volunteers preparing panels and plinths for the Youth Art Gallery

A volunteers preparing panels and plinths for the Youth Art Gallery

Sooke volunteers support local youth art

Sooke volunteers and community groups are helping fundraise and build upgrades for the Sooke Fine Arts Show Youth Art Gallery.

Sooke volunteers and community groups are coming together to support local youth by fundraising and building upgrades for the Sooke Fine Arts Show Youth Art Gallery.

It started months ago with Linda Teneycke, a local retired art teacher and promoter of arts for youth, who asked her clay-working friends: “how can we improve the Youth Art Gallery at the Sooke Fine Arts Show?”

The idea clicked.

They began to throw, shape, glaze and fire clay to make bowls, mugs and clay treasures for the Christmas craft sale season. Hundreds of items were created by the industrious crew comprised of: Pat Tomkins, Whitney Allen, Judith Hale, Sally Manning, Gail Young and Keri Molesky; and they were sold out by the end of November.

Using funds raised, Murray Tomkins, Pat Tomkins and Myron Teneycke purchased lumber and materials and construction began.

These volunteers combined their design and carpentry skills to create ten bright new panels and seven plinths for 3D work, all of which will hold youth art well into the future.

Teneycke connects with four local high schools and their art teachers to encourage young artists to create, express themselves and submit to the Sooke Fine Arts Show Youth Art gallery. For July’s show, more than 100 youth works are expected.

Then there was the Sooke Rotary Club, which values the link between students invested in arts and high self esteem, problem solving skills, a sense of community, and preparation for arts-related careers. Rotary’s support helped off-set costs of framing supplies, so that student works can be framed without cost for the show.

In 2016, a quarter of the youth pieces submitted were sold and it is hoped that number will be surpassed in 2017 as art is framed and highlighted on the new infrastructure, entirely built and funded by volunteer efforts.

Appetite for Art, coming up on March 9, at the Prestige, is a fundraiser to help the Sooke Food Bank and the Sooke Fine Arts Society’s Student Scholarship Fund.

Two Scholarships will be awarded at the Sooke Fine Arts Show Awards Celebration on July 29 to local students showing artistic promise and technique, to help them further their post secondary art studies.

The Sooke Fine Arts Society is also encouraging a Youth Volunteer Team this summer, offering work experience in gallery construction and set-up, leadership, basic carpentry, office skills, cash handling, greeting of guests and marketing, starting on July 8.

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will run from July 28 to Aug. 7. For more information, contact sfas@sookefinearts.com or (250) 642-7256.