Oak Bay artist Jennifer Olson is one of 15 participating in this weekend’s Oak Bay Artists’ Exhibition, (Nov. 21 and 22) in the Monterey Recreation Centre’s Garry Oak Room. (Jennifer Olson Photo)

Oak Bay host pandemic-safe art exhibition

Art show to feature 15 artists at Monterey centre, Nov. 21 and 22

After cancelling the spring edition of the popular Oak Bay Artists Studio Tour, the twice-annual event returns for the fall.

Instead of going into artists’ studios, the 21-year-old event is temporarily rebranded as the Oak Bay Artists’ Exhibition, Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 21 and 22) in the Monterey Recreation Centre’s Garry Oak Room.

To make it work, the precautions are many. The show is limited to 15 artists and visitors must pre-register to book a time slot, said organizer Glenna Garramone, Oak Bay’s arts and culture programmer.

“We’re making it as safe as we can under the circumstance,” Garramone said. “There’s still a desire for people to be inspired and have beauty in their life. And I had many artists getting in touch with me about being involved, asking how can we make it happen.”

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Jennifer Olson had opened her home studio as part of the Oak Bay tour the past three years and is among the 15 artists who will participate.

The longtime Oak Bay resident has taught watercolours since 2004. As a mother to young children, her art production had already declined in recent years. The pandemic then slowed her teaching, though some students moved to online classes.

“There has been such limited opportunities for artists to display and showcase their work,” Olson said. “I have recently restarted with some teaching in-person [but it’s a slower year].”

Heather Midori Yamada Image

Olson is on the flip side of the coin from some artists, who are producing more. For Heather Midori Yamada, the pandemic was a chance to hide away in her studio and get to work on Japanese paper, washi, with ink and acrylics.

“Since the pandemic arrived I did 40 new paintings,” said Yamada. “Still, it’s a mixed blessing for my work. I also had to cancel a lot of travel for teaching.”

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Yamada will be selling her usual ‘collage bags’ of high-quality arts supplies that are a mix of leftover products used for projects and other items she collects.

The show will also feature Oak Bay artists Joan Easton, Joanie McCorry, Carole Finn, Peter Baxter, Sue Leather, Victor Lotto, Gabriela Hirt, Avis Rasmussen, Vicky Turner, Derek Rees, Flo-Elle Watson, Terry Vatrt, and Arlene Davey.

Heather Midori Yamada Image

Attending the show is free and registration is already filling up so register soon, Garramone said.

The Oak Bay Artists’ Exhibition visiting windows are Saturday from 11 to 12:15 p.m., 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., or 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

For more information on the show visit parks-recreation/arts-culture/oak-bay-artists-studio-tour, and to pre-register online visit oakbayrec.perfectmind.com.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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