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At the Galleries: Fall into art with sculpture, jewelry and contemporary works

‘I believe there is still a place for beautiful, well-made objects … these objects enrich our lives’

Victoria galleries bring colour and diverse media to audiences this month.

At West End Gallery, Victoria-based artist Mary Ann Laing – inspired by the landscapes around Vancouver Island – offers her colourful and playful renditions of beloved places.

“My paintings are about life. Highs and lows, light and dark, contrasts that complement each other, as life does. To thrill on the joys knowing the darks do exist, to move forward into places that offer peace, I feel this is what I am saying through my brush,” she said.

Using oils, her colour palette is a rich combination of complementary blues and oranges with the ever-present lush greens associated with the West Coast landscape. A signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Laing’s work has been included in many exhibitions over the past 25 years.

“Most of my works are of places where I live, or have lived. Since I began painting I have been in constant awe of the beauty of sunlight as it dances through the breathtaking scenery on Vancouver Island. The neighbourhoods in Fairfield provide endless subject matter to be painted, particularly in the fall when the colours range from deep shades to intense pure tones.”

Laing’s The Colour of Life runs Nov. 19 to Dec. 1. Visit for details.

The Avenue Gallery brings Brenda Roy, Becky Holuk and Marianne Meyer to its Oak Bay gallery space this month.

Roy’s work explores contrasts in colour and texture: smooth stone and polished metal set off by fused or roller-printed textures; the play of colour in unique stone inlays; precious gems and metals paired with rough minerals or broken pottery shards; and contemporary designs that have the feel of ancient artifacts.

“I love to play with the surprise of asymmetrical designs and unexpected material combinations. I believe there is still a place for beautiful, well-made objects and that these objects enrich our lives. A piece of jewelry acquires meaning over time as it develops associations with the stories of our lives, and these acquired meanings are as important for me as the artist’s original concepts,” she said.

As one of the few metal artists in the country extensively using stone inlay in her work, she constantly experiments to find unexpected and non-traditional ways of incorporating stone into jewelry pieces.

Holuk is a Calgary-based artist, who works primarily in acrylic paint on canvas. She studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design, earning an Illingworth Kerr Award for proficiency in drawing and design. After working full time in the field of graphic design and illustration for 10 years, Holuk changed direction to focus solely on her passion for fine art painting.

Holuk considers it a blessing to be part of the connection that artwork provides between artist and viewer and has discovered that hikes and walks in the natural, majestic beauty of the Alberta foothills, Canadian Rockies and the West Coast are favourite times to observe, record and reflect for later artistic pursuits in the studio.

She sees each painting as an opportunity to form a joyful and grateful response in colour and motion to what she has had the privilege to experience in the natural world.

Meyer was born and raised in Switzerland but has been living in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley for more than 20 years. Her abstracted, spontaneous paintings allow her the freedom to express emotions and to experiment.

“My finished abstract works look nothing like the first layer – or the second. I am always prepared for anything, colour and shape wise. Taking risks – I have no hesitation,” Meyer said.

Visit for details.

Madrona Gallery presents Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ first solo exhibition in Victoria this month.

Challenging stereotypes of Northwest Coast art, Yahgulanaas presents current issues in a way that bridges the gap between artwork and viewer. In this way, Yahgulanaas allows space for everyone to explore different ways of thinking and challenge established narratives that have long dominated Western discourse.

An internationally recognized contemporary artist, author, and professional speaker, Yahgulanaas has developed a unique visual vocabulary to bring contemporary social, political, and environmental issues to a wider audience.

Yahgulanaas’ work has been exhibited around the world, with works from his acclaimed Coppers from the Hood series held in major public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the British Museum in London. Most recently, Yahgulanaas completed an eight square-metre mural commissioned by the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Yahgulanaas looks forward to attending the opening of his solo show at Madrona Gallery.

“I have many friends in Victoria from my time teaching at the University of Victoria and working with Pacific Opera,” he said. The exhibition features 15 recent artworks in a variety of sizes, mediums and styles, plus four impressive coppers.

The exhibition runs Nov. 5 to 18 with an opening reception with the artist on Nov. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Visit for details.

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