Katherine Moore grew up in a house with a beautiful, round stained-glass window depicting a scene of B.C. wilderness — “mountains, water, the whole thing.”
When she moved out she desperately missed the presence of that glimmering landscape and was determined the learn the art form herself. Once she got the hang of stained glass she moved on to glass fusing, a method of creating decorative tiles, plates and ornaments by adding layers of coloured, powdered glass to a sheet of glass and firing it in a kiln.
Moore’s work depicts B.C. birds and wildlife based on photographs she takes when hiking or birdwatching. She debuted those early pieces at her very first Nanaimo Art Walk appearance nearly a decade ago.
“It’s very nerve-racking in the beginning because it’s new, right? You’re putting your work out there for people to see. You don’t know what the response is going to be,” Moore said.
Apparently the response was favourable. Moore has been involved with the art walk ever since and is now part of the core group of organizers. This year’s art walk, the 19th annual event, takes place on Dec. 2 and 3 and will feature 47 artists and art groups in 28 locations in and around the downtown.
Moore will be displaying her work at the CHLY radio building alongside multimedia artist and fellow art walk organizer Janice Hofman. As an artist who spends most of her time “working by myself in my studio day-in and day-out,” Moore said she appreciates the chance to interact with the potential buyers who frequent the art walk. She said some attendees will brave discouraging weather to take in the event.
“The people that are coming to the art walk to buy art and see the artists are really committed, which is awesome. We get a lot of support that way,” she said, adding that she’s usually asked about her process and where she gets her ideas.
“Because I work in glass sometimes I’m talking them through how I actually make a piece from beginning to end because they don’t know anything about the glass process, whereas painters usually at least you have a general sense of how a painting comes into being.”
Among the art on display this year are jewelry, paintings, photography and ceramics. Moore said the art walk has more than doubled in size since she first got involved.
“It literally used to just be in the Old City Quarter and it was just artists’ studios when it just started out but gradually it’s had to evolve and go into business locations,” she said.
“It’s evolved and changed over time and I’m sure it will continue to evolve and change each year.”
WHAT’S ON … 19th annual Nanaimo Art Walk takes place in studios and businesses in and around downtown Nanaimo on Dec. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To see participating artists and a map of locations visit nanaimoartwalk.jimdo.com.