It’s the holiday season and local galleries are all a-sparkle.
At Avenue Gallery, Heather Wheeler and her staff go glamorous with All That Glitters, showcasing wearable art by some of the finest boutique jewellers in Canada, including Barb Adams, Kevin Cremin, Linda Freedman Katz, Vanja Gavric (Raven & Stone), Dorothee Rosen, Veronica Stewart and others.
Also featured through Dec. 16 is new bronze sculpture by Salt Spring artist Nicola Prinsen. A sculptor for more than 25 years, Prinsen continues to be inspired by her island surroundings.
At Red Gallery, also on the Avenue, meet artist Marion Evamy, painting on-site daily, while Eclectic Gallery invites visitors to deck their walls with art this holiday season.
Small Works Big Impact, featuring the work of 25 local artists, continues at the Oak Bay Avenue gallery though December.
At Monterey Avenue, Winchester Gallery welcomes two exhibits through Dec. 23: David Blackwood: A Major Exhibition and the Winter Exhibition, a collection of small works.
In the first major exhibition of David Blackwood’s work since 2013, Winchester presents a broad selection of archival and new etchings together with major oil paintings and new floral watercolours.
Among the art featured in the Winter Exhibition are a collection of works by Antoine Bittar and contemporary Chinese painter Lifu.
Oak Bay’s Gage Gallery Collective opens a new exhibit, Beasts by Alain Vincent, tonight (Friday, Dec. 11) with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit continues to Dec. 26. In Gage’s back room, take in work by a trio of artists, Linda Darby, Marilyn Chapman and Sheryl Fisher.
At the nearby Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the gallery honours donors with an exhibit of new Asian art.
Through April 3, the gallery displays Recent Asian Arts Acquisitions, 150 never-before-exhibited pieces. “Recent Asian Arts Acquisitions is a selection of about 20 per cent of the pieces that were generously donated in the past four years,” says Barry Till, AGGV’s Curator of Asian Art, who will offer a tour of the exhibit Jan. 13 at 2 p.m.
The pieces have been donated from individuals across North America and represent a wide range of cultures, media and time periods. A highly acclaimed woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) illustrates couples from different countries in their national dress, including the Meiji emperor and empress and couples from America, Russia, Africa, Arabia, China, Japan, Britain, India, Korea and France.
“Patronage of the arts is a very noble act,” said Till. “The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria continues to receive a wealth of Asian Art donations. We are indeed fortunate in having great and dedicated patrons in Victoria and across the country. This exhibition is in their honour.”
Also at the public art gallery is Our Best for Christmas Show and Sale, in the Massey Gallery through Jan. 4. The event, hosted by the AGGV’s Art Rental and Sales, features more than 20 artists whose work has consistently sold or rented exceptionally well.
Downtown, West End Gallery presents Adorn with Art through Dec. 30. Featuring a selection of works in small-sized formats, exclusively designed by some of West End’s artists, the show and sale presents a wide range of accessible, quality Christmas gifts. Painters this year include Steven Armstrong, Nixie Barton, Alain Bédard, Claudette Castonguay, Rod Charlesworth, Ken Faulks, Greta Guzek, Patricia Johnston, Grant Leier, Elka Nowicka, Guy Roy, Deborah Tilby, and many others. Sculpture and glasswork artists include Dulce Alba Lindeza, Robert Held, Tammy Hudgeon, Paull Rodrigue, David Thai and Janis Woode.
Also downtown through Dec. 16, the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria hosts its Little Gems holiday art and craft fair at the Bay Centre. The multimedia event features more than 75 pieces, including painting, drawing, pottery, craft and photography; all are priced $200 or less.
At Alcheringa Gallery, art lovers celebrate the season with exquisite, smaller-scale works by contemporary artists from both sides of the Pacific. Discover beautiful silver jewellery from Edward Joe and Dylan Thomas, colourful pottery from Gillian McMillan, colourful cedar blocks from Chris Paul and much more.