The Gabriola Arts Council is presenting its first in-person art exhibition since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This weekend the GAC unveils Community: Studio Tour Artists Present, an exhibition of work by 43 artists who participate in the annual Thanksgiving Studio Tour. The show opens at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre on Saturday and continues for six weekends. Half the the artists will have work up for the first three weeks, and the other half will be showcased during the second three weeks.
“I felt this was a great time as we are slowly opening up and in Phase 2, galleries and museums are one of the businesses that are allowed to be open and I felt this was a great way to get some exposure for the artists and also to engage the community in art,” said new GAC executive director Carol Fergusson.
Fergusson has been organizing the annual Thanksgiving Studio Tour Tour Central preview shows for the past three years and so naturally reached out to those artists. She said they were eager to finally get the chance to have their work seen by a live audience.
“They were just over the moon so that was really encouraging for me because, as you might expect, I was a bit hesitant to put this forward to the artists and it’s all been positive,” Fergusson said.
Fergusson said COVID-19 precautions are in place: Only four attendees will be allowed in the gallery at once, the front entrance and back exit doors will be propped open, signs will be placed reminding people not to touch anything and the wearing of face masks is encouraged but not required. All sales will be conducted electronically by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. The GAC is also running an online 50/50 raffle with a $10,000 goal.
Fergusson said she’s happy to be organizing her first exhibition as executive director.
“From putting the call out to the artists to receiving their art, working with them on which piece is going to be put up in the show and then myself doing a little bit of curating and then physically putting up the show … I just love the whole process,” she said.
WHAT’S ON … Community: Studio Tour Artists Present takes place at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre, 476 South Rd., on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 20 to July 26. Show can also be viewed online here.