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Element art themes a breath of fresh air

Skye Skagfeld uses shapes, bold colours to create interesting pieces

Air. It’s everywhere, but you can’t see it.

Air is also everywhere in an upcoming Chemainus art exhibit by Skye Skagfeld, but you can see it in her interpretive paintings.

Air is the latest featured element in Skagfeld’s regular quarterly shows at the Skye Gallery in the St. Joseph’s Artist Studios that formerly housed St. Joseph’s Catholic School on Elm Street.

The exhibit will be open one day only on Thursday, March 21 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., just after the official 2024 spring equinox March 20.

“That’s kind of the opening,” Skagfeld pointed out. “Outside of that, you can make an appointment to come and see it. If you want to come, you tell me.”

The best way to do that is to contact Skagfeld by email at

Air, water, earth and fire are her revolving element themes coinciding with the two seasonal equinoxes and solstices. The normal schedule will be body of water in the summer, earth in fall, fire in winter and air in spring.

Related story: Artist unveiling colourful exhibit about water

“Instead of having just the show on this day, it’ll be the seasonal series set up,” Skagfeld said.

Her last exhibit, the fire show in December, during the winter solstice was limited to private viewings.

“I wasn’t feeling too hot during that time,” Skagfeld joked.

The weather being so iffy at that time of the year always makes attracting an audience a bit difficult.

“In the wintertime, it’s dead and it made sense to have a quieter show,” she pointed out.

But Skagfeld is all fired up again to display works fitting into the air theme. And she’s even gone the extra mile with helium balloons spelling out ‘A-I-R’ to accompany it.

Skagfeld has new signage up for the Skye Gallery to point people in the right direction and within the building itself. She has a great team working for her behind the scenes, including diligent dad Paul, to make the showing experience in the gallery more complete.

Pending sales by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria that owns the building have twice put the artists in limbo. But the collapse of a second sale entered into last May has left the door open again.

“After we learned the sale wasn’t going through, I did a redo on the gallery space,” Skagfeld noted. “It’s always improving.”

She now tabs her gallery as a “mini-museum of modern art.”

And, “like any good museum, you have to exit through the gift shop,” she added.

That’s where you’ll find “everything for sale from previous seasons,” Skagfeld indicated. “That’s in the hall.”

It’s all well-organized, just like the artist herself in doing the compositions. There will be lots of new pieces, including some she considers experimental.

“A lot of it is quite abstract and what’s more abstract than air?” Skagfeld reasoned.

She’s also utilized interlocking triangular and pentagon shapes to create some interesting optical illusion pieces.

On first glance, “it’s representative of flying a kite,” Skagfeld noted.

It’s all a breath of fresh air and a means to clear the air of her creative influences.

“It’s really adhering to the theme,” Skagfeld summed up.

The seasonal shows now combined with element themes are catching on and she’s proud of that.

“I think it shows I can stick to it,” Skagfeld pointed out. “For every one, there’s been people coming. It’s uplifting for the community.”

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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