Local artists are taking up residence in downtown shops next weekend for the 20th Nanaimo Art Walk.
Dozens of painters, potters, jewellers and more will be displaying their work and in some cases giving demonstrations at 30 locations across the city, primarily clustered around Commercial Street. Some artists will be on their own, while others exhibit their work in groups.
Potter Bronwyn Arundel is participating in her third Art Walk, but her first since opening her Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio in the spring. In total, she’ll be exhibiting the work of 12 potters in the regular gallery and studio. She said, “We’re going to fill it up with pottery.”
“We’re having a booth for the members so it will be their first time showing and I’m excited about the work that they’re making,” she said.
Arundel said she’ll also have a drop-in group working in the studio classroom. She said she takes part in a lot of Christmas shows and enjoys studio tours because they help her connect with the public.
“You’re setting up your own space and you’re meeting your local community a little bit more and they have a sense of who you are and where the pieces came from,” Arundel said.
Painter Susan Bibbs has participated in the Art Walk since 2007, and for the past three years her base of operations has been the Bastion Gallery. She’ll be displaying large and small paintings and works on paper.
Bibbs said she likes discussing her work with visitors and getting feedback. She said that’s important because artists spend a lot of time creating on their own.
“Painting can take a long time and it can be a long time before it’s out in the world…” she said. “For me, here I’m really fortunate to have a beautiful space and wonderful people to work with and to have a large number of paintings out in the world, but the next step is to have people respond to it and take something from it.”
With the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s teen group displaying work and a delegation from VIU’s art program occupying the CHLY radio station, Bibbs said the Art Walk gives younger artists a chance to take part in an event alongside veterans.
“It’s really fantastic. It’s a lot of young energetic [artists] and then of course we’ve got the people like Michael Dean who’s been a Nanaimo artist for 35 years…” she said. “So there’s nice complements of experience and energy.”
WHAT’S ON … The 20th annual Nanaimo Art Walk takes place at downtown venues on Dec. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for a full list of artists and locations.