Gambier Island joins in for big arts weekend

A whole new area is coming aboard as the Sunshine Coast’s 10th annual and bigger-than-ever Art Crawl gets underway starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, with 186 venues featuring more than 360 artists.

Until now, creators on Gambier Island have had to come to the mainland to show their wares on the big arts weekend, but this year, five different island venues will be displaying the work of 19 artists. Fourteen of them – painters, sketch artists, photographers, writers and musicians – have decided to show together, forming the group Artists of Gambier Island specifically for the Art Crawl.

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“We decided to pull together and make it more interesting for people to come and visit Gambier,” group spokesperson Sylvia Punguntzky told Coast Reporter. “It can be hard to get around if you don’t have a vehicle, so we decided we’d all go and use our beautiful community centre, which is very large.”

The Gambier Community Centre, on Andy’s Bay Road, is close to the dock at New Brighton where scheduled, ten-minute, passenger-only ferry service runs to and from Langdale Terminal. It makes six trips during the daylight hours that Art Crawl venues on the island are open. (The fare is $6.50 each way, cash only. There are no ATMs on the island.)

“It’s about a five-minute walk straight up the road from the dock. We do have shuttles available to pick people up from the water taxi and bring them back to it as well,” said Punguntzky, owner and operator of Art Meets Chocolate.

“We’re very excited to be part of this,” she added. “It’s a very artistic community.”

Five other Gambier Island artists have also opted into Art Crawl with their own home-studio venues. They include potter Liz de Beer; abstract painter Marlene Lowden, sharing a venue with jewelry artist Neva Murtha; painter Dale Morgan; and fabric-, home décor- and jewelry artist Daphne Woo.

So, you can now add the short Langdale-to-New Brighton trip to the more than 80 kilometres of Art Crawl venues that stretch all the way to Earl’s Cove. Venues are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Friday the 18th until Sunday the 20th, with nearly three dozen also open 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday night.

Brochures showing all Art Crawl locations, with detailed maps, venue descriptions and a list of artists according to discipline are widely available. The same information can be found online at www.suncoastarts.com/art-crawl

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