The Old School House Arts Centre is holding the 25th annual Grand Prix d’Art painting race on Saturday, July 28.
The event entices artists from around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland out of their studios and onto the streets of Qualicum Beach to paint their visions of the community from 11 a.m.to 2 p.m.
For twenty-five years each painting race has attracted over thirty en plein air painters of all levels and mediums as well as hundreds of spectators. The painter is assigned a location by lottery, and their work has to represent or be inspired by something or someone that is visible from the assigned location. Painting en plein air means painting what you see.
Visitors are encouraged to watch the process and the progress of the artists at the various locations, which are all within walking distance of The Old School House Arts Centre in downtown Qualicum Beach (122 Fern Rd. West).
The painters must complete their work within the three-hour limit and have the paintings in display condition, titled and priced for sale at the arts centre no later than one hour after completion. More than $1,000 in cash and prizes will the presented at 3 p.m.
This year’s judges are all past Grand Prix d’Art winners: Peggy Burkosky, Mark Galina, David Goatley and Dan Gray. The judges will be painting at different locations during the race, but their paintings will not be eligible for prizes. The judges are also offering a two-day workshop about en plein air painting on July 26 and 27.
Also on July 28, the arts centre hosts a craft fair called Art in Action, which promotes and encourages the development of multi-dimensional artists and music. This art fair is an annual event held outside the arts centre, and it attracts a large number of community residents as well as visitors who come to view and purchase distinctive artwork and enjoy a free concert. Artists and craft workers will demonstrate their skills and engage with the public. The Art in Action fair hosts more than 50 artists in diverse disciplines such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, calligraphy, illustration, textiles, woodwork, metalwork, jewellery, ceramics and glass.
From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. visitors can tour this interactive arts festival in a large outside venue around the arts centre as well as tour the downtown area to watch the Grand Prix artists as they paint. Maps will be available at TOSH and sponsoring businesses. Also, on July 28, the Qualicum Beach Farmers’ Market will move their location to TOSH to join in.
The festivities will be highlighted by live music on our outdoor stage. The main concert (free admission) will feature the distinctive jazz/blues of Victoria vocalist Maureen Washington in a quartet format and will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The band members will be Ron Hadley on piano, Joey Smith on bass and Damian Graham on drums.
For more info on TOSH, go to www.theoldschoolhouse.org.
— Submitted by Corinne James