Showcase for the best of the best

Community art showcase by Sherry Bezanson

For the 6th year the Multi Media Fine Art Exhibition, running until October 30, 2011, has made its mark at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery.

The juried show brought artists together from all over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and is an eclectic mix of fine art in 2D, 3D, and photography.  The gala and opening night on the evening of Oct. 1, 2011 was a festive success.

The week prior revealed a flurry of excitement by organizers and volunteers that included freshening up the display walls and plinths, moving displays, and organizing the gallery to accommodate the wealth of creativity that arrived.  Led by the creative vision of Leona Petrak and Ladysmith Arts Council President Kathy Holmes, the host of indispensable assistants include: Gail Ralph and Anne Jones, practicum workers Bonnie Cruickshank and John Cochrane and many, many others that put their personal efforts into making this show all that it is.

It took the judges, Sean Sherstone, Fran Benton and Robin Field, six hours to deliberate on Wednesday evening, September 28.

As the time got closer to the opening night, the pace of putting it all together was catching up on the few that put their hearts into making this exhibit a success.   The doors opened Saturday night with a rush of attendees arriving to celebrate the art and hospitality.  Ladysmith Maritime Society opened up their spacious and nautical boardroom and the arts council board provided a scrumptious array of appetizers and nibbles.

The Kinsman Association offered a no-host bar and the rhythmic chords of the Island Jazz Band music ensemble serenaded attendees from the artisan studio.  In total, nearly 120 people were present on opening night to take in the inspiring atmosphere.

Chatter and smiles were as plentiful as the warm miniature Brie quiches, spicy sausage rolls, and spanokopita as the entourage of viewers moved through the packed gallery.

The show was sponsored generously by many local businesses: Ladysmith & District Credit Union, Doug Routley-MLA, Chopstix Salon, Ladysmith Pharmasave, Vancouver Island Insurance Centre, Robson and O’Connor, Island Document Storage, Dr. Graham Brockley, Southwood Manufacturing, Bayview Framing, Frank Laird Automotive, Little Valley Restoration, Joan Phillips Notary, The Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary, Canada Safeway and Ricky’s Restaurant and Ladysmith Chronicle.

Prize recipients were announced mid evening by Master of Ceremonies, Roy Jones.  Best in Show was Ann Jones with an acrylic on canvas collection called “64 Minute  Memories of the Inside Passage”; 1st in 2D, Claudia Lohmann, 2nd in 2D, Darcy Irwin; Honorable Mention 2D, Ed Chan; 1st in 3D, Philip Backwell; 2nd in 3D Jeff Molloy; Honorable Mention in 3D, Marlies Schottke; 1st in Photography, Lisa Parrish; 2nd in Photography, Philip Blackwell; Honorable Mention Photography, Melinda Sayer.

Artist Darcy Irwin also received the People’s Choice Award with his Peaceful Buddha installation, an acrylic on canvas piece.  Don’t miss seeing this art object and all the others from the hours of noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday until October 30.

All works are available for sale.

Coming up: The Ladysmith Camera Club and the Art Council of Ladysmith and District, with the support of our generous sponsors, are pleased to host the 2nd Annual Mid-Island Photo Expo from November 1 to November 30, 2011 at the Waterfront Gallery.

Opening night is November 5, 7 pm and is open to the public.

Songster Lena Birtwhistle will be performing, awards will be presented, and hors d’oeuvres available. Coffee will be provided by the Beantime Cafe.

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