Russ Morland is among the 18 local artists decorating beer jugs for charity auction at the Growler Howler Art Show at White Sails Brewing. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo artists decorating beer jugs for Growler Howler charity auction

50 per cent of proceeds from art show at White Sails Brewing benefit Nanaimo and Area Land Trust

This weekend 18 Vancouver Island residents will get to pour beer from works of art.

On Aug. 10, Nanaimo’s White Sails Brewing is hosting The Growler Howler Art Show, in which 18 glass beer jugs, or “growlers,” decorated by local artists will be auctioned off with 50 per cent of the proceeds supporting the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust and the rest going to the artists.

Artist Sebastian Abboud organized the event and selected the 18 artists, including painters, printmakers, illustrators, graphic designers and street artists. He’s also decorating a bottle himself.

“For me, it’s about community. It’s about bringing [together] younger diverse artists of all different backgrounds,” Abboud said. “What we didn’t want was 18 landscape paintings or 18 flowers on bottles. There’s enough of that… This show is really about being diverse and weird and different.”

Among the participating artists is Russ Morland, who works with a variety of media. He said he’s taking part because he wants to be more involved with local community art projects.

Morland said he was a little worried about customizing his growler at first because painting glass can be difficult, but after “a little bit of research” he figured it out.

“Painting around a curve is just so much harder than a flat canvas. Luckily enough I’m a tattoo artist as well so I’m used to different areas of the body that are curved so it wasn’t too hard for me,” he said. “But it had its challenges but it came out great. I’m happy with how it went now once I got through it all.”

Morland also makes toys and his growler is topped with a stopper made from one of his figurines.

Abboud said the 18 artists were not given any directions when it came to modifying their growlers. He said some have added clay elements or explored cutting holes into the bottle.

“There were no rules around how they could approach it or what the subject matter had to be. It was really at the discretion of the individual artists,” he said. “That was important to us because we really wanted 18 wildly different standalone pieces that really were an expression of whatever the artist wanted to do.”

Abboud said he’s been impressed by what he’s seen from the artists and that they have surpassed his expectations.

“I thought we would get a lot of painting and a lot of things that sort of retain the shape of the bottle,” he said. “But you’ll see that a lot of them have gone really crazy with it so it’s going to be really interesting to see them all on display.”

For a full list of participating artists, click here.

WHAT’S ON … The Growler Howler Art Show takes place at White Sails Brewing, 125 Comox Rd., on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. Opening bids start at $50, increasing by $5 increments.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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