Nanaimo’s downtown and Old City Quarter has a thriving art community, but it’s not something that’s always visible when people walk down the sidewalk.
There are artists working in studios throughout the downtown core, but most of the year these spaces are the private creative realms of individuals. However, once a year, during the annual Nanaimo Artwalk, people can peek into these studios and have conversations with the artists that call the district home.
Gerda Hofman, a member of the Nanaimo Artwalk Committee, has a private space in which she works, painting oil and acrylic pieces. Just down the hall from her studio at 10 Commercial St. there four different spaces occupied by other artists.
“In any downtown, in any city, it is always the vibrant part – the centre for the arts for people to meet,” said Hofman. “It’s a nice area. It’s a beautiful area.”
This year marks the 17th annual art walk. Since it started in the Old City Quarter, it has grown to about five studios participating to 30 locations, which features the work of 48 artists.
“It is for the artists. We like to keep it grassroots,” she said. “The businesses really likes this because it brings people downtown.”
There is a wide range of mediums represented including paintings, ceramics, fused glass, jewelry, quilting, sculptures, painted furniture and more.
The 17th annual Nanaimo Artwalk is Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 5-6), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artist biographies and a map is available at http://nanaimoartwalk.jimdo.com. Booklets are also available at Iron Oxide Art Supplies, Barton Leier Gallery and the Nanaimo Art Gallery.