Susan Schaefer standing with her ‘New Beginnings, 20 Years in the Making’ showcase art piece. (Amber-Lea Nielsen photo)

Schaefer showcases ‘New Beginnings, 20 Years in the Making’ art exhibit at the MAC

‘I usually spend one year creating each collection’


Impressionistic artist Susan Schaefer showcases her ‘New Beginnings, 20 Years in the Making’ art exhibit at Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre, beginning March 3.

Schaefer’s artistic background first took off in Toronto, where she owned a graphic arts business in the eighties, later relocating to her roots.

“It was the new millennium and I had moved back to Saskatchewan,” said Schaefer. “I got a little house on the prairie, I got a truck, I got a dog, and I got a computer. And I thought, ‘what am I going to do?’”

It was in Saskatchewan when Schaefer began her first publication, Prairie Guide.

“It wasn’t just arts related, it was everything related,” said Schaefer.

In the midst of prairie life and beginning to host workshops for the first time with various artists, Schaefer turned 40.

“I had always wanted to paint,” said Schaefer. “I thought, if not now, then when?”

Fast forward to present day – Schaefer has honed her craft, having painted in Mexico and throughout Canada, eventually finding her way to Parksville during the summer of 2007.

Upon settling in the area, Schaefer found that there was a lot of tourism magazines and brochures, however, there was nothing specific to the arts.

“The West Coast has the highest concentration of artists within Canada, so I thought to myself, I can do this,” Schaefer said of her local arts publication, published quarterly. Successfully into it’s 13th year, Island Arts Magazine has caught wind along the coast, now shipping internationally; it’s main focus on supporting and showcasing artists within British Columbia.

“The magazine catapulted me into the arts. It opened up doors,” said Schaefer.

“With the magazine, I started to host workshops with different artists. It became a way for me to start learning and to bring in artists whom I admired and wanted to learn from.”

On topic of workshops, Schaefer notes that she hosts three to four per year, the next beginning in March.

“Now that I’m in Parksville, I rent the room at the McMillan Arts Centre.”

Drawing inspiration from local landscape scenery, Schaefer embraces the beauty within simplicity, her art reflecting just that.

“Every day I wake up and I think to myself, ‘god I love it here.’”

READ MORE: Future of the arts in Parksville looks bright

As photographs of surrounding landscapes and nature are references for each painting, Schaefer explains that her art isn’t necessarily realistic.

“I would describe my art as being impressionistic.”

A centerpiece for many local artists, the MAC is where Schaefer will be showcasing her latest exhibit, titled, ‘New Beginnings, 20 Years in the Making’, from March 3 to March 28.

“I usually spend one year creating each collection,” said Schaefer, sharing that the inspiration behind ‘New Beginnings’ was inspired purely by the beautiful West Coast.

“Every spring I do a series of four Friday morning classes,” Schaefer said.

Beginning on March 6, she will be teaching art classes at the MAC followed by a donation-driven Artist Talk on Friday, March 13 at 1p.m.

Visit to sign up for art classes while positions last.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville runner ready to raise funds for charity

Watson to run half-marathon with daughter Lauren

Parksville man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near city mall

Oceanside RCMP report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Qualicum Beach councillor files court petition against the town

Official says response to Walker’s petition will be filed

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read