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More than 40 artists to participate in Nanaimo Art Walk this weekend

Event happens in and around downtown Nanaimo on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4
Creature artist and illustrator Karen Sim considers the shape and contour of a deer figurine in her Nanaimo studio, Nov. 25. (Mandy Moraes/News Bulletin)

Downtown Nanaimo can once again celebrate the talent of local artists.

The Nanaimo Art Council’s annual Nanaimo Art Walk will have more than 40 artists showcase their work in the downtown core the first weekend of December.

Attendees will be led through participating shops, studios and other businesses as they follow the directions in a brochure which can be found at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial St., the Nanaimo Museum, 100 Museum Way, and all Vancouver Island Regional Library branches. Paintings, ceramics, photography, illustrations and more will be available for purchase by the artists.

Creature artist and illustrator Karen Sim will have her monster designs on display at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library, 90 Commercial St., for both days of the art walk.

Sim’s preferred media are graphite, digital and coloured pencil on paper. Her latest projects focus on the psychology of monster design and expressing emotion through human-like gestures.

“I have a fascination for animals and animal physiology, but also … more so, psychological imagery. And monsters feature prominently for me, in that respect. Not so much in their ability to horrify, but more as a reflection of that human need to ‘other’ internal emotions – to ‘other’ negative emotions and to give them a form as something to fear and exclude and attack,” she said. “I was more interested in taking things that appeared on the surface to be monstrous and trying to inject them with some human qualities to give them a personality – to give them a reflection of human empathy and compassion instead.”

The illustrator said depicting emotion and humanity can be tricky, and an enjoyment for storytelling is necessary.

Sim is currently working on a ‘household monsters’ illustration book and plans to do a circuit of conventions, including the Calgary Comic next year.

The 24th annual art walk runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4. Further information on the event can be found at

READ MORE: Nanaimo Art Council calls out for submissions for annual artwalk

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Illustrations in graphite by Karen Sim depicting monsters with their offspring. (Mandy Moraes/News Bulletin)

Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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