After what’s being enthusiastically framed as a successful year, members of the Sooke Arts Council are painting a picture of even better days ahead in 2022, with a little help from the community.
The gallery operated by the Sooke Arts Council sold more than $16,000 worth of work by local artisans last year, including paintings, fabric art, carvings and other items that display the flair of Sooke’s arts community, noted Linda Slater, a long-time board director and past president.
“I think that speaks to the fact the gallery has made a significant difference for artists and the community,” Slater said. “We’re seeing more people come in here all the time. We need more volunteers and more artists to display their work because there’s definitely a demand for it.”
While the lease is secured at the current location at 6596 Sooke Rd. for another year, the council is already looking ahead to finding another location.
“We would like to partner with another organization in their existing location to share space,” Slater said. “I think that would be a win-win for both parties and the community as well.”
Another sign of the council’s growing profile is that the art classes launched last year for a nominal fee sold out before COVID put the brakes on them, Slater said. “There’s a real desire for that in the community, and that’s something we hope to get back to when restrictions are eased.”
“We’re also trying to set up an art lending library,” she added. “We have lots of books on crocheting, knitting and painting that people have donated that we want to make available for our members to borrow.”
Memberships cost $20 a year and provide an important source of income for the operating costs and gallery expenses, and you don’t have to be an artist to join.
Slater also encourages people to sign up for the newsletters, which include information on upcoming shows.
The gallery is volunteer-driven, so there’s always a need for more helping hands.
“It can be as little as one day a week and it’s a good way to meet new people and have a great time,” Slater said.
The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed for the holidays, but will kick off 2022 with a new show on Jan. 12.
For more information on volunteering, upcoming shows or to sign up for the newsletter or a membership visit sookearts.com.
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