Monday Magazine contributor
The Mary Winspear Centre’s Bodine Hall is being transformed into an art gallery and Denny Gelinas is getting excited.
As chair of the organizing committee for the Sidney Fine Art Show and Sale, an annual initiative staged by the ArtSea Community Arts Council, Gelinas is overseeing a diverse exhibition featuring nearly 400 pieces of art. He and his team of volunteers are out to ensure the juried works chosen from hundreds of submissions provoke discussion.
This year he’s confident they’ll pull it off.
“You have these moments of panic once in a while, but we’re really an organized committee and we started working on this year’s show last December,” he says. “After the show finishes, we’re going to meet in December and go through what worked, what didn’t work – and we take notes as we go along.”
The 17th annual show and sale, running Oct. 18-20, includes paintings, sculptures, photographs and more. Gelinas says the range of artists involved makes for “a bit of everything” at the event.
“You get people that have been painting since they were teenagers, you get people that started later in life,” he says. “You get people that have professional training, you have amateurs and people that actually make a living with the art they sell.”
For some participants, the Sidney Fine Art Show is the first time their work is publicly displayed.
“It’s a wonderful way to get some acknowledgement of you as an artist, and a celebration, and I think it’s one of the things that’s good about the show,” Gelinas says.
Patrons and sponsors of the event are invited to a special photography presentation and show preview on Thursday, Oct. 17. Victoria arts promoter Joan Athey is presenting a series by the late Gerry Dieter documenting John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s week-long Bed-In for Peace in Montreal. As well, Athey will talk about the lessons she’s learned and knowledge of photography.
Gelinas says placing photography in the spotlight is “fabulous.”
“It’s the first time we’ve actually acknowledged photography in this way up front,” he notes. “It’s kind of an educational experience too, for I think many people in the audience won’t be familiar with this proposal,” he says.
“Art is a vehicle for discussion,” Gelinas adds. “Everybody has a view on art – whether it’s good or bad art – and it’s nice to have these kinds of discussions and look at the interconnectedness of various art forms.”
For more information on the show, visit sidneyfineartshow.ca.