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Saanich chalks up interactive 3D art in bid to defeat pandemic blues – Victoria News – Victoria News



Residents visiting Saanich municipal hall may notice a giant smear of chalk at the top of the concrete stairs.

But catch the right angle, and look at it through a phone or camera, and the viewer is witness to the latest public art piece in the district – a 3D chalk work by Scott Gilles.

Locals may recognize Gillies – from 2014 to the demise of the event, he participated in the Greater Victoria Chalk Art Festival. Until COVID-19 hit he also participated in a similar Burnaby event.

He missed working in public until this summer when Saanich introduced its public arts program and he crafted two pieces, a fountain and pedestal in Cadboro-Gyro Park and the surf keyboard outside municipal hall.

Gilles – who owns and operates Azara Effect Productions, an animation, illustration and video production company – spent about 15 hours working on the eight by 12-foot chalk work at municipal hall.

He starts with a sketch on paper, then works the concept, and of course, has a little back and forth with the district on what’s doable, and appropriate for the space. Until a decade ago, work like this was all prepared with pencil and paper, and while there are digital tools to expedite the process these days, there’s still trial and error involved.

“The way perspective works as things get farther away they get squished down and narrower,” he explained. “You have to extremely skew things.”

READ ALSO: Saanich hosts opera and poetry event in Outerbridge Park

The musical note, for example, is stretched 10 to 12 times longer than if you were just looking straight down on it.

Everything flares at an angle from one specific viewpoint.

“As you walk around everything just gets immediately skewed,” said the artist whose first work was during the Edmonton Oiler run for the Stanley Cup in 2006.

“I thought I should draw a Stanley cup outside the coliseum and I skewed it so it was a 3D anamorphic drawing but nobody knew what it was.”

There’s definitely some education required. Gillies will often add a sign, suggesting a camera or phone, and even paint a pair of feet for the best viewing experience.

“There’s an awareness of 3D drawings permeating through the culture now, so people know to find where to stand,” he said.

One goal, and a big key to his artwork for those crafting the community arts for Saanich, is his bid to create interactive art. He wants people to be a part of the sculpture. With viewing through a camera there’s an Instagrammable quality to the work.

“I really hope people do stand on the keyboard and get a photo,” he said. “It’s an amazing thing when you can make adults be silly and have fun.”

That’s the goal for Saanich’s arts in the community program, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit with its myriad of restrictions for health and safety.

“It’s a really fun way of bringing his art into the community, but also the way he treats his art invites you to be part of it. By you taking part in it, it really comes alive,” said Brenda Weatherston, community arts programmer for Saanich. “They’re fun and they’re playful and there’s always something a little unexpected in them.”

Gillies is among the artists creating smaller scale and closer to home opportunities for people to openly engage with the arts. A recent outdoor opera was also part of the program, with a few others still in the planning stages.

Follow along at and the district’s social media platforms for other art activities.

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ArtSaanichVisual Arts

Scott Gillies crafted this 3D chalk artwork outside Saanich municipal hall. (Colin Plant photo)

Scott Gillies crafted this 3D chalk artwork outside Saanich municipal hall. (Colin Plant photo)

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New App Aims to Promote Province's Thriving Art Community – VOCM



A new app aims to get people outside and appreciating art in public places all over the province.

The Explore Art NL app leads users to more than 100 existing works of art in communities from St. John’s to Makkovik, inviting people to spend more time in those locations, while possibly meeting others with mutual appreciation.

The works thus far include everything from sculptures to memorials and murals, but anyone can upload their own creations to the growing list.

Business and Arts NL executive director Amy Henderson says they modelled their app on a smaller version in Manitoba.

She says they were inspired by the app used by the Winnipeg Arts Council, but needed to expand it on a larger scale for the entire province.

Vanessa Iddon came up with the design for their so-called ‘Art Car’, a Genesis GV80 which will be touring the region to promote the new app.

The overall initiative is also supported by the federal government, City of St. John’s and Tract Consulting.

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Art Crawl bounces back for 2021 – Coast Reporter



The 2021 Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, from Oct. 20 to 24, will feature more venues, more artists, and fewer pandemic-related changes than were in place in 2020, unless new health orders are issued before then by the provincial government.

