Sooke Fine Arts Show - exhibition photo

If there’s one thing that we’ve all noticed in the last year, it’s the inside of our homes! Doing everything from home has brought the art in our homes to the forefront, or should we say to the background? People are displaying their art pieces more publicly and strategically as a part of their office setting for Zoom meetings and as backgrounds for live meetings and family calls. For the Sooke Fine Arts Show, this is business as usual because home has always been where the art is.

For Vancouver-based Taylor Mitchell, an annual visit to the Show is a way of adding to his growing art collection. “I come each year because it’s a place where you can acquire exceptional West Coast art at prices that are much less than I’d pay at a big city gallery,” says Mitchell. In particular, he looks for art pieces which represent his love of the ocean.  “I love the wild, stormy west coast ocean and gnarly beaches. Many of the pieces I’ve acquired at SFAS reflect this mood.”

Victorian Interior Designer Jenny Martin, of Jenny Martin Interiors, believes the positive connection one has to their home stems from the curated collection of decor that represents their personality. “To define a homeowner’s style, we love integrating unique pieces of artwork that reflect the spirit of the home as well as the personalities of the individuals within it,” says Jenny. “As a local company, we love supporting local artists. Finding one-of-a-kind pieces, like those at the Sooke Fine Arts Show, that are sourced directly from our backyard helps to create the unique interiors that frame our clients’ experiences.” 

People who purchase and collect art are often saying something with their pieces. The art speaks to them in some way and reflects their personal values. This is as it should be, according to SFAS 2021 juror, Emily Hermant, who is an interdisciplinary artist and Associate Professor in the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. “Acquire art that you love and that speaks to you and will keep speaking to you each time you look at it,” says Hermant. 

For Malcolm and Jennifer Taylor of Shirley, BC, an art purchase at the Sooke Fine Arts Show continues to bring joy to their home. “Two years ago. while walking through the galleries at Sooke Fine Arts, we stopped by the most beautiful painting of a wooded landscape and were lucky enough that it had not sold yet. It now hangs in our entry, greeting us when we come home, or pass by. It brings real joy to the space!”  

2021 marks the 35th anniversary for the Sooke Fine Arts Show and its second year as a virtual gallery. 

This year, the Show will use a newly designed and interactive virtual walk-through gallery which allows viewers to experience the art pieces in different ‘rooms’ with an overall experience much like walking through and viewing art pieces in a physical gallery. A virtual show designer will curate the displays in collections that allow the viewer to appreciate the scale and perspective of each piece. 

“We made the change to a virtual show quite quickly last year, and learned a lot in a very short time,” says Sooke Fine Arts Society Executive Director Terrie Moore. “We are using that experience to guide us in creating a really exciting virtual experience again this year,” says Moore. 

Moore and her team have also worked to maintain some in-person elements in the show.  A partnership with the Sooke Arts Council will allow for in-person viewing of the show’s award-winning pieces, which will be displayed in the Council’s gallery during and after the show. As well, an in-person youth art project and a plein air project will take place during the show period.

For art collectors and folks looking for the perfect ‘Island Art’ piece to update their home, the Show’s Purchasers’ Preview Night on July 22 offers exclusive online access to view and purchase a favourite artwork ahead of the crowds.

The Sooke Fine Arts Show runs July 23 through August 2, 2021, online through

The Sooke Fine Arts Society encourages and promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of the arts by organizing the annual Sooke Fine Arts Show, as well as hosting public learning opportunities to demonstrate artistic techniques and expertise. The mission of Sooke Fine Arts Society is to foster the role art plays in the region’s heritage, culture, economy, and community spirit.