The past few weeks have seen a flurry of activity down at “Art Rave Central,” also known as Islands Gallery on the corner of Second Avenue and Argyle Street, as members of the Alberni Art Rave Society launch the first annual Alberni Art Rave Festival, Aug. 17–18.
Art Rave, located in and around the historic Port Alberni Train Station, comprises a juried exhibition, demonstrations by artists, an all ages art tent, a sound stage, and refreshments.
Sixteen prominent local artists have been selected for exhibition in the recently revitalized train station gallery: Connie Watts, Dave Parsanishi, Derek Cowan, Gallus, Glaswegian Blonde, Gordon Dick, Gwen Curry, Julian Growcott, Katharina Zalatnai, Krystyna Jervis, Mike Semkiw, Peter Kiidumae, Richard Sandstrom, Rod Sayers, Todd Robinson and Shane Lloyd.
“The Art Rave jurors have chosen pieces that have spoken to them. Come and see what you hear,” enthuses Art Rave president Wesley Bloxham.
In addition, local businesses all along the Rotary Arts District have opened their doors to take part in the Alberni Art Rave initiative, Artists Paired With Businesses. Art Rave artist members are collaborating with local businesses to exhibit their work, hold workshops, and be present to meet with the community through the month of August.
Participants include Gale Cyr at Chars Landing; George David at The Place in Harbour Quay; Will Shannon at Salmonberry’s Emporium; Todd Robinson at Alberni Photography; Ann McIvor and Susan LaForge at Canvas Cup; Shelly Penner at Swale Rock; Clint Reynolds at Ineo and Sarah Bunda at All Mex’d Up.
Derek Cowan’s printmaking is featured at the Alberni Valley News, 4656 Margaret St. There are other businesses involved as well.
The Alberni Art Rave Festival is a grassroots initiative in which people “have come together to celebrate and draw attention to the abundant creative talent we have in the Alberni Valley,” Bloxham said.
With projects and venues blossoming all across town such as Alberni Fringe Festival, Char’s Landing, and recent public art initiatives, the Alberni Art Rave aims to connect and celebrate the creative diversity and talent in the city, and highlight the potential of the arts to enhance daily life in the community and attract opportunity, visitors, and growth.
Membership to the Art Rave Society is $10 per person, and supports local arts promotion and celebration.