To celebrate their 30th year on Salt Spring Island, Deon and Kathy Venter have teamed up to open the Venter Gallery, located in Grace Point Square, Ganges, on Gallery Row.
The Venter Gallery will provide Deon and Kathy the opportunity to make their work available to residents and visitors on Salt Spring Island before it travels to representing galleries - sharing the content and methods of their work with art lovers.
Kathy Venter’s exhibition Life, a series of thirty eight life size figures, combined with architectural installations, all in ceramic, has recently traveled to six museum exhibitions in Canada, the U.S.A. and South Africa. The exhibition was originally conceived and curated by the Gardiner Museum, Toronto and a full color catalog was published for this exhibition. Kathy has revolutionized large scale ceramic sculpture by developing a hollow built method whereby she forms life size figurative work without the use of armatures or molds. Kathy will have a number of new works on show, including smaller pieces and studies, to compliment the life sized works she is renowned for.
Deon Venter exhibits internationally and his large scale paintings entitled My Mother's Ashes/Anglo Boer Battle Sites recently traveled to Johannesburg/Cape Town, South Africa and Circa London, U.K. His series Missing and Highway of Tears,- in response to the women missing from Vancouver's East Side and from Highway 16 - was featured in a solo exhibition at the Toronto International Art Fair. In Canada, his work has been represented by Mira Goddard Gallery, Toronto, Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Buschlen Mowatt, Vancouver/Palm Desert, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, and Winchester Gallery, Victoria. Deon's recent work, including paintings made in the Avatar forest near Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island, will be on view at the gallery..
Gallery director Anthony Matthews is highly regarded for his support for and involvement in community arts on Salt Spring Island over the last decade. Collector, commercial gallery director and a community focused, independent curator and arts administrator, Anthony has demonstrated a passion for the visual arts.
Billed as one of the most dynamic arts communities in Canada, Salt Spring is an island awash with creativity, and the air is heavy with artistic and creative endeavour.
It's unlikely that anyone has actually made an accurate accounting of the number of working artists, but it has been said that there are more artists per capita on Salt Spring Island than in any other community in Canada, outside of the Arctic. It's not hard to accept that.
Arts tourism is alive and well, and visitors to the island have a wide breadth of venues available to them. Depending on when you visit, there are any number of community art events to take in; A stroll through the Saturday Market with its potters and jewelry artists, painters and woodworkers; a Sunday drive through the stops on the Studio Tour; stroll through the lobby and galleries at ArtSpring, the performing arts centre; the library has regular exhibits of art; the various guilds and associations moon their own exhibits of art and craft; no visit is complete without visiting the galleries, cafes and restaurants and boutiques that showcase art.
The Salt Spring Arts Council is a major advocacy group, and hosts numerous exhibits and workshops throughout the year; Spring brings the Easter Art Show and autumn brings a rotating pair of biannual shows - The Salt Spring National Art Prize and the Salt Spring Island Ceramics Awards - putting the island firmly on the cultural map; ArtCraft runs during the summer and Christmas season at historic Mahon Hall, now in is 50th year and the longest running craft show in British Columbia;
Food and Wine tourism is a popular pursuit, especially when paired with cultural outings. The island is home to dozens of farms and producers, with everything from veggies, fruits and flowers to cheese, wine and cider. Tasting rooms are open for sampling and a drive around will reveal numerous roadside stands featuring vegetables, flowers, meat and baked goods. The Saturday Market has lots of choice and a special Tuesday food market is bustling with options.
There are dozens of accommodation options on the island, from funky cabins to B&B's to hotels. A number of them feature original art or rotating exhibits, so be sure to look for that while you are planning your visit.
See you on Salt Spring!
The Venters wish to acknowledge and thank the following people, connected to Salt Spring Island:
Our children Katsky, Oscar and Cami Venter and their partners
Gary Martinson, Michelle Venter and Michael Gruendel
for their understanding, patience, support and assistance.
Margaret and Martyn Day for making our first visit to New York possible.
Robin Relph for his loyal collecting and exposing our work to international markets, including Haunch of Venison
(London), Ben Brown Gallery (London) and Bonhams (London).
The Vortex members for the fun in establishing Vortex as a Co-op Gallery.
John and Roberta Stoker for helping to take Vortex to the next level.
James Kok and Claire Maisonneuve for helping to establish our studios.
Dr. Eva Seidner and Michael Kedar for enabling us to have our first exposure at the Toronto Art Fair.
John Lefebvre for his generous support and collecting of our art.
Judy Cushman and Bob Quick for their support and assistance with public gallery exhibitions.
Garry and Carol Leach for their tireless support and exposing our work to public galleries.
The art lovers and collectors of Salt Spring Island for their support of our work and the Arts in general on Salt Spring.
Razali May for representing our work in Ganges over the last couple of years.
All the Salt Spring Island Galleries and Arts administrators for helping to build a clientele and presence for Salt Spring artists.
Anthony Matthews for joining us as Director and getting the Venter Gallery off the ground.