Art lovers will get a rare and intimate window into the artwork that’s captivated one local curator when Anthony Matthews brings his private collection to Mahon Hall this month.
Matthews’ show iCollect: An Exhibition opens Friday, Oct. 9. It will feature some favourite paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, craft and curiosities that Matthews has collected during his past dozen or so years on the island. While much of the work represented is by contemporary Salt Spring artists, the collection spans back to Vancouver artists working in the late 1960s and early ‘70s plus a few international names, with 46 different artists included.
The premise for the show sprang in part from an idea Matthews had around creating a series of exhibitions featuring island art collections.
“We always see what’s for sale, but we never see what’s been purchased already, and where people sit as collectors,” Matthews said.
Matthews has worked with multiple island art venues, both community and commercially based. He was with the Venter Gallery prior to the pandemic shutdown and has been a key member of Salt Spring Arts Council projects, including the Salt Spring National Art Prize and the annual Easter Art Show, which he curated for a number of years.
Matthews also works with clients who are building their personal collections, connecting them with local artists. His passion for the art surrounding him has extended to building his own collection, which consists of unique pieces he’s connected to personally. The upcoming show marks the first and probably last time that members of the public will get a chance to see that collection and also to acquire many of the works on display.
“The exhibition takes a glimpse into the private collection I have formed on Salt Spring over the last decade resulting from my diverse activities in the community as an art curator,” Matthews explained. “It’s not a comprehensive collection and it’s not important. It is rather an intimate look at the art and mementos which spoke to me personally and which I have lived with joyously.”
Some of the artworks being shown were gifts from the artists. In those cases Matthews will not be making the pieces available for sale, but he has asked the artists to supply something comparable in case people want to buy something along the same lines. He has also invited some of the artists included to provide additional work outside of what he owns for the exhibition.
The show runs daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to Sunday, Oct. 18. Matthews will be on hand to speak with visitors.
For more on this story, see the Oct. 7, 2020 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.