Artists Tony Martin, Ted Polkinghorne, Donna Nona, Donna Mattila and Katherine Surridge (from left) present Conversations at John Harris Gallery until April 27. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Five Nanaimo artists present new work at John Harris Gallery

‘Conversations’ exhibition continues until April 27

This month a quintet of local artists are uniting to display their work together for the first time.

Tony Martin and Donna Mattila from Comox and Ted Polkinghorne, Donna Nona and Katherine Surridge from Vancouver all relocated to Nanaimo in recent years. The five artists met through the Nanaimo Art Gallery, where Martin sits on the board, and developed a quick friendship.

“I think we were sitting around having a drink together or something one evening and we had this idea of having a show,” Martin said.

The artists came up with a name, Group 5, and their debut show, Conversations, is on display at John Harris Gallery until April 27. The exhibition includes painting, mixed media, drawing and sculptural work. The pieces are not grouped by artist, but are arranged together to allow them to “converse” with one another.

Martin described the show as “lively,” as all the artists work with bright colours except for Polkinghorne, whose darker work stands out among the others. Martin said it’s likely that the group will continue showing together.

“I think we’re going to start arranging some other shows because I think it’s a lot easier to get a show if you’re a group of people,” Martin said. It’s more appealing.”

WHAT’S ON … Group 5 present Conversations at John Harris Gallery, 115 Haliburton St., until April 27. Gallery open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Artists in attendance on Saturdays.

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