ArtSea Community Arts Council has been supporting artists across the Saanich Peninsula for decades.
And on June 8 and 9, their free, self-guided Studio Tour is a chance for the public to peek into the creative space of more than 30 artists.
One of those artists is Wendy Picken, of Mango Smile Studio. Picken remembers attending the ArtSea Studio Tour in the late-80’s.
“It was the Community Arts Council at that time, when they started doing the studio tours. I was so excited, because I was a ‘wanna-be’ artist, so I went around and saw what everybody was doing, as was very inspired by the artists on the Peninsula!”
Artsea has more than 300 members. Individual artists, as well as arts and culture groups.
“We have a mission” says Kirsten Norris of ArtSea, “to provide services, and promote artists the Saanich Peninsula. We have lots of community events, so we’re serving the community as a whole as well as our membership. And it’s every art form you can imagine: dance, music, art, any form, any level of expertise.
“On Family Day,” Norris continues, “we had a “100-boxes” event, where the gallery was filled with empty boxes, and kids and families came in and made some amazing creations…used their imagination
“Because,” as ArtSea Council Member Wayne McNiven explains, “It’s all about supporting art in the community in whatever form that takes. It’s about community involvement, and it’s just the whole spirit and feeling of being in the community and promoting art.”
During the ArtSea Studio Tour on June 8 and 9, 30 artists from all over the Peninsula will welcome the public to their creative spaces.
Picken is grateful to be part of the ArtSea community.
“I think mostly, artists just like to be… left alone a little bit, you know, to work in their studios, and I think ArtSea really does provide the impetus to…’ok, let’s get the studio cleaned up, let’s showcase the work, let’s talk about the work, let’s share it with the public.’ And I’m not sure that would happen with out the ArtSea little bit of a push there.”