“Because there are so many individual venues, there’s no way we can do any kind of [COVID-related] recommendations overall, other than that the venues follow the provincial guidelines,” Coast Cultural Alliance (CCA) board member and spokesperson Linda Williams told Coast Reporter.

In 2020, the Art Crawl dropped to 97 venues, down by nearly half from the record high of 186 locations in those heady pre-COVID days of October 2019.

This year, the number of venues has jumped back up, to 164, with more than 250 artists participating.

The 2020 version also tried to accommodate health concerns by offering vendors some options, as on online-only venue, or taking in visitors only by appointment. Those choices aren’t on the table for 2021, but the overarching guideline is still safety-first.

“We are following all the health regulations, period,” Williams said.

At press time, the only restriction on indoor events where participants are not seated is that masks be worn at all times by those over the age of 12. Requiring proof of vaccination is optional for venues where the number of visitors is kept under 50. Some smaller Art Crawl venues might ask for vaccination cards, but for now that’s at their discretion.

“We were just going to have to take responsibility as individuals, as artists and as visitors,” said Williams.

Sign-in sheets will be required for all venues, not for pandemic contact purposes, but in order that the CCA can collect a few statistics.

Art crawlers can also answer a quick online survey to be eligible for prizes of a two-night stay at Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina, or ferry travel vouchers. Winners will be named in a draw to be held on Oct. 31.

Williams noted there are 46 new venues this year. Also, there are more in the Pender Harbour area than ever – 15. And for some reason, there’s been a blossoming of new Art Crawl locations at the west end of Beach Avenue in Roberts Creek.

“There are eight of them that are on Beach Avenue close to Henderson (Road) this year,” she said. “And I think seven of them are new.”

The Art Crawl is also welcoming a new major sponsor this year, Longman Developments.

“They’ve come in because their core values are similar to ours, in community-building,” said Williams. Sunshine Coast Credit Union is also back as a major sponsor, Williams noted, as it has been since 2010.

Art Crawl does receive modest grant support from local governments but is not eligible for provincial or federal funding, so is otherwise dependent on local business sponsorships and $135 venue fees to make the event possible.

The Art Crawl generated close to $600,000 in sales and commissions in 2019.

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Art Beat: Coast artist heads to show in New York City – Coast Reporter



Roberts Creek artist Kandice Keith is on the U.S. East Coast this week to show her nature-inspired paintings at the Affordable Art Fair in New York City, Thursday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Sept. 26. “It’s a really amazing opportunity,” Keith said in an interview. “I’m very fortunate.” Keith was set to go to the twice-yearly fair in March 2020, but the outbreak of COVID-19 put an end to that plan. “This is a make-up for that show,” Keith said. She’s also slated to return to the NYC fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion next March. You can see some of Keith’s vivid and luminous work currently on display at the Gumboot Café.


Anna Lumiere, Grant Olsen, and Coast String Fiddlers are among the performers featured at Oktoberfest, which has been on all week in downtown Sechelt until Friday, Sept. 24. A full rundown of acts and events can be found at Celebrations move to Rockwood Lodge on from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, where more live music is planned. Prizes for best lederhosen and beer stein.


FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in Madeira Park had planned an opening reception last Saturday for its new, juried exhibition, A Beautiful Mess: the joyful & random discovery of the artistic process. The reception has been rescheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Scent and Soul

You can meet Rohanna Goodwin Smith, author of Scent and Soul: The Extraordinary Power of the Sense of Smell, at One Flower One Leaf Gallery on Marine Drive in Gibsons, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Live Music

Peter Van plays a solo show on piano at the Clubhouse Restaurant in Pender Harbour on Friday Sept. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. Then, for a $5 cover on Sunday, Sept. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. you can hear the Steve Hinton Band.

The Howesounders host a Friday night jam session at Roberts Creek Legion on Sept. 24, starting at 7 p.m. Sign up at the door to book some solo- or group stage-time. On Saturday, Sept. 25, there’s a Jeevious/Jaggs Jambouree, where members of the Jeevious family and a few players from Vancouver’s Staggers and Jaggs will shake things up for a few hours, starting at 7 p.m. Jim Foster is at the Backeddy Resort and Marina in Egmont, weather permitting, on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Banditry Cider on Pratt Road in Gibsons is staging its first Apple Festival on Sunday Sept. 26, with a lot of family-friendly frivolity starting at 11 a.m. The band The Burying Ground plays from 4 to 6 p.m.

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