While it is slightly smaller than usual and won’t have an official opening, the Cariboo Artists’ Guild’s 40th Annual Fine Art Show and Sale will still be on from July 30 to Sept. 12 at the Parkside Art Gallery.
Held each year to showcase the works of various members of the Cariboo Artist’ Guild, the show and sale is a great chance to connect local artists and the public with one another. Although only five people are allowed in the gallery at any time due to COVID-19, the guild’s current vice-president, Sheryl Fremlin is pleased the four-decades-old show will go on despite the pandemic.
Fremlin jokes the show has been running slightly longer than she’s been with the guild. After 40 consecutive years, she said, it’s quite remarkable and special.
The theme for this year’s show is Backroads and each participating artist was challenged to create a painting that depicts somewhere they had been in the Cariboo, Fremlin said. Little maps were also submitted with the location from where each artist took their inspiration and will be put up under their perspective paintings.
“I do not consider myself a landscape artist but I did quite a few for this show so that was a fun thing to do because I don’t normally do that,” Fremlin said.
Thirteen members of the guild are showing art as part of this show, Fremlin said, and between them have submitted around 68 pieces of artwork, most of them brand new. Some of the artists who are usually in the 100 Mile showcase are absent this year because they moved away, Fremlin said, while COVID-19 as a whole has decreased the output of other artists.
“I think we have a good cross-section of work. We have watercolours, oils, acrylic and mixed media pieces,” Fremlin said.
One of the artists featured in the gallery is full-time professional artist Neil Pinkett, a 12-year resident of Forest Grove, who said he has always been drawn to creating art. He began pursuing it full time 14 years ago because he felt it was his main skill and a way for him to support his family.
“I feel like I’m doing the right thing, my art is usually more positive,” Pinkett said. “There’s plenty of artists out there doing the kind of art full of grief and anger, bringing out their demons for everyone to see and I feel like I don’t need to contribute to that.”
Throughout the lockdown earlier this year, Pinkett had been painting more than usual, which he said has been quite nice. He selected his best works for the show, though three of his original picks ended up being sold before they could be hung at Parkside.
For his themed painting, Pinkett chose to immortalize a bend in the road to Ruth Lake, which is near where he lives. He’s done many paintings of it, as well as Canim Lake and others in the area.
“It’s great to see all the different styles (from the other artists). I always love when there’s a theme and you see the different interpretations of the theme,” Pinkett said.
Personally, Pinkett always enjoys watching and hearing how other people interpret his artwork. While he has a specific reference photo to work from and an idea in mind, others will often interpret it differently and find something he himself hasn’t seen in a piece.
Pinkett said it’s a pity they can’t do their usual opening but observed that people can have the whole gallery to themselves when they come in to view the show this year.
“I do hope people come and see the show, we’re open five days a week thanks to all the lovely volunteers who come out and make it happen so please come and see the show.”