Art lovers enjoy the closing night gala for the 2017 Salt Spring National Art Prize, at Mahon Hall in Ganges. The juried selections for the second edition of this nationwide competition are on exhibit now through Oct. 21. Courtesy Salt Spring Arts Council

Art lovers enjoy the closing night gala for the 2017 Salt Spring National Art Prize, at Mahon Hall in Ganges. The juried selections for the second edition of this nationwide competition are on exhibit now through Oct. 21. Courtesy Salt Spring Arts Council

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Tess takes an autumn art adventure

Salt Spring National Art Prize attracts top-notch artists from across the country

By Tess van Straaten

Monday Magazine columnist

It’s a crisp, early autumn morning and I’m waiting to board the ferry to Salt Spring Island for its famous Saturday market. Rain or shine, the popular market runs until the end of October, and in addition to all organic produce, farmstead cheese and delicious food offerings, it’s a Mecca for hand-crafted artisan goods from Canada’s ‘Island of the Arts.’

Monday columnist Tess van Straaten

“The artisan community is very important and one of the defining factors of the culture of the island,” says Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce executive director Jessica Harkema. “What always surprises people is the multitude and variety of talented people here.”

One of those people is artist Ron Crawford, who’s been painting for 45 years. Four years ago, Crawford launched the Salt Spring National Art Prize, which is held every two years and has grown to become one of the largest visual arts competitions in the country.

“It’s really fun to have seen it grow,” he says. “I thought it would take some time, but it’s just exploded across the country and we’ve just had a huge response this year with artists from every province and territory submitting.”

Close to 1,200 Canadian artists entered and 52 were chosen to display their work at the 2019 exhibition, put on by the Salt Spring Arts Council and running now through Oct. 21.

“As an artist myself, I think it’s really important for us to see the best of Canadian art and give artists an opportunity to show their work and compete at such a high level,” Crawford says. “We’re out here on the West Coast and we don’t get to see this kind of art very often. It’s national art. It really reflects the diversity of Canadian culture.”

Five of the artists selected by a national jury are from Salt Spring, with another five from Vancouver Island, which Crawford says shows the calibre of work being done here.

“In the jury process for SSNAP, they don’t know the artists’ names, so to have so many from here, and three from Duncan alone, is quite remarkable.”

Close to 900 people attended the 2017 exhibit and 1,500 are expected this time. But it’s not the only reason to make the trip to Salt Spring this fall. Sip & Savour Salt Spring is back for its eighth year on Oct. 19.

“It’s a great event, because it showcases all that Salt Spring and the region has to offer – live music, farm fresh produce, delicious eats, creative and unique drinks and a whole lot of fun,” Harkema says.

New vendors this year include local caterer Salty Hospitality, Salt Spring Pie Co., Switchboard Café and Four Winds Brewery. And whether you go for a day trip or weekend getaway, don’t forget to check out some artists’ studios for an art-filled autumn.

Find more information on these events at saltspringartprize.ca and saltspringchamber.com/sip-savour-salt-spring.

Also by this author:

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Chilling in Cook Street Village

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Brentwood Bay bliss awaits

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Marine magic at play in James Bay



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Tess van Straatentravel

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

 

B.C. wines pair nicely with locally sourced cuisine during the annual Sip & Savour event, happening Oct. 19 on Salt Spring Island. Courtesy Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce

B.C. wines pair nicely with locally sourced cuisine during the annual Sip & Savour event, happening Oct. 19 on Salt Spring Island. Courtesy Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce

Just Posted

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Donna Jones, who was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, is the executive director of the documentary ‘Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence’. (Submitted)
Islander produces documentary offering hope to those with addictions

Donna Jones and husband Brent just released Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

The area surrounding the Chemainus Rotary Club’s bunker door is one of the new surfaces that will feature a mural. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Up to three new murals coming to Chemainus

Project will be coordinated between the Rotary Club and Festival of Murals Society

Jules Sherred, photographer and owner of Polaris Creative, is putting together an exhibit that combines two of his greatest passions: food and advocacy for those with disabilities. (Polaris Creative photo)
Kickstarter launches for fully accessible exhibit focused on food

Raising awareness has been Sherred’s life’s work.

Sooke artist Jessica Ruth Freedman is one of nine virtual in-residence artists who share the creative process, conduct webinars, write and offer sage advice with artsUNITE, a free online wayfinding platform for artists. (Contributed - Jessica Ruth Freedman)
Sooke artist joins artsUNITE, getting creative through pandemic

National program brings much-needed support to arts community

Most Read