A&E column: The people have spoken: final Cowichan art show honour awarded

Curvaceous by Pauline Dueck has won one of two People’s Choice Awards at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Fine Arts Show for 2021. (Submitted)Curvaceous by Pauline Dueck has won one of two People’s Choice Awards at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Fine Arts Show for 2021. (Submitted)
‘Minus 30C Inconveniences’ by Thomas Hutchings has won one of two People’s Choice Awards at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Fine Arts Show for 2021. (Submitted)‘Minus 30C Inconveniences’ by Thomas Hutchings has won one of two People’s Choice Awards at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Fine Arts Show for 2021. (Submitted)
Christine Reimer’s work, titled ‘On The Bright Side’ will feature in one window at Imagine That! gallery in Duncan in June, 2021. (Submitted)Christine Reimer’s work, titled ‘On The Bright Side’ will feature in one window at Imagine That! gallery in Duncan in June, 2021. (Submitted)
‘Joyful Island Connections’ by Sandi Madsen will be featured in a window at Imagine That! gallery in Duncan in June, 2021. (Submitted)‘Joyful Island Connections’ by Sandi Madsen will be featured in a window at Imagine That! gallery in Duncan in June, 2021. (Submitted)

The people have spoken.

After three weeks of voting, the People’s Choice Award winners have been chosen for the Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show.

On May 22, the last day of the show, the votes were tallied and of the 113 entries, the winners are Minus 30C Inconveniences by Thomas Hutchings, and Curvaceous by Pauline Dueck.

Hutchings’s work is a large acrylic painting of two flickers perched on a wooden fence inspired by a Newfoundland scene in early spring. Dueck’s work is a white peony infused with light an created with layers of acrylic and glaze.

While the show has concluded, it can still be viewed online at cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca

On now at the gallery at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan are two shows. “Inspired by Joy” is on from May 28 to June 19 and features bronze sculpture and abstract painting by two Gulf Islands artists. In the Annex, textile designer Shannon Wardroper displays her large-scale fabric art from May 26 to June 2.


Also coming to the Portals Annex at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan in the coming weeks is a show all about maps and books.

“Off the Wall: Re-Defining The Map, a Book Art Exhibition” is scheduled to take over the space from Saturday, June 5 to Saturday, June 19. In the show, the members of the B.C. Islands Chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild will be showing off their latest works.

“Maps and cartographic strategies are the inspiration for this group exhibition of book related work,” says a press release for the show.

“The theme is MAP, either used as a noun or verb. As noun, a map is the visual representation of an area, whether real or imaginary. As a verb, to map is to create a visual representation of a location, place, space, or a way to organize information,” the press release explains.

So what will you see? Participating artists will showcase traditional binding, papermaking, marbling, artists’ books, printmaking, letterpress printing, calligraphy, conservation and restoration.

“Traditional skills and tools are used, many of which have not changed much since the middle ages, to tell a story in an artful and creative way,” the release says.

“Books are a familiar sight to everyone but book artists often challenge what a book is, how it looks and how it is read. In creating a book, the artist must decide how the story should be presented, which materials will be used to enhance the story, and how the binding will accommodate this presentation. Every aspect of the book is considered in the process. It is a very interactive experience for both the artist and often for the reader as well.

“In this digital age it is a comfort to know that the traditional art and craft of bookbinding is alive and well and thriving.”


Karen Seargeant’s son Christopher wrote a children’s novel 20 years ago, and in 2020 it was finally published.

Fairwynd is a children’s novel for ages nine to 99 about four children who experience another land called Fairwynd,” Seargeant explains. “Here they find love, creativity, emotional healing, and the ability to forgive the unforgivable. They get to help decide new creatures and their names in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. They encounter the presence of evil and what can happen when caught by it. They learn the newness of life that sacrifice can bring.

“There is a Christian theme to it as it contains a death and resurrection and brings out the Trinity,” she said.

The novel is available at Volume One bookstore in Duncan.


Imagine That! in Duncan is prepping their June windows at the gallery on Craig Street. Both will run from May 28 through June 25.

Christine Reimer’s work, titled “On The Bright Side” will feature in one window.

“Christine has lived all her life on Canada’s awe-inspiring west coast, and her deep love of nature has infused her art with its hues, textures, forms, and vitality,” reads a press release. “Her work is noted for her bold use of colour and strong brushwork, and over her journey as an artist, her work has evolved to express the life force and mysteries of nature in new ways.”

In the second window, “Joyful Island Connections” by Sandi Madsen will be featured.

“I have reflected this last year on what makes life joyful, what unique beauty Island living offers, and the importance of connections,” Madsen said. “I work in a variety of media including clay, fabric, paper, and acrylic and have combined my creative skills in mixed-media folk art pieces that express my impressions of Island life. Each is handcrafted and original.”

Check them out if you’re downtown.


Mosaic Forest Management has launched its annual photo contest.

People can submit their favourite photos of B.C.’s west coast for a chance to win one of three seven-day camping passes valid at any Mosaic-managed campsite. Entries can be submitted until Sept. 8. Two winners will be chosen by a panel of Mosaic staff and a People’s Choice Award will be chosen through online voting.

“Getting out to enjoy nature has taken on new meaning through COVID-19, and I think many British Columbians have developed a deeper appreciation for where we live,” said Molly Hudson, Mosaic’s director of sustainability. “Our annual photo contest is a fun way to celebrate the recreational opportunities that B.C.’s coast has to offer, and we are excited to share this window into summer adventures in our region.”

Last year’s contest had 450 entries, with winning photos depicting outdoor and camping scenes.

To enter, visit mosaicforests.com/contest to upload a photo or share on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MosaicCampsiteContest. See the full contest details at mosaicforests.com/contest.

Arts and EntertainmentColumn

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