Leo Panthera

Leo Panthera

North Saanich paper artist makes US debut

First show experience a success so far

A paper lion-like creation is a show starter for Silas Holdstock.

Leo Panthera, a bright and whimsical mask narrowly made the deadline for the the Art Port Townsend/Expressions Northwest, but the North Saanich artist made the cut, and the show. It was the first show he applied to, but more will follow.

“People were really digging me,” he explained. “I sent the application 10 minutes before the deadline.”

Holdstock draws and paints, but paper is his current medium of choice.

“That’s what I was doing for the last couple of years,” he said. “I have been doing it more or less full time because I’ve had some pretty good opportunities.”


He’s been creating art since his days at Parkland secondary, and developed a keen eye for animals during biology courses at the University of Victoria. There he spent hours studying,

comparing animals, learning to identify critters by sight, and developing an affinity for animals in general. The masks portray that knowledge and added creativity.


“I draw about a million sketches of the animal and create a cardboard skull and then build it up,” Holdstock said. “I have quite a few of these masks now.”

He’s already working on the next set, and this batch will be wearable. The success of the first submission buoyed the Peninsula artist to apply for other juried exhibitions, including the popular Sidney Fine Arts Show slated for Oct. 13 through 16 at the Mary Winspear Centre.


But for now, Holdstock’s Leo

Panthera is among those included in Art Port Townsend/Expressions Northwest, the Northwind Arts Alliance and Port Townsend Arts Commission’s 13th annual juried art exhibition.


Juror Gary Faigin — a full time art professional for more than three decades with notable accomplishments as a painter, educator and art critic — selected 86 pieces from 372 works of art submitted from Washington, Alaska, Oregon and British Columbia.


The show runs now through Aug. 28 in Port Townsend, Washington. Visit www.artporttownsend.org or www.northwindarts.org for more information on the show.



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