Alberni Valley Museum will host summer art show, sale

Artists have until April 27 to submit their entries



A house of history will become a house of art for six weeks this summer.

Artists from across the Island have been invited to submit new work for a special juried show and sale at Alberni Valley Museum that is already attracting interest from Victoria.

Port Alberni residents Chris Doman and Robert Gunn are encouraging artists to respond with 2D, 3D or video works based on the name of the show, My Place — A Personal View, June 1-July 14.

Doman, an artist and retired teacher, said they saw an opportunity in a six-week gap between museum shows to make good use of a venue equipped with appropriate lighting and climate control.

While it’s been several years since the museum has featured an art show, the facility’s 1,500 sq. ft. temporary gallery is well suited to that purpose, said director Jamie Morton.

“We do have the collection and have hosted art shows here before, mostly thematic. It’s part of our mandate,” Morton said. “It’s one of the better venues in town for something like this.”

The arrangement is mutually advantageous. Morton had a gap between the current Second World War show, The Home Front, and one to follow. What to Wear, featuring clothing from the permanent museum collection, opens in midsummer. My Place fills the gap, offering the city-run facility a chance to attract additional visitors — two Victoria coach tours are already scheduled — and revenue with the museum getting a small cut of commissions from sale of artwork.

How artists choose to express My Place matters not. The main point of assigning a theme is to encourage creation of new work, Doman said.

Artists have until April 27 to submit their entries through an online application. A web-based approach is helping to get the word out. It’s an approach that also allows a degree of convenience and economy.

“We’ve gone totally online with this one,” Doman said, describing an entry process that allows artists to submit images of their work for jurying. “I think we’ve broken new ground.”

For museum staff, art is simply part of what they do, although it’s been a number of years since shows based on the city’s centennial celebration and Winter Games.

“We have a pretty long history of having guest exhibitions since before my time, and I’ve been here 21 years,” said Shelley Harding, education curator. “Invitational and travelling exhibitions. In my time, mainly invitational on particular themes.”

For more details and an application form email

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