Community Papers

DeCosmos fills the MAC with fine art

From left, DeCosmos members and artists Mary Unger, Fran Renwick and Olivia Mennie show some of the pieces they have in Hidden Treasures, an art show at the McMillan Art Centre from July 2 to 26. - Lissa Alexander Photo
From left, DeCosmos members and artists Mary Unger, Fran Renwick and Olivia Mennie show some of the pieces they have in Hidden Treasures, an art show at the McMillan Art Centre from July 2 to 26.
— image credit: Lissa Alexander Photo


An art show at the McMillan Art Centre beginning July 2 is dappled with Hidden Treasures.

The DeCosmos Fine Art Society is holding its annual summer show at the centre from July 2 through 26.  An opening reception will take place Friday, July 4 from

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The hidden treasure theme, decided in a vote among members, takes a variety of forms.

Olivia Mennie’s work in the show includes a piece inspired by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt who painted portraits of only women. Her pastel and guache portrait of a woman has rich gold and red hues and is adorned with little colourful jewels, or hidden treasures, she said. She also has landscape and abstract pieces in the show.

Mary Unger has an acrylic piece called Three is a Crowd in the show featuring three tall trees and other hidden treasures like woodpeckers and a dog peaking around one of the trunks. She also has a painting in the show called Little Helper featuring her grand daughter walking toward a little home with a bucket in her hand, filled with her treasures.

Fran Renwick’s large painting filled with water lilies will also be hanging in the show. She was inspired by a Monet painting, she said, and the treasure for her lies in the brilliant colours of the lily pads.

A scene from the country Myanmar is Margaret Hudson’s piece in the hidden treasure exhibition.

“I’m calling it Myanmar: Lost and Found and my reasoning is that Myanmar is a country that has just recently opened to tourism, there were sanctions against it for a long time, and suddenly it’s been discovered and I just feel like it’s a treasure that’s been missed for some time.”

DeCosmos was founded in 1966 by a group of art-loving women in the region when there were no art classes being offered. They held classes and exhibitions and helped establish the Old School House Arts Centre, said current member Violet  Ewing. Today there are approximately 120 members from around the central Island in the group.

DeCosmos is very active today and has a Tuesday painters group who get together to paint, give critiques, and work en plein air around the region in the summer time. There is also a Wednesday painters group that includes many DeCosmos members and the group has an annual art bus trip.

Once a month DeCosmos meets and bring in artists to demonstrate different artistic expertise.

The group currently displays work at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre and at the

Parksville Library.

For more on the art group or to become a member visit the website


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