Thousands attended the 2018 TD Art Gallery Paint-In, where artists’ work could be admired and purchased. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Thousands attended the 2018 TD Art Gallery Paint-In, where artists’ work could be admired and purchased. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Artist gains and growing pains for 32nd annual Paint-In

Victoria’s largest one-day art event takes to Moss Street on July 20

By Felicia Santarossa

Monday Magazine contributor

For the 32nd year in a row, Moss Street is being transformed into both an outdoor art studio and gallery.

The TD Art Gallery Paint-In, happening July 20, features over 100 artists demonstrating their creative process and selling their work, in a fundraiser staged by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

For artists like Marina Fierz, the event “definitely” builds community.

“As you walk around, you’ll notice some of the booths are really accessible to the general public,” she says. “It’s a great way for people who know nothing about art to come and at least learn the basics, or find some of their favourite artists and get inspiration from them.”

Artist Marina Fierz, who works with alcohol-based inks, is pictured in her studio. She is one of hundreds of artists participating in the 32nd annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In on Moss Street and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Photo by Felicia Santarossa

With exposure to 10,000 people in one day, the event can create plenty of connections – not to mention sales – for artists in Victoria and surrounding areas.

“Basically the Paint-In is my main source of inspiration and projects and commissions for the year,” says Fierz, “so it’s like the beginning of my artist year. Kind of like my artist new year that way.”

Given the huge number of attendees and participants, adds acrylic painter Laura Bonnie, the event is a “really viable way” to gain feedback on her work. “The past couple of years it’s been really nice to see others’ reactions to my paintings,” she says.

Between artists and Paint-In volunteers, there’s a wide age range of people involved, from teenagers to people in their 70s and 80s. Event spokesperson Julia Pauselius says that shows just how encompassing this event is.

Plein air artist Kathleen Trayner estimates she volunteered for “at least half” of the Paint-Ins before setting up her booth as an artist. She’s coming back for a third year this time around.

“People are always curious,” she says. “I love the kids, the kids are so curious. I think kids these days are told ‘don’t touch that, don’t look at that, don’t get too close,’ [but this] is a way to get them closer to art.”

ALSO READ: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria receives $2.8M Anthony Thorn donation

The free all-day event began in 1987, when everyone from art fanatics to casual appreciators of the craft witnessed local artists working in real-time. While that still holds true, the event has expanded over the years to include many more mediums.

Visitors can expect not just painters, but crafters of artisan jewelry, wood carvings and more. Other features include imagination stations where you can exercise your creativity, a live music stage and even a beer garden.

With the Paint-In growing dramatically over the last couple years, the Gallery has had to figure out its role in engaging with the public, Pauselius says. Especially this year, she adds, they are trying to home in on the idea of bringing the community together.

“It’s not just a sales event, but really inviting people to be playful, to engage, to be curious and ask questions, and then come to the Gallery to have a drink and some food.”

The Paint-In street art runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the gallery open from 10 to 6. Moss Street will be closed to traffic before and after. As well, side streets ending at Moss will only be open to local traffic. For more information, visit aggv.ca/paint-in or call the gallery at 250-384-4171.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

Most Read