Canada’s artists have come through for TOSH, with the gallery overwhelmed by the response to its national call for entries to the My Canada exhibition, said executive director Corinne James.
The gallery received 234 painting submissions for the juried show, which will award more than $1,500 in prize money.
“I am very happy because it’s a wonderful cross-section of artists,” said James. “It’s so interesting to see how people are moved by the theme, which is ‘My Canada,’ so the landscapes that we received, and the portraits, it’s just so diverse.”
Of the 234 entries, 55 paintings were juried in by judges Merv Brandel, Don Farrell and Gerda Hofman, all internationally respected and local artists, said James.
There was also an additional 10 pieces chosen through a lottery pool to give artists of varying skill levels a chance to participate.
Of those 65, three winners will be chosen in addition to three honourable mention awards.
The first prize is $800, second is $500 and third is $300. Each winner also receives a commemorative vase created by First Nations artist Terry Jackson from the Town of Qualicum Beach.
This kind of exhibition is a fairly rare undertaking for the gallery, though TOSH celebrated the 2010 Olympics with a similar event, James noted.
“So we thought it would be fun to do it for the (Canada) birthday party,” she said.
Pieces in the exhibit show various places across Canada, and various portrayals of the country, she said. Local artist Martin Hill, for example, painted a view of the Chateau Frontenac in the Quebec City, as he grew up in Eastern Canada, said James.
“That meant Canada to him in his own way.
“That’s what’s so interesting is that each one is very personal to the artist. It’s their reflection of what Canada means to them.”
The exhibition runs from June 26 to August 7, with the opening reception taking place Wednesday, June 28 at 2 p.m.