The De Cosmos Fine Arts Society’s annual show is currently being displayed at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply in Qualicum Beach and it features a wide range of work representing the diverse interests of the art group.
Visitors can peruse work by amateurs and professionals using a number of mediums including pastel, oils, acrylics, water colours, clay and more.
The De Cosmos Fine Arts Society started in 1966 when a small group of local artists decided to get together to share ideas and inspiration. The group met in an attic in Qualicum Beach and soon began having regular meetings, quickly developing into the more formal organization it is today.
Bonnie Luchtmeijer, De Cosmos member and operator of the gallery and art supply shop, said more than 60 artists are displaying their work and for those who appreciate art there are some treats in store at the show.
“There is some really funky work. There are two dimensional as well as three dimensional pieces.”
She said the De Cosmos art group was instrumental in the establishment of the Parksville and District Arts Council and continues to be a vibrant part of the arts community in the Oceanside area with over 100 members today.
Leslie Gregory has been a member of De Cosmos Fine Art Society for seven years and said it’s a great group to be a part of.
Her piece, entitled ‘Pretty little maids all in a row’ is part of a dreamscape series. It has a graphite background with acrylic dandelions.
It was Luchtmeijer who pointed out Gregory’s many artistic achievements. Gregory has won many awards of excellence and honourable mentions for her work in powdered graphite.
The member of the TOSH Ten Group said she is always excited to have her work in show.
“This piece is reminiscent of dandelions floating around. It took about a week to do,” she said.
Another long time member of the art group is Lynne Orriss. She has had paintings in the art show before but this time she will be showing her jewelry.
Orriss has been making wearable art for about five years now and said her pieces are not only attractive, but they are durable as well.
They are made from a polymer clay base and then each piece is individually handcrafted. The pieces in metal have an ice resin over them which she said make them very hard and very attractive.
She said there are five in the De Cosmos group who will have jewelry on display at the show and she credits a former member for teaching them the craft.
“Our fearless leader Vickie Turner taught us how to do this but she has moved back east.”
Orriss admits she likes making charm bracelets the most and added it is hard to pick a favourite.
“Each one is so different. I like the geometric pieces. Some are more fluid and flowing.,” she said.
Janice Erwin has also been in the show before and this time she is stepping into a new medium and presenting something a little different.
Her acrylic painting entitled, ‘Lion Around’ was inspired by two lions she took a picture of when she visited San Diego.
“I just liked them and decided I wanted to paint them and put them into a background that I made up out of my mind. This is first wild life I have done,” she admitted.
She added she hasn’t been working in acrylic very long.
“It is a new medium for me. I had been using pastels previously. I have been doing a lot of experimenting this past year and I’m still feeling my way around.”
Donna MacDonnell’s painting is a 9 x 12 pastel of apple blossoms. The artist who moved to Oceanside five years ago said her inspiration for the piece goes back to her childhood.
“I have a lot of memories from when I lived in Kingston, Ontario and we had a lot of old apple trees on the property so I’ve got a lot of photographs and memories and that is what I have been doing lately,” she said.
One of the pieces of art on the wall is a scene inspired by the architecture of a church in Mexico.
Elsie Griffiths calls her piece, ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe.’ She said she has always admired the cathedral in Puerto Vallarta and on her last trip to Mexico she decided to paint it.
The De Cosmos Art Show runs at The Gallery at 206 First Avenue West in Qualicum Beach through Oct. 15. An opening night reception will be held on Friday, Sept. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. and the public is welcome.