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Visual artists step ‘into the forest’ for group show in downtown Nanaimo

Good Gawd Gallery will host the works of 17 artists from Nov. 17- Dec. 3
Printmaker Mauro Dalla Costa, co-owner of the retail space Bueno, helped to organize the ‘In the Forest’ group art show at the Good Gawd Gallery at 499 Wallace St. from Nov. 17-Dec. 3. (Mandy Moraes/News Bulletin)

An art show in downtown Nanaimo will explore the attraction of the Island’s forests and the mysteries that reside within.

As arranged by Sebastian Abboud, the group will showcase the eclectic and unique talents of 17 artists in the Good Gawd Gallery above the Vault Café from Nov. 17 until Dec. 3.

As co-owner of Bueno, a pop-up retail space in the same building, Abboud said he and his business partner Mauro Dalla Costa both jumped at the opportunity to put together a group show.

“The whole thing came about when Good Gawd opened their doors over the summer. And as soon as they opened, I said ‘I’m going to do a show here – it’s the perfect size, and right down the hallway from our store,” he said. “It’s a nice post-pandemic thing – I think we’ve all been squirrelled away for a few years.”

Abboud considered holding his own show, but as a new dad, wouldn’t have had the time to produce a whole show’s worth of material on his own. Drawing the arts community together also seemed far more fun.

The last group show the freelance illustrator arranged was in 2019 called the Growler Howler where artists each customized a growler beer bottle which was then auctioned off with half the proceeds going toward the Nanaimo Area Land Trust’s environmental efforts.

Abboud and Costa knew fairly quickly who they wanted to invite to the gallery group show – artists they were either familiar with or had worked with through Bueno.

“That was also obviously a big factor before we landed on the ‘In the Forest’ theme – that people would be able to make work that felt representative of their own tastes and sensibilities as artists, but was also obviously unified,” Abboud said. “And I didn’t want it to be something that was too taxing … There are a lot of creative expressions and you can interpret it however you want … I think that’s indicative on Nanaimo and our community, how people are doing their own thing.”

‘In the Forest’ at the Good Gawd Gallery will include approximately 30 pieces of various mediums, including illustrations, acrylic paintings and screen prints.

Group artists in the show also include Eliot White-Hill, Marcus Hastings, Nicholas McMaster, Fox and Koi, Lurk Loves You, Denny Provost, as well as Abboud and Costa.

There will be an opening reception held at 499 Wallace St. on Friday, Nov. 17, between 6-9 p.m. in the Good Gawd Gallery. The show will also be open during the Nanaimo Artwalk, Dec. 2-3.

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