FOG: Arts Council show draws record submissions 

Friends of the Gallery

You could tell when 2 p.m. rolled around on Sunday, Dec. 30, without checking the clock. 

That’s when a lineup quickly formed at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt, as members dropped off submissions to the annual Friends of the Gallery show, an unjuried exhibition open to all members of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council. 

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During the allotted 2 to 4 p.m. submission period, members brought in a record 106 pieces, mostly paintings, but also photographs, sculptures, carvings and ceramics. 

Among the early entrants was Gibsons artist Louise Valentine, who offered an engaging pastel painting entitled By Chaster Creek. 

“I am a fibre artist by profession. I do hand-dyed silks, and then I do landscapes as much as I can,” Valentine said. “I’m just outing my pastels.” 

Painter Ken Symons, 84, dropped off a nicely rendered oil-and-acrylic he called Blue Door. Symons personifies the adage that “it’s never too late.” He didn’t start painting until after he retired, at 70. 

“I’ve done about 110 or 120 paintings since then,” he said. 

Renowned artist Anna Banana, of Roberts Creek, who’s been a lifelong creative innovator on many fronts, brought in a photograph of an assemblage of fruit that spoke both to her signature subject and her abiding sense of humour. 

“If they read the title, they’ll get it,” Banana told Coast Reporter. The title is Flag of Bananada. 

Hanging the record number of submitted pieces – last year there were 93 – will be up to new curator/director Sadira Rodrigues, who also has a renovated Doris Crowston Gallery in which to complete the task. Over the holidays, new bright white slabs were carefully erected over the wooden walls, giving the 40-year-old, post-and-beam gallery a refreshed and vibrant ambience while still retaining its heritage qualities. 

The previous wood-walled surface was riddled with nail holes from decades of shows, but this new hanging area will remain pristine, as Rodrigues will use adjustable, stainless-steel hardware to display the work. 

“It will be a challenge but I’m excited,” said Rodrigues. “There’s really good work in the show and a nice room to work in as well.” 

The Friends of the Gallery exhibition runs Jan. 3 to 28, with an opening reception at the Medusa Street centre on Sunday Jan. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

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