Tuesday July 20, 2021 | SOOKE, BC
by Jalen Codrington | Island Social Trends
This year marks the 35th anniversary of Sooke Fine Arts Show (SFAS), and the show’s second year as an online event. Last year, the first SFAS online presentation was enthusiastically embraced by artists and patrons alike, with over 10,000 unique visitors from around the globe viewing the exhibits remotely. The highly popular event has boosted the profiles of local artists, and enhanced the tourism of the Sooke region.
This year, participants will have the opportunity to move between online gallery ‘rooms,’ much like a real art gallery — all from the comfort of home. Viewers will be able to appreciate the scale and perspective of pieces by walking closer, backing up, and turning around. On display in these rooms will be works ranging from paintings, sculptures, fibre arts, ceramics, jewellery, and photography. Everything on display will be for sale.
This year’s jurors — award-winning artists Carey Newman, John Stuart Pryce, and Emily Hermant — selected 350 works by 249 coastal region artists.
Among these are a handful of exceptional award-winning pieces, which will be announced July 24 at the Artist Celebration Event, livestreamed from Facebook and the SFAS website. These award-winning pieces will also be displayed for in-person viewing from July 26 to August 8 at the Sooke Arts Council Gallery in Sooke town centre.
|Awards of Excellence (8 awards)||$1000 each|
|Juror’s Choice (3 awards)||$500 each|
|Designers’ Choice Award||$500|
|Jan Johnson Memorial Award for Social Commentary||$500|
|District of Sooke Award||$500|
|People’s Choice Award||$500|
|Honourable Mentions (5 awards)||$100 each|
The SFAS will begin virtually with the popular Purchasers’ Preview Night on July 22, at 7pm, where ticketholders can be the first to lay eyes on the hundreds of original works. Tickets are $25 each, with proceeds supporting the show.
Some in-person events:
Despite the move to online, a couple of events will still be in-person:
- This year, the Show’s Artz4Youth event will be in-person and outside. The Street Signs Art Project is a free, one-day summer workshop for youth ages 13 to 19, at the SEAPARC Leisure Centre in Sooke. Participants will be mentored in graffiti, stencil, and other styles. Youth artists are encouraged to register by July 21.
- En Plein Air is a fundraising collaboration between the Sooke Arts Council (SAC) and the SFAS. Up to 30 artists will be working en plein air throughout the Sooke region on August 1 & 2, bringing attention to the wealth of talented artists in the beautiful area. The finished works will be displayed between August 25 – Sept 5. at the SAC Gallery.
The COVID learning curve:
“Last year’s switch to an online version of the show provided a tremendous learning curve in a very short time,” says Sooke Fine Arts Society Executive Director Terrie Moore. “That journey formed the foundation for creating a new, dynamic way to showcase the artists’ works and an intriguing virtual experience for our viewers. We are delighted to share this year’s virtual show and to be able to host a few outdoor activities as well.”
At a time when people have been stressed by the pandemic, the experience of admiring brilliant and distinctive works might prove to be an enjoyable outlet. The online Sooke Fine Arts Show of 2021 will be an inclusive venue for exploring creative expression of artists from Vancouver Island and the surrounding region.
The Sooke Fine Arts Show has been a strong economic driver for the Sooke region for many years. Tourists arrive from across Canada and around the northwest USA. The online virtual show of course reached much farther.
The Sooke Fine Arts Show July 23 to August 2 is free to the public online.
Long-time regional publisher and editor Mary P Brooke says that Island Social Trends is pleased to again this year be a Gold Sponsor of the Sooke Fine Arts Show. This year we will also host one of the award categories.
===== LINKS (articles by Island Social Trends):
Jurors & artists gearing up for 2021 online Sooke Fine Arts Show (May 14, 2021)
Sooke Fine Arts Show virtual again in year-two of pandemic (March 5, 2021)
Success for first-time virtual Sooke Fine Arts Show (August 17, 2020)
Sooke Fine Arts Show online during COVID July 24-Aug 3 (June 27, 2020)
Premier Horgan at the 33rd Sooke Fine Arts Show (July 27, 2019)