Saltair artist Carrie Kendall’s immediate reaction when her painting was chosen as Best in Show during the opening of the prestigious Multi Media Fine Art Exhibition at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery was shock.
“To be honest, I was just shocked,” she said. “The calibre of the show was very impressive to me. I looked around and said ‘did they just say my name?’ Honoured and grateful was part of my overall feeling.”
This marks the sixth year for the juried Multi Media Fine Art Exhibition in Ladysmith, as it takes place in alternating years, and Ladysmith Arts Council president Kathy Holmes expects it to be another rousing success.
“This juried show brings artists together from all over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands and is an eclectic mix of original fine art,” she said. “The prizes are substantial, the judges are professional, the competition is enervating and the results are always exciting.
Three distinct categories are judged — two-dimensional works, three-dimensional works, and photo/digital.
Up to 150 unique pieces are accepted for the show.
“This prestigious show brings the best of what artists in our area have to offer,” said Holmes. “The Multi Media show is a measure of artists against other artists and against themselves in their category.”
This year’s judges were Scott Leaf, a technician and associate professor at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in the Visual Arts Department; Jane Cole, a professor at VIU in the Visual Arts Department; and Brad Grigor, graphic artist and publisher from Turning Point Arts.
The results were kept secret until opening night, which took place Saturday, Oct. 5.
“The competition was exhilarating,” said Holmes.
Best in Show winner Carrie Kendall received a $1,000 prize for her piece, “Dinner for Eight,” depicting cutlery, napkins and dishes ready for a dinner with family or friends.
“The prize is awarded to the piece of art which captivates all three judges, expresses the intent of the artist, impresses with its design and composition, technical ability, originality, presentation and has that ‘wow factor,’” explained Holmes.
Kendall says she has done similar paintings, but “Dinner for Eight” is the first time she has painted this kind of art so large.
“I’m really inspired by common household imagery,” she said. “I’ve painted silverware, other stacks of dishes, my children’s shoes at the front door. I’ve painted other dishes … they evoke a feeling of ‘company’s coming.’ It’s anticipation of a great evening.”
The winner of $500 in the 2D category is Dennis Brown for his abstract painting “One of One.” Bev Robertson was second, and Jeff Molloy finished third.
The first-place winner in 3D was Karin Schieber with her “Orbit,” receiving a $500 prize. Second place went to Josse Duffhues, and Ernest Paul Murray was third.
Rolf B. Olsson won $500 as the first-place winner in the Photo/Digital category with “Skepticals.” Second was Rosina Maria Solylo finished second, and Denis McMahon was third.
Second-place winners in each category received $250, and third-place winners took home $50.
Kendall and Molloy shared the People’s Choice award.
“I’m kind of on a high still,” said Kendall. “He’s nationally recognized; to share that with him, I’m very honoured.”
This is Kendall’s second Multi Media Fine Art Exhibition. She entered two years ago when she was first introduced to the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery.
“This show is a great show to enter,” she said. “When I walked in, I was very impressed with the calibre of it.”
Kendall, who writes an art blog, is thrilled to be involved in the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery.
“It was about two years ago that I got involved in the Waterfront Gallery, and I never looked back,” she said. “Kathy Holmes and her team are amazing, so inspiring and motivating. Even in the few years I’ve been involved in the gallery, I’ve watched the growth.”
The Multi Media Fine Art Exhibition is sponsored generously by many local businesses and organizations. The main sponsors this year are the BC Arts Council, MLA Doug Routley, Roberts Street Pizza, Little Valley Restoration, Ladysmith and District Credit Union, Bayview Framing, and The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Ladies Auxiliary #2101.
The Multi Media Fine Art Exhibition is on at the Waterfront Gallery at 610 Oyster Bay Dr. from now until Oct. 29. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, click here.