Artist Craig Benson

Record-breaking art show deemed a success

Weather doesn't diminish Sidney Fine Art Show at Mary Winspear Centre



Despite the unpleasant storm, many people piled into the Mary Winspear Centre’s Bodine Hall to view over 400 pieces of work on display.

In fact, many artists and visitors commented saying this year’s show was the best yet.

“It was a fabulous show. The show was beautiful to look at so that was really great, very rewarding. The artists were all happy,” said Diane Thorp, chair of the Sidney Fine Art Show Committee and president of the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula.

Weather takes the blame for attendance, dropping 15 per cent on the Friday and Saturday evening, but turnout remained strong during the day.  Sales were also strong with around 100 pieces sold.

The committee increased its display units to have a record amount of artwork on show.

Every year, votes are counted for the much anticipated People’s Choice Award. Visitors fill out a ballot of which artist and piece they think is best, selecting a top five from the show.

“It’s a huge job actually for the committee, because people are really enthusiastic about doing this and they take time and make a decision and then put their vote in,” said Thorp.

This year, first place went to artist Jen Wright for her 3D piece, ‘Welcome Home.’ Artist Craig Benson’s sculpture ‘Mother and Pup Sea Otters’ and Sandy Terry’s acrylic ‘Peony Pirouettes’ followed in second and third place. Artist Phillipa Hudson’s acrylic on canvas ‘Haida Gwaii Morning’ and Catherine Moffat’s oil ‘Angst,’ followed in fourth and fifth place.

Next year’s show will be the 15th anniversary and the committee is already looking ahead. Thorp said a focus for next year is adding more lighting.

The 15th anniversary show is scheduled for Oct. 13 to 15, 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre.