Carr-inspired contest invites varying genres

Victoria College of Art seeking submissions for art competition

Peter Such

Peter Such

A new visual arts competition aims to reignite the region’s love affair with Emily Carr.

The Underlying Spirit, spearheaded by the Victoria College of Art and held in partnership with various other local arts and cultural organizations, offers an opportunity to pay homage to the legendary West Coast artist.

“We really are in the long-standing tradition of West Coast art here,” said college director Peter Such. “Our whole feeling is we are a world art centre that hasn’t been recognized as that – a whole, big art culture.”

The competition, which is free to enter and open to visual artists from painters to sculptors and all mediums in between, was inspired by a line from Carr’s journal: “There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.”

The judges will be looking not for replications of Carr’s art, Such said, but works that embody the connection she felt from her natural and cultural surroundings on the West Coast.

“I like anything that inspires an awe and beauty, and reflects the people’s environment and society and culture and personality – and also adds a fresh understanding of human life.”

Such will be joined on the judges panel by well-known arts figures Kerry Mason, Martin Segger, Fran Willis and Michael Warren, as well as Emily Carr House manager Jan Ross.

The top 35 works will be shown at Madrona Gallery starting Sept. 9. From there, the top three pieces will receive prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Aug. 19. See entry details at www.vca.ca/the_underlying_spirit or call 250-598-5422 or email info@vca.ca.

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