In celebration of 50 years of exhibiting the work of established and emerging local artists, the Victoria Arts Council is going all out for the 2019 Look Show.
This annual non-juried, multi-medium exhibition, previously held at various venues around the city due to the volume of pieces, is being housed under one roof at 747 Fort St., the 20,000-square-foot accessible space that earlier this year hosted the Victoria Film Festival opening gala.
The possibility of filling the large site with art of all kinds from April 6 to 28 is an exciting prospect for VAC executive director Kegan McFadden.
“The Look Show has really been a cornerstone for what the Victoria Arts Council has been offering for at least two decades,” he says.
One of the intriguing things about Look Show, McFadden adds, is that attendees will find a range of works, from artists who have never experienced a public showing, to those who may have had their work shown at the National Gallery of Canada. “No matter where you’re at as an artist, you still get a kick out of showing to your peers what you’ve been up to.”
While submissions have been received in the traditional Look Show categories – painting, photography, mixed media, printmaking, drawing, 3-D, ceramic, craft, literary and installation – performance art and video categories have been added to broaden the scope of the show and help mark the 50th anniversary.
While no artist demonstrations will happen this year, other public events are planned during the show.
One of those happens April 10, when the Fort Street venue will be transformed into a bistro, with poetry readings and music. Featured guests include Bill Bissett, Geoff Inverarity, Linda Rogers Van Krugel, Stephen Roxborough and Rick Van Krugel. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is by donation ($5-$20 suggested).
As well, four simultaneous solo exhibitions will take place as part of the Look Show, featuring local artists Maria Curcic, Rose Cowles, Paul McNair and Dallas Segno.
If you’re still thinking of entering a piece in the show but have yet to enter, the deadline is March 31. You can download the application online at vicartscouncil.ca/look-show/ or stop by the VAC office at 1800 Store St.
For new and emerging artists, spending $20 (VAC members price) to have an item exhibited for three weeks is a good value, McFadden says. “It’s a really great time to take out your membership to the Arts Council, and you don’t have to be a practising artist to join.”
He emphasizes that Look Show is accessible to all levels of artist and available for art lovers from the curious and casual to the enthusiast. The three-week run kicks off with an opening reception at the venue on April 6 from 1 to 5 p.m. The venue will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.