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Chemainus Art Group is celebrating its fiftieth!


It’s a time to celebrate! On this 50th Anniversary, we salute our founding members — their vision, their talents and their endowments to our group. They ensured succession of the joy from making and sharing art. Come and enjoy our Big Five-Oh Art Show May 3 to 5 at Saltair Community Centre.

In April 1969, Edith Harris hosted 12  artists to begin the Chemainus Sketch Group. Their focus on art education and paint-together studio time soon attracted interest from other artists and the community. Early years were busy with annual shows, helping with school art programs and occasional painting projects around town. Workshops taught by some of our own muralists, gallery bus tours, professional critiques and painting kept the energy up for artist members. One artist who had never put brush to canvas quickly became an accomplished realism painter. Lucky us! We still have a few of these early members who share their talents.

In 2016, we moved to Studio 16 in the Saltair Community Centre. We changed our name to Chemainus Art Group, but kept the focus on art education and painting together.

Studio 16 hums with creativity. In addition to several workshops a year, we have monthly guest artist demonstrations, mentoring-by-members, and plenty of open studio time. Our 64 members represent beginning, expert and somewhere-wildly-out-there-on-the-fringe artists working and playing in oil, pastel, acrylics, watercolour, pencil and mixed media. We have life drawing, monthly challenges, movie Mondays, scent-free Thursdays, over 200 art books in our library and a bit of art history in Monet Moments and Vincent Vignettes.

Painting en plein air! What a place and what a time to be an artist. With no lack of scenery or greenery, outdoor sketching takes us to a different gorgeous spot every Wednesday over the summer.

Since our first show in November 1969, island communities have embraced our efforts, with several galleries and bistros in Duncan, Ladysmith and Chemainus hanging our artwork. Many pieces have gone to their forever walls, as mementos of a special visit or as works given pride of place at home.

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