(From left) Kristin Murray

Locals may be missing out, on summer arts school in Metchosin

30th annual gathering at Pearson College a boon for arts tourism

Hammered steel is spread out in the math classroom.

Flasks and test tubes are replaced by art prints in the biology lab, and an assortment of random household items that will soon be art are spread out in the chemistry lab, where there isn’t a formula to be seen. Instructors and students are in the classes, but the discussion isn’t about high school, it is about art.

The Metchosin International Summer School for the Arts at Pearson College, in its 30th year, attracts hundreds of artists from all over the world. Participants from Belgium, the United States and across Canada come year after year – some have been coming for decades –  yet pottery co-ordinator Meira Mathison said many locals don’t know it exists.

“(It is) more than 40 classes over the two weeks with more than 450 students,” she said. “Because we are bringing in absolutely incredible renowned instructors, it has been wonderful. I have been able to see the best in the world and get to know them and get to see what they are doing.”

Cindy Moyer, incoming executive director, referred to the gathering of artisans as “an international school founded by international artists.”

“It’s an amazing collective of workshops and seminars,” she said, “a retreat opportunity where you are isolated in the midst of nature and have access to facilities with great teachers, (which is) what has made it magical for 30 years.”

Offering everything from pottery and printmaking, to steel work and basket weaving, the school engulfs the sprawling Pearson campus for two weeks every summer. Many students, including 17-year participant Al Scott, a longtime potter, say it is among the best two weeks of their year.

“Each year I come out, I pick up some new ideas … (from) people not only in the pottery community, but every other art form,” he said. “There is a sharing of ideas and talent.”

The Vernon resident teaches pottery full time in the Interior, but makes his way to Metchosin every year with a goal of learning something new he can share with his students.

“People are so open to sharing their talents and they don’t hold back. They (give that) little piece of info you need to be able to take that package and apply it through your own hands and to your own life. There is no holding back here, that is the big thing,” he said. “And this is such an idyllic situation, I tend to sit in the same spot and look out onto this bay.”

Kristin Murray, who sits at the next wheel, is on Vancouver Island for the first time. She enrolled after getting a tip from her pottery instructor back home in Brandon, Man.

“You are learning not from just instructors, but general conversations you are having with people from other classes and other backgrounds,” she said. “It becomes an interesting dialogue with people who have been in the business for many, many years.”

After only two days the university student is already looking forward to an opportunity to return to Metchosin.

“The space is beautiful, you couldn’t ask for a better space. If you ever need inspiration, you just walk outside and you have all the inspiration you need. Just how positive people are and how creative and willing to share … that comes from the community and that has been the best (thing) so far. I hope I can come back again next year.”

For more information on the summer school visit missa.ca.

alim@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Oak Bay firefighters help fund new Monterey playground

Sausage Fest cash handed over to Monterey PAC

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read