A&E column: $10K for art gallery; coffee house; students win art awards

Jasmine Norris if one of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council youth showcase winners for 2022. (Photo courtesy of CVAC)Jasmine Norris if one of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council youth showcase winners for 2022. (Photo courtesy of CVAC)
The Cowichan Folk Guild Coffee House will feature Ukes Misbehavin on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Cowichan Folk Guild)The Cowichan Folk Guild Coffee House will feature Ukes Misbehavin on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Cowichan Folk Guild)
Kendall Goss, president of Island Savings, presents a $10,000 sponsorship to the Cowichan Public Art Gallery’s Jock Hildebrand and Elizabeth Croft. (Photo courtesy of CPAG)Kendall Goss, president of Island Savings, presents a $10,000 sponsorship to the Cowichan Public Art Gallery’s Jock Hildebrand and Elizabeth Croft. (Photo courtesy of CPAG)

Are you excited about the big new art gallery a group of ambitious residents is planning for downtown Duncan? So is Island Savings.

The Cowichan Public Art Gallery Society announced a $10,000 sponsorship agreement with Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, in February.

The sponsorship supports the development of a world-class gallery in the Cowichan Valley, said a press release.

“Arts and culture are such an integral element in helping our communities thrive, and we are thrilled to be able to make this significant investment in the Cowichan Valley through the support of our members,” said Kendall Gross, president of Island Savings. “We believe that the construction and establishment of a public art gallery will be a significant economic force in the area and a driving force for local businesses and the economy.”

Jock Hildebrand, thanked Gross and Island Savings for their generous support for the Island community, noting that Island Savings is a long-time gallery supporter, with sponsorships dating back to 2019; Island Savings has helped CPAG to deliver some of Cowichan’s most successful art exhibitions.

“We’re proud that we share similar values with Island Savings in serving our communities,” said Hildebrand. “The future gallery will be a focal point for the art community, businesses and families. Island Savings’ generous sponsorship brings us closer to making the gallery a reality.”

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On the music front, the Cowichan Folk Guild Coffee House scheduled for March 12 will feature a presentation by Ukes Misbehavin, and bring back its traditional open mic format for performers before the featured group hits the stage.

Ukes Misbehavin is made up of Byron Thompson on baritone ukulele, Clayton Long on tenor ukulele and Freda Eckstein on bass and tenor ukuleles. All three perform lead vocals.

“Ukes Misbehavin’ are three distinct individuals who share a love of music and of jazz in particular,” said a press release for the coffee house. “They like to have fun and share their enthusiasm.”

Thompson is a retired teacher with a background in jazz, swing, folk and rock. Eckstein is a musician, singer, songwriter and recording artist who has been featured on CBC radio and TV backing up such notables as Ken Hamm and Will Millar. Long started out as a mandolin player and performed in various bluegrass bands such as Southern Exposure, Marq Twang and One Track Mind.

The Coffee House is Saturday evening at the Duncan United Church Hall at 246 Ingram St. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for CFG members and $10 for non-members.

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Youth artists in two new art shows at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council galleries at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan have earned awards.

Max Jung, Helena Daubner and Mia Rattazzi were the top individual prize winners are the Art of Math show, sponsored by Island Savings Credit Union, which runs until March 14.

Students and artists were asked to show the beauty of patterns from the golden ratio to Escher-like tessellations.

“It’s a very different art show with work by both fine artists and local students,” said Cowichan Valley Arts Council Managing Director Susan Down. “The idea for the show began with a simple conversation about the beauty of mathematics. Local teachers and artists took up CVAC’s challenge.”

Honourable mentions have been awarded to Teresa Ou, Layla Walker, Abby Lee, Lilja Parham, Zak Baikie, Tavin Miller and the Lenchuck family. Outstanding schools are Brentwood College, Sunrise Waldorf School and Queen Margaret’s School.

Judges were Wayne Loutet and Rob Maclean.

At CVAC’s annual Youth Art Showcase, running until April 1, Jasmine Norris of Cowichan Secondary, Victoria Blouin of Vancouver Island University and Wilson Tutube have won the Outstanding awards.

Awards of Excellence have also gone to Sharon Xian, Oliver Price, Elise Mulder, Denzel Van Oyen, Zunyl Jing and Wendy Liu.

The showcase features young artists ages 13 to 25 from the Cowichan Valley. More than 75 entries are on display, including sculpture, photography, painting and drawing.

Judges were Wilma Millette, Rory MacDonald and Michael Grimminck.

Prizes for both shows will be given out Friday, March 11.

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