At the galleries: Greater Victoria’s art scene sees new works, award-winning artists

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Excitement is building for William Liao’s first solo exhibition, Encounters with Life, at The Avenue Gallery.

Artistic inspiration started at an early age for Liao. Growing up in Beijing, China after the Cultural Revolution, he was surrounded by classical Chinese culture as well as new European art. It is these influences that continue to define and inspire his work today. With seven years of professional training, he graduated from Beijing Normal University with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts.

Specializing in flowers, landscapes and figurative works, Liao’s paintings combine traditional mediums with modern techniques, offering her audience another dimension of experience.

Recognized for his talent, Liao won the Art Battle Vancouver, received the silver medal at the Signature Medal Show at the Federation Gallery, as well as first place at the Acrylics in Action show. Encounters with life from October 13 to 24. Visit theavenuegallery.com for more.

The West End Gallery is hosting Ryan Sobkovich’s first exhibition in Victoria until October 13.

Sobkovich is an accomplished young phenom from Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Spotted and nurtured from an early age, Sobkovich has exhibited professionally in galleries since the age of 16. Realizing the importance of education, he consciously took the time to advance his studies and graduated from Georgian College, School of Design and Visual Arts in 2016 with honors in the advanced fine arts program. Sobkovich’s love for nature inspires him to paint the spectacular wilderness of Canada and now at 27 he is a seasoned artist and collector of Canadian art.

The gallery offers an exhibition of new paintings by Irene Klar from October 15 to 27. Klar’s highly anticipated solo exhibition draws inspiration from water, be it the sea or rivers near and far. Klar focuses on the people who depend on water – those who make it a timeless source of life, travel and commerce. Throughout the collection, she uses bold colors, paints intricate textile prints and simplifies shapes down to their basic shapes. Recognized throughout North America, Klar has painted commissions for Amnesty International Canada, Amnesty International USA and the Trans Canada Trail. She is also widely represented in public and corporate collections.

Visit westendgalleryltd.com for more.

Madrona Gallery brings the Silver Lining to Greater Victoria with a solo exhibition of new paintings by Corrinne Wolcoski.

In the Silver Lining series, Wolcoski has assembled a collection of large-scale paintings that are rooted in his desire for the sense of freedom and solitude that only comes from immersion in the remote places depicted in his work. Wolcoski finds inspiration through his travels in the Pacific. Through extensive travels along the coast, she developed a deep understanding of how light plays on water and the dramatic cloud formations held back by the surrounding mountains. With this in mind, she creates scenes that emanate tranquility and solitude.

Wolcoski graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2003 and is heavily involved in the Vancouver art community. She is a member of the Eastside Culture Crawl and was vice-president of the Emily Carr University Alumni, as well as chair of the Queen Elizabeth Theater Gallery Committee. Wolcoski is also a member of Artists for Conservation and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This will be his sixth solo exhibition with the Madrona Gallery.

Silver Lining now runs until October 15. Visit madronagallery.com to learn more.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria opens the 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts exhibition this month. The winners showcase is curated by Jaimie Isaac, Chief Curator at AGGV.

“It’s a rare opportunity to see the work of these artists, who live in all parts of Canada, brought together in one place,” said CEO and Director Nancy Noble.

An evening opens the storefront on October 14 from 6:30-8 p.m., followed by an all-day open house on October 15 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. The winning artists participate in a panel discussion between 10:30 a.m. and noon during the open house.

The prestigious Governor General of Canada’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts is a lifetime achievement award recognizing an artist’s career, body of work and contribution to the visual arts, media arts or to crafts in Canada. In 2021, eight artists and arts professionals were celebrated in recognition of their exceptional journey.

Six of the awards recognize artistic achievement, won by Germaine Arnaktauyok, Lori Blondeau, Dempsey Bob, Luc Courchesne, Bonnie Devine and Cheryl L’Hirondelle. One award recognizes excellence in fine craft, the Saidye Bronfman Award, won by Lou Lynn, and one award recognizes outstanding contribution to contemporary visual arts, media arts or fine craft, won by Bryce Kanbara. The winners each receive a medallion produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and a cash prize of $25,000.

On Sunday, October 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., L’Hirondelle is the special guest of the first Family Sunday of the fall. Families are invited to enjoy captivating stories and teachings about buffalo hide, the four directions and more. Sunday with the family is included in the entrance to the AGGV.

The exhibition runs until March 5, 2023.

Visit aggv.ca to learn more.


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