Russell Treloar’s painting “Jazz for the Lonely” captured the Best in Show award at last year’s Sidney Fine Art Show. sidneyfineartshow.ca

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Jury evaluations are underway for one of the region’s premier arts events, bringing some of the best local art to Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre this fall.

Hosted by ArtSea Oct. 11 to 13, the Sidney Fine Art Show showcases between 375 and 400 carefully curated works, selected from more than 1,000 submissions.

Open to artists of all ages, including youth, “it has become a real hallmark event for the town each fall,” says Margaret Melvin, chair, Sidney Fine arts show, organizing committee.

While the majority of the artists hail from the south Island, each year the jury views submissions from farther afield. While the longevity of the show is key to its ongoing popularity among artists, so too is its reputation for quality.

“It’s always been a really well-organized event, both from the perspective of the artists and the public. We always try to make it a really enjoyable experience,” Melvin says. “Because of that, we get a lot of returning artists but every year we also have many new ones.”

The show is a must-attend for artists and art lovers. Here’s why:

Start or build a collection: For art lovers, the show provides an excellent way to start or expand a collection. All works submitted for the show must be available for sale, with the majority of the fee going to the artist and a small amount to the show for next year. And if a favourite piece has already sold, they can easily connect with the artist to see other works.

Exposure for artists: For artists, the 3,000-plus visitors who typically view the exhibit offer a whole new audience for their work.

Recognition for excellence: In addition to the pinnacle Best in Show, juried awards are presented in various genres, Best 3D, Best Work Under Glass – often a watercolour – Best Work on Canvas or Board, Best Photograph, and six jurors’ choice awards. A Show Designer’s Award and People’s Choice winner are also presented.

“There are so many wonderful pieces, it’s always interesting to see what captures the public’s eye,” Melvin says.

Always something new: Beyond the new artists joining the show, guests will enjoy a few other additions this year. The Saturday Night Soirée is expanding with live music, conversation, dessert and coffee, and a redesigned catalogue offers a complete look at all the amazing pieces in the exhibit, artfully staged for many years under the talented eye of Sandy Bligh. On arrival, check in with an on-site volunteer for a room map and begin your exploration of some of the region’s best artwork. And if you’d like to get involved, visit their website to learn how you can join the more than 200 volunteers who help make the show a success!

Admission is just $8, with free parking at the Mary Winspear Centre. Learn more at sidneyfineartshow.ca

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