Okay, maybe I have had some time for photography, but far less than normal, and certainly less than I expected. Since Covid-19 related restrictions started, months ago, I, like pretty much everyone else, have had to make changes and adjustments to many things. While we were lucky enough in my corner of the world to be able to get out locally without too many issues, there were still a lot of disruptions. I had to cancel a couple planned photo trips off Vancouver Island, but managed to fit in a quick visit to Strathcona Provincial Park.
It’s an area I’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time, and now that I’ve had a chance for a little exploration, I’m eager to get back and see more of the area; however, that will have to wait for some time. Since getting back, I’ve been involved in a new project that has been taking up the majority of my spare time.
A little background first. For the past several years, I’ve been involved in the Sooke Arts Council; a group that promotes local / regional artists and participation in various art forms. As a Director on the SAC board, I assist with planning, organizing and running various initiatives. In late May/early June, an opportunity came up for the SAC to potentially start our own gallery! This could be a physical space to display & sell our art, hold our meetings, have art classes and let other community groups have a space for meetings. We started preparing the gallery space in late June and had hoped to have it up and running quickly, although we knew it would take a lot of effort to get everything in place.
As you can see, the gallery space would take a lot of work to get ready to show anything. All through July and the first part of August, we worked at transforming the space into something resembling an art gallery. This meant untold hours of planning, cleaning, building, moving, etc. On top of all that, we had to get the proper permits and inspections done and make sure we were compliant with all the Covid-19 precautions.
Once some things were patched, the floors, walls and ceilings were painted, and lightbulbs replaced, we could start to see more of the potential in the space. Another thing we needed was a sign. After a little debating, we settled on a straight forward sign that would go above the main door. At 4’x8′ it almost acted like a sail and practically pulled us into traffic as we temporarily moved it into the gallery on the breezy day we picked it up. A photo of me putting up the sign even made the local paper.
One of the biggest supporters of SAC and the arts in Sooke had been the late Sooke councillor, Brenda Parkinson. Brenda had started painting in her last few years, and her husband, Stewart Parkinson, was kind enough to let us exhibit (and sell) a selection of her works. We also featured some paintings by late SAC member Lili Wilde in the first show.
The (Covid-19 compliant) Grand Opening was this past Saturday, 15 August, 2020, and was a great success. I’ll be volunteering at the Gallery one day most weeks and look forward to meeting everyone coming through the Gallery. Up to this point, I’ve had very little time for photography, but with the gallery up and running now, that should start to change and hopefully I’ll have some interesting photo adventures to share with you soon.