The Sooke Fine Arts Society has experienced a transition in leadership as Christa Brenan has stepped down as executive director of the dociety – a position she’s held for the past three years.
Brenan has passed the torch to Terrie Moore, a long time Sooke resident with her own abiding love and appreciation of the arts.
“I still remember coming to the very first Sooke Fine Arts Show, and how I was just blown away by the range of talent,” Moore said.
“And I know that I have very big shoes to fill here, trying to do as well as the really amazing people who came before me in this role. I’m not really worried though. The Sooke Fine Arts Society has such a dedicated group of people involved that I’m confident that we can continue to encourage and showcase the fantastic group of artists that we have in this area.”
Brenan intends to remain a part of the vibrant arts community in Sooke and, as an artist she looks to the future with fascination.
“In my time as an artist, I’ve seen art change and evolve. Technology has certainly changed the way we see and, at times, create art. We’ve also bumped up against the business opportunities that have impacted the art world, so that has changed things a little,” Brenan said.
She said the proliferation of art supply stores has encouraged a lot more people to try their hand at creating their own art.
“That’s wonderful, and I would never discourage anyone from creating their own works, but at the same time, it’s made it a little harder. People sometimes have trouble learning how to create art that is stimulating and that has lasting value or understanding the difference between art and craft.”
But Brenan is quick to add that she would never discourage anyone’s artistic endeavours, stressing that the educational process has always been one of the Sooke Fine Arts Society’s goals.
One thing that Brenan will look back on with a smile is the location of the fine arts office, adjacent to the hockey arena.
“There were days when games were on when we’re freezing in here, and the music is literally shaking the floor as people are cheering the players … and pucks are smashing against the boards. It’s not where you’d think to find a fine arts group, but it’s actually been fun,” said Brenan.
“And when the ice is out and our show is on, this location is perfect.”
In 2018, the society’s 32nd Sooke Fine Arts Show attracted more than 9,000 attendees and featured 380 works plus a record 116 Youth Art Gallery pieces, a move that Moore saw as a positive development that she intends to continue in 2019.
She’s counting on the more than 300 volunteers to once again help with everything from gallery construction to ticket sales and knows that when the show opens, Sooke will once again be counted as a hub of artistic talent.
The show happens between July 26 and Aug.5 at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex.