Saturday, June 27, 2020 ~ SOOKE, BC
by Mary Brooke, editor ~ West Shore Voice News
The Sooke Fine Arts is up and running for a COVID-style online show in this summer of 2020, billing themselves as “Vancouver Island’s Premier Summer Arts Event”.
You can still buy art and browse through the more than 375 juried works of painting, sculpture, fibre arts, glass and ceramics, jewellery, and photography in a virtual format. Works are by hundreds of artists from Vancouver Island and BC’s coastal islands.
“We have embraced new opportunities,” says SFAS executive director Terrie Moore. In response to the physical distancing requirements of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all of the physical exhibit, online auction, Seniors’ Tea, Artz4Kidz, People’s Choice Award and Youth Art Gallery have been moved online.
There are some interactive and sometimes live elements and areas to explore in the show’s portal at www.sookefinearts.com
Other highlights of the usual event — such as artist demos and music — will be recreated with video and live virtual performances.
Seems the Gift Shop component will not be available in the online this year.
There will be a Purchaser’s Preview!
The popular Purchasers’ Preview Night will be online too! Keeping with their Thursday night time slot in late July, this year’s Purchasers’ Preview Night will be on July 23. Viewers with tickets will have early access to view and purchase artworks.
Many regular patrons of the Sooke Fine Arts Show will miss the food and mingling! But for this year local Sooke chef Pat Hogan of 4 Beaches Catering (who has catered the event for the past five years) has created a special ‘Grazing Box’ of cheeses, charcuterie and seafood that viewers can pick up and enjoy with at home while they ‘attend’ the online evening.
Adapting the in-person experience:
Moore says the well-being of volunteers, artists and guests amidst COVID-19 is paramount.
The online show will try to recreate the intimate and highly interactive show normally held transformatively in the SEAPARC sports arena over into cyberspace.
Still working together, but apart, this year’s online show will bridge the gap to next year’s return to the arena for their 35th show in 2021. “Science will get us out of this, but art will get us through this,” they say.
The online show will be available July 24 to August 3, with sales continuing through Sept. 30.
Jurors create the theme:
Each year three jurors are selected to go through the many submissions to create through their selections a themed exhibit.
The call for artists was open to June 1, and artists were notified on June 11.
This year’s jurors are Terry Fenton, Cate Rimmer and Rick Leong. Fenton was a gallery curator in Edmonton and Saskatoon and now in Victoria writes about art. Rimmer is the director/curator at Emily Carr University in Vancouver. Leong is an assistant professor of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria.