This acrylic painting by Nana Cook is one of the 65 pieces from a variety of artists that will be shown at TOSH’s second 15 year exhibition. Cooks piece, Arbutus At Dusk, is of one of her favourite and secret places to fish on the Island. — Submitted by Nana Cook

Artists of latest 15 years to feature at varied TOSH exhibit in Qualicum Beach

50 artists involved, 65 pieces to be on display between Feb. 19 and March 17

Stage two of TOSH’s 30th anniversary art exhibits is about to get underway.

Celebrating the first 15 years of the now 30-year-old arts centre (located at 122 Fern Rd. West in Qualicum Beach) from Jan. 29-Feb. 18, 50 artists from TOSH’s second 15-years are now sending in their pieces to hang between Feb. 19 and March 17.

The artists, from across B.C., have had exhibitions hosted by TOSH from 2003 to 2017. This second 15 years show will feature 65 pieces ranging from paintings, photos, fabric work, porcelain and glass to digital iPad painting, said Corinne James, executive director of TOSH.

The NEWS contacted some of these artists to hear about their work and their experience with TOSH.

Christian Nicolay, a multimedia artist who (among other things) explores politics and cultural identity with his work, said TOSH gave him an opportunity to have a solo show early in his career.

“TOSH gave me carte blanche with my solo exhibition,” he said.

His piece in this upcoming exhibition is a set of life preservers with American flags sewn on and wrapped in bubble wrap.

Perrin Sparks, a painter and producer of intaglio etchings from Quadra Island, said TOSH has provided her a place to meet more representational artists and reach more clients for commissions.

“TOSH is highly respected all over Vancouver Island, and I feel grateful to be regularly invited to participate in a variety of their exhibitions,” she said.

Marilyn Timms, who lives on “remote Texada Island” said she too cherishes opportunities to meet the artists, students and volunteers involved at TOSH whenever she’s able.

A watercolour and acrylic painter, Timms began teaching watercolour classes at TOSH.

“TOSH has been a solid influence on me as they challenge me to bring my best to the exhibitions and teaching. Having been involved in several Grand Prix d’Art events, life drawing and more, I have felt truly respected and supported by everyone at TOSH.”

Nana Cook said her first connection with TOSH was in sharing a studio-gallery space with painter Linda Skalenda.

“TOSH was a springboard for me,” she said. “It provided an opportunity to meet like-minded folks and work in an environment where I interacted daily with the public.”

Working with TOSH also kept her on the radar with other galleries, she said.

“Galleries follow what’s happening in the local art scene!”

Cook’s painting focuses on local arbutus trees in natural, “sometimes provocative” poses, to painting fishing flies, lakes and much more.

Michael Kluckner, an illustrator, held an exhibition at TOSH in 2005 coinciding with the publication of his book Vanishing British Columbia.

Earlier, Kluckner had been struck by “the Simplicity of St. Andrew’s Lodge,” the sort of roadside lodge he feels is disappearing in the province. Of the arts centre, he said, “TOSH is the kind of cultural hub that all small communities need.”

Opening reception for the exhibit is Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.

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