Spring art shows abound in coming weeks

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Doors are wide open for spring art exhibitions this year after pandemic-forced slowdowns in the past two years.

First up this Friday, April 8 is the Tossed & Found show at Salt Spring Gallery. It’s the fifth annual exhibition that features work made from found objects and recycled materials, but the venture missed two years due to Covid-19.

“I am so excited to have another Tossed & Found after a two-year break,” said its creator Shirley Command. “I’ve had so many artists and patrons ask when we’ll have another one! Several of the artists return every year and I cannot wait to see what wonderful things they’ve created. We also have a number of new artists who reached out to join us this year. The range of materials and styles is diverse and it’ll make the viewer see found objects in a whole new way.”

This year’s participants are Command, Peter Allen, Marianne Campbell, Jeri Sparshu, Chris Clarke, Alison Sparshu, Matthew Scaglione, Nycki Samuels, Braven Rayne, Doreen Palme, Paula Smith, Jorge Izaza, John Reid, Tai Whelan and GISS student Peter Ney.

The opening event is on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. with wine and finger food available. No vaccine passports are required to attend. The show will be up until April 27.

Then next Thursday, April 14, the Guilds of Salt Spring show and sale opens at ArtSpring at 1 p.m. It consists of work by members of four island guilds — the potters, weavers and spinners, painters and basket makers — as well as the Salt Spring Photography Club.

The potters guild was first formed in 1969 and the painters and spinners and weavers are marking their 50th anniversaries this year. All of the groups continue to grow and evolve, and the pandemic did not stop the creative output of members, only the sharing of it with a wider public.

“In spite of pandemic restrictions our guild has continued to welcome new members and to provide lessons for beginners in weaving and spinning,” said spinners and weavers guild president Sandra Hodgins.

“We sense another revival of interest in the fibre arts, even starting from freshly sheared local wool through all the manual processing steps to making yarn from which to weave or knit. A daunting journey, ideally suited to travel-restricted circumstances.”

The guilds show continues over the Easter long weekend: until 4 p.m. on the opening day, and then 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Easter Monday, April 18.

On Friday, April 15, Razali May and his team at Gallery 8 begin the celebration of the business’ 13th anniversary with the annual Symbolically 8 exhibition, featuring all of the gallery’s artists. May said he is excited about the new work and looks forward to seeing everyone at the opening next Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. The show continues through May 11.

Salt Spring Arts’ spring art show of work by more than 20 visual artists also opens on April 15.

“Mahon (Memorial) Hall: The Nature of Memory – commemorates the hall, or more precisely how we remember it, the stories it holds, conceals and has generated,” explains press material from Salt Spring Arts.

The show is curated by artist Stefanie Denz and historian Chris Arnett and acknowledges the hall as “a product of the colonization of an island peopled and stewarded by several Coast Salish groups.”

“Artists are diving into stories of the building: the circumstances of its erection, the land it occupies, its many community uses. Personal memories are infused and augmented with a historical reflection, inspiring a recalibrated relationship to the building that is explored in photographs, installations, paintings and drawings.”

The exhibit is open daily through April 24. Various artist talks, panels and other programs are also taking place.

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