Artists show strong support for SSI Conservancy auction



Painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, basket makers and fibre artists have responded to the call for donations of art work for an online silent auction in support of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. 

As of last Friday, about 70 pieces of art had been donated to the conservancy to run an online auction for their fundraising campaign. The online silent auction will run from Monday, March 1 to Sunday, March 7, and the conservancy will be accepting art donations until Feb. 25. 

On the theme of “Art Inspired by Nature,” there is art available for all tastes and at a variety of prices ranging from $50 to $5,000-plus. Patrons are also donating works from artists who are not from Salt Spring but who, clearly, have also been “inspired by nature.”

To inquire about donating, people can email or go to the conservancy’s website at 

Pat and Rosemarie Keough, who donated a copy of their award-winning masterpiece book called Antarctica, sum up the feeling expressed by several of the artists.

“Having been involved with the preservation of wilderness and endangered species from the sub-arctic to the Antarctic, this COVID period has focused our attention on the nature we are blessed to enjoy right here at home. What better way to express one’s gratitude than to support efforts such as those of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy.” 

In a similar vein, RM Dupuy, who donated one of her award-winning paintings, explained her reasoning this way: “Supporting the Salt Spring Conservancy has been important to my husband and me since its inception in 1994. Donating to worthwhile organizations when there are so very many can be a tough decision, especially when our dollar can go so much further in far-away lands, but we like to ‘think globally and act locally’ by keeping our main focus on social and environmental causes close to home.”

Other notable artists donating to the cause include well-established artists, such as painters Jill Louise Campbell, Judith Borbas, Don Hodgins and Mel Williamson; photographers Anette Schrage, Avril Kirby and Janet Dwyer; potter Judy Weeden and sculptors Karen Reiss and Melanie Thompson, to name just a few. 

Says Pierre Mineau, one of the organizers of the auction and a member of the conservancy’s board: “In helping the conservancy, it was also my wish to highlight the tremendous diversity and quality of visual arts that we have on Salt Spring and to also show the incredible importance of nature in inspiring much of the artistic process.”

The auction catalogue link will be released on the conservancy website a few days before bidding begins.

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