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Artists showcasing their work at downtown Nanaimo bank branch

Downtown RBC turning into an art gallery for Take it to the Bank exhibit
Fran Usher, left, Sue Perry, Sonja Billard and John Collison-Baker set up the Take it to the Bank art exhibit, which is being shown at the downtown RBC branch until May 30. (Bailey Seymour/News Bulletin)

The Nanaimo Arts Council is collaborating with the Commercial Street RBC branch to promote local artists with the Take it to the Bank art exhibit.

The exhibit will feature 22 paintings, drawings and photos from 22 Vancouver Island-based artists.

Sue Perry, an RBC bank teller, came up with the idea in December when the arts council went to the bank to ask for a donation.

“I think this is a big, ugly building, and we have these amazing artists in Nanaimo and Gabriola, so why not showcase that?” asked Perry. “I think it shows a sense of community and collaboration, and I think that’s something that as a human race we need to focus on. Why not showcase the talents of our clients? Not just with the art exhibits, we also do it with our small business clients where they come in and bring in their wares and stuff, it just shows the partnership. I just think it’s silly to not take advantage of all this great talent.”

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Although “there is nothing like a big in-person event,” said Steven Dennis, the president of the arts council, he thinks online galleries and small installations can be just as important for artists.

“During COVID we made the switch and did everything online; we did galleries online. Then when things started to open up, we realized we’ve moved to what’s effectively a shared-space model of operating,” said Perry. “Instead of having our own gallery, we looked to the community for spaces that can host an exhibition to give it more reach.”

The opening reception for the exhibit is on Tuesday, April 25, at 2 p.m. The work will be shown until May 30.

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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