Pacific Rim Arts Society president Mark Penney, far left, gave a warm note of thanks to all the participating ArtSplash! 2018 artists at the opening reception on March 16. The annual art show can be viewed in the Black Rock lobby until March 25. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Pacific Rim Arts Society president Mark Penney, far left, gave a warm note of thanks to all the participating ArtSplash! 2018 artists at the opening reception on March 16. The annual art show can be viewed in the Black Rock lobby until March 25. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

WATCH: Annual art show opens at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

Visitors encouraged to vote for their favourite work of art from March 16-25.

ArtSplash! is underway in the lobby at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet. Over 60 established and emerging artists have their work on display and on select days, participating artists are scheduled to demonstrate their talent live from 1-4pm.

Visitors to the annual art show arranged by the Pacific Rim Arts Society (PRAS) are invited to vote for their favourite work of art by filling out a ballot after they’ve had a gander. Last year, Mark Hobson won the people’s choice award for his painting ‘Bald Eagles Waiting for Salmon in the Kynoch Inlet’.

“Almost every piece in this show is not only well executed, it shows talent and skill, but it also shows their connection to the area. The work is relevant. It’s potent. It really speaks to our sense of community,” said PRAS president Mark Penney at the opening reception on Friday evening, March 16.

Publisher of Island Arts Magazine, Susan Schaefer, travelled from Parksville to attend Friday’s reception.

“The caliber of art here is amazing. It’s a beautiful venue. I just applaud all the artists that entered their art in this show,” said Schaefer.

Ucluelet artist Marla Thirsk said the work she has featured in ArtSplash! was influenced by Canada’s legendary painter and writer of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Emily Carr.

“I was looking at the swirling trees she did. I wanted to capture that feeling. And that’s were that style came about. That swirly stuff,” Thirsk said.

This was the first ArtSplash! showing for Nanaimo artist Sarah Boileau. She contributed a painting of the path going down to Schooner Cove Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

“It was an evening walk in maybe March a few years ago,” Boileau recalls. “Just walking down the boardwalk and you come around the corner and the sun is coming through the trees. It’s so beautiful. I took a whole bunch of pictures and then this ended up being one that I made sure I really captured that memory of the light coming through.”

Young Ucluelet artist Kaida Evans has two paintings in the youth exhibit, which is on display in Black Rock’s upper lobby. She said she is embracing ArtSplash! as a means to connect with other artists.

“Being able to have them all in one place, there’s a really great chance to just talk to them and meet them because otherwise it’s hard to get a hold of them. You can see their art, but you don’t have an actual opportunity to talk,” she said.

ArtSplash! is a free event held in conjunction with the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. For more information, visit: http://pacificrimarts.ca/events/artsplash-2018.

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