Calibre of talent for Expo is ‘impressive’

The Island Arts Expo happens Nov 3 and 4 in Qualicum Bay

Always painting from live models

A smorgasbord for art lovers is just around the corner with the fifth annual Island Arts Expo in Qualicum Bay November 2 and 3.

Showcasing over 20 West Coast artists the expo features an art show and sale, workshops and demonstrations, entertainment and raffles.

Susan Schaefer who creates her own vibrant, acrylic and water colour paintings of landscapes and seascapes initiated the Expo five years ago.

The owner of Young at Art Studios and publisher of Island Arts Magazine said what started as a vision to bring area artists together to network and share ideas with other like-minded people on the Island art scene has grown into an annual event that attracts some high calibre artists.

Schaefer said scoring Tofino artist Mark Hobson as a special guest speaker and exhibitor is very exciting.

“It is a big coup … he is a world-renowned artist and a great guy. To have that calibre of talent at our show is impressive,” she said.

Schaefer said they have a juried entry for the Expo and with so many really good artists in the area they couldn’t accommodate all of them.

“This year we had more applications than ever and there is a very long waiting list which is nice just in case some one has to pull out at the last minute.”

Errington pastel artist Dan Gray will be among the esteemed artists conducting workshops and on Saturday will present Soft Pastel from Life.

Gray said he is hoping to have a willing model who will be on hand for a portrait and he will explain the technical aspects of creating a pastel from life from the initial response to the subject through the building of the work.

Other speakers include: Peter Spohn; Michael Schutte; Patt Scrivener; Greg Swainson and several other notable presenters covering a wide range of topics.

Schaefer said the two-day event at the Lighthouse Community Centre in Qualicum Bay is also a great opportunity to chat with the artists who are selling their work.

“This is a good time to purchase art work, or sit in a workshop and talk to artists and learn about the process.  It is a lot of fun for the whole family.  There is music and food … it is a great atmosphere.

Entrance to the Expo is by donation to the food bank.  Last year, the event collected 971 pounds of groceries and just over $2,000 for the local food bank.


Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.  For a complete list of exhibitors and workshops visit the website at