Works by artists Brendalee Astells, Rob Robinson, Elsa Bluethner and Kimm Nightingale (cropped, clockwise from top-left) will be among those featured in the Squared Art Show at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre from Feb. 22 to Feb. 24. (Photos submitted)

Works by artists Brendalee Astells, Rob Robinson, Elsa Bluethner and Kimm Nightingale (cropped, clockwise from top-left) will be among those featured in the Squared Art Show at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre from Feb. 22 to Feb. 24. (Photos submitted)

100 squares of artwork will be exhibited at Gabriola show

More than 90 artists submitted 12-by-12 inch pieces to Squared Art Show starting Feb. 22

More than 90 artists from Nanaimo and Gabriola Island have been challenged to think outside the box while staying inside the frame.

Since 2016 Gabriola artist Gwen Spinks has been organizing her Squared and Stretched art shows, in which artists are limited to canvases measuring 12-by-12 inches and 6-by-36 inches respectively, alternating the theme every year. Spinks said she got the idea from a show in Toronto.

The second Squared show in that series opens at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre on the evening of Feb. 22 and continues the following two days. Spinks said she’s been impressed by what her participants have come up with.

“For this show they’ve raised the bar. The pieces that are coming in are stunning and creative,” she said.

The artworks include paintings, fibre art, mixed media, sculpture and metal, wood and glasswork, all adhering to the one-square-foot limitation. One metalworker has created a 12-by-12 inch crab cage with a metal crab in it. Spinks is contributing a pair of layered acrylic heart paintings.

“[There’s] every medium that I can scrounge up. And on Gabriola, I just have this vast wealth of artists to draw from,” she said.

Spinks said she expects an instant “zoo” when the doors open on the Friday night. She said almost all the sales happen on the opening night and people are quick to lay their claims.

“We literally have a lineup and last year it started almost an hour before the show opened,” she said.

WHAT’S ON … Squared Art Show at Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre, 476 South Rd., on Feb. 22 (7 to 9 p.m.), Feb. 23 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Feb. 24 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

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