Art Unites The World – Article by Janice Evans

Janice Evans, a well known active member here at the gallery, recently spent time in China with some fellow artists and has very kindly shared her great experience with us! Be sure to check out her piece “West Coast Holiday,” currently on display as part of the “Works on Paper” exhibit – on now until January 22!

By: Janice Evans

O.k., I admit it, I’m a plein air junkie. I paint whenever and wherever I can. In all weather and locations –  by the ocean, in the forest, on mountains, in airplanes, cars, buses, and ferries…I’m obsessed!


Being outdoor painters, we are a hardy bunch and our adventures have been numerous, touching the spirit of nature with our paint and brush. The other side of plein air is being touched by other people that we have met during our plein air travels.

While painting at the Ladysmith harbour last year, I met a Chinese woman, Yulin, originally from Beijing, now residing in Ottawa with her husband. She was visiting the area with some newly arrived Chinese friends. They were fascinated with my painting style, which, as some of you know, has a distinct Asian feel. I ended up giving my paintings to them as I often do, to those who are not from Canada, as a little good will.


Yulin was anxious for me to meet her sister, Yufen Deng, also an artist, who was visiting in Ottawa from Beijing. It was arranged for Yufen to fly to Nanaimo and spend a few days at my home, painting with me. What a great visit! We had an exchange of cultural ideas and painting styles and practices. Yufen Deng is a wonderful predominantly floral watercolour painter in the Chinese tradition but with a twist of modernity. She does beautiful work and experimented using different paper and paints in my studio. She studies under an exceptionally famous and beautiful Chinese woman artist, He Yunlan, in Beijing.

Skip ahead a year and I’ve just arrived back from a two week adventure in China. Landing in Beijing, Yufen was there with flowers in hand to greet me. Meeting her husband, mother and son at their home the next evening was a treat. We also met Yufen’s teacher, He Yunlan, at her home, and saw work that is so contemporary yet still retained an oriental feel. Her work presented large swaths of dynamic muted colour on paper and fabric panels.

Unexpectedly, her famous, 90 year old artist husband, Lui Boshu, made an appearance too. Both are from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and this was a highlight of my journey. Their work spoke volumes about their painting passion. Lui Boshu specializes in painting horses in a unique style of flowing and lucid strokes that integrates Chinese calligraphy into his painting. I was honoured to receive one of his fans on which he had painted one of his horse paintings. It will be treasured always.


Art unites us in times of uncertainty and mistrust. Art feeds the soul and makes the heart sing. Art reaches down deep and pulls the emotional human drive to connect with others and shows to not be afraid to reach out. We are one in art. Art unites the world.

Art Avenue – call for submission!

FCA members, are you interested in having your own article published in the next edition of Art Avenue and would like to open your studio doors for a peek inside your personal creative space?

We are seeking submissions from our members for the The Inside View feature in Art Avenue, an FCA publication. Published 6 times per year and distributed to all our members The Inside View takes our readership on a journey through the professional workspaces of some of our most exciting, successful artists.Many aspiring artists do not yet have their own studios, or may be in the process of creating one and this article helps readers see how other artists have shaped and created studios which suit their mediums, practice and personalities.

We are always happy to receive content and news from our members! If you you would like to contribute please read the submission guidelines on  our website at: below and contact Dara McDermott at

7 Reece Mews Studio, London

The British painter, Francis Bacon was very secretive about his painting methods and his studio space, 7 Reece Mews, London, where he worked for the last 30 years of his life. After Bacon’s death, his studio and its entire contents were removed and relocated inside the The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, Ireland after his death. The Francis Bacon Studio Database is the first computerised archive of the entire contents of a world ranking artist’s studio. Consisting of a kitchen with a bath and living room that doubled as a bedroom, his tiny chaotic studio cluttered with painting materials, canvasses photographs, books, notes, serves as a magnetic database and archive of the artist and his work.

Image result for francis bacon studio teaches us about the artist

Public Art Design Challenge – Regent Street Park Niagara on the Lake. Register today!

The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to interested artists (“Artist”) to commission a work of public art to be situated in the future Regent Street Park. This park will be used to memorialize and celebrate the Town’s Black history. The successful artwork will be displayed in a symbolic and/or prominent place within the park to symbolize the resilient efforts the Black population played in the 1793 anti-slavery legislation and their efforts in welcoming newly arrived freedom-seekers, as well as a beacon of hope to remind future generations of the importance of diversity, inclusion, and freedom.

To view a copy of the RFP, please login to www.biddingo.comor pick up a hard copy from the Town’s Municipal Offices located at 1593 Four Mile Creek Road, Virgil or contact Kevin Turcotte via email to receive the documents electronically.

The deadline for proposals is January 31, 2017 however, interested artists must register by January 6, 2017.   

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Turcotte, Manager of Parks & Recreation

Thank you, Volunteers

Another year here at the gallery is quickly approaching. We’ve had a great year, with many successful shows, but, we could not have had such a successful year without the help of our fantastic volunteers! Our volunteers are an integral part of the federation.They work with us effortlessly and tirelessly, devoting so much of their time to helping us set up for exhibitions, helping out with fundraisers and special events, and helping the gallery run smoothly. Thank you for all your time and effort this year, volunteers! All of us here at the gallery greatly appreciate it!


Thanks again for all your help, volunteers!

The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) – 2017 Call For Artist Submissions

Offering $30,000 Worth Of Awards!

The Salt Spring National Art Prize is pleased to launch its second biennial juried competition of Canadian 2D and 3D visual art.

The intent of the Salt Spring National Art Prize is to encourage artists whose practice demonstrates originality, quality, integrity and creativity, resulting in significant work with a real visual impact and depth of meaning.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are eighteen years and older (as of January 1, 2016) are are invited to submit their two-dimensional and three-dimensional work for consideration.

Approximately 50 finalists will be chosen by an independent jury from across Canada. All artists’ submissions will be anonymous to the jury.

SSNAP Awards Totaling $30,000.

THE JOAN McCONNELL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING WORK; $17,000 ($12,000 and a $5,000 Salt Spring Island artist residency)

THE JUROR’S CHOICE AWARDS; three awards of $2,000 selected by each juror

THE ROSEMARIE BEHNCKE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS; three awards determined by a vote of visitors to the exhibition;

1st prize – $3,000

2nd prize – $2,000

3rd prize – $1,000

THE ASA (Alliance of Salt Spring Artists) AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SALT SPRING ARTIST; $1,000. Guidelines and submission details to be found on our website

Calendar of Events:

The call for artist submissions opens January 12, 2017 and closes May 31, 2017. The list of finalists will be announced by July 15th.

Original works will be exhibited and presented for sale at the Finalist Exhibition at historic Mahon Hall on Salt Spring Island, from September 22 to October 22, 2017 (Open daily from Saturday, September 23).

Gala Opening, Friday, September, 22 2017: Winners announced at the Gala Awards on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

This exciting endeavour is an initiative of the Salt Spring Arts Council (SSAC), which represents the arts for Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, known as one of Canada’s premier arts communities.

We look forward to celebrating the talent of Canadian artists!