Paint-In hits quarter-century mark

Moss Street event attracts more than 160 artists to the pavement

Harumi Ota demonstrates pottery techniques at a past Moss Street Paint-In.

Mary-ellen Threadkell prefers not to be in the spotlight.

As assistant director of advancement at the Greater Victoria Art Gallery, she is a graceful presence, apart from the non-descript, two-by-four piece of pinewood she has tucked under her arm. Along the spine of the wood is a chronology of years past that correspond to miniature weather drawings, laid out like a primitive iPhone app.

“It’s superstition. I say that the Paint-In will not be rained out,” she explains before rapping gently on the wood.

Her fastidiousness as co-ordinator for the TD Art Gallery Paint-In the past 12 years seems to have worked, as each drawing displays a shining sun.

“Last year, I was sorely tested. At 10 minutes before opening, somebody turned off the tap. But it was a downpour like you rarely see here,” she said.

Now in its 25th year, the Paint-In has blossomed into an annual celebration that showcases more than 160 artists and attracts close to 35,000 visitors along the length of Moss Street in Fairfield.

It has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the gallery’s Art Rental and Sales office, when the likes of Bill Porteous and Fleming Jorgensen put pieces up for sale.

Threadkell attended her first Paint-In in 1988 and became enthralled with the unique opportunity it presented to view artists engaged in the creative process.

“I saw Toni Onley … painting on Dallas Road on the waterfront. He was painting about 12 watercolour pieces at the same time. He had them all taped to boards, spread out on the grass,” she says.

While many artists sell their work at the Paint-In, it’s also an ideal opportunity for artists to demystify their process and illustrate the differences between mediums, from paint to chalk to sculpting.

“A lot of people are looking for an art teacher as well, and this is an ideal place to find someone whose work really interests you,” Threadkell said. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity for artists. There’s nothing anywhere like it.”

In addition to the artists on display along Moss between Fort Street and Dallas Road, the art gallery parking lot will be packed with food and drink vendors, as well as a stage featuring Latin band Kumbia.

TD, the title sponsor, will also have a “Monster Mural,” a metres-long canvas that can be painted by all attendees.

On Saturday morning (July 21), Threadkell will be gently co-ordinating 200 volunteers, police officers and thousands of curious onlookers, but when she steps out into the warm sunshine, she’ll be sure to tap her lucky charm one last time.

Did you know?

• TD Art Gallery Paint-In, Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Art Gallery open house, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Food and beverage garden, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Dancing to Kumbia, 5 to 9 p.m., art gallery parking lot.

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

Just Posted

Central Saanich’s Keating Elementary completes seismic upgrades

Sidney Elementary and North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary still waiting for seismic upgrades

Langford ranks as fastest growing community in B.C.

Westshore community grew by 5.2 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018

Highlands councillor designs ‘carbon budget’ for CRD municipalities

Budget shows how much carbon left for each municipality to use to meet climate goals

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

Most Read