Ashcroft annual fine art show celebrates 50 years

More than 400 people visited the show over four days, to enjoy the array of artwork and meet the artists.

Sharon Rennie (left) with Lois Petty (centre) and Jo Petty. Lois accepted the gift of a painting of St. Alban’s Church from the Ashcroft Art Club.

Sharon Rennie (left) with Lois Petty (centre) and Jo Petty. Lois accepted the gift of a painting of St. Alban’s Church from the Ashcroft Art Club.

The 50th annual Ashcroft Art Club Fine Art Show and Sale took place between April 21 and 25, with more than 170 exhibits enjoyed by more than 400 attendees.

The event kicked off with a high tea for art club members past and present on April 19. The event was the brainchild of club member Inga Krider and was organized by Carol King, to celebrate 50 years of art in the community.

“We were looking for suggestions for a special event,” says Krider, “and I had the idea to have a tea and invite past members. I didn’t realize that if I suggested it I had to do it! But Carol volunteered to help, and ended up doing the whole thing.”

Krider also suggested that attendees bring a sample of their work, preferably from years ago, which were displayed around St. Alban’s Church hall.

The paintings were then put on display in an anteroom, where art show attendees could enjoy them. They were accompanied by a continuously scrolling slideshow presentation that was a retrospective of the art club and its members over the decades.

Opening night on April 21 saw 200 people attend the show, where they were able to view the artworks, talk to the artists, and enjoy wine and nibblies.

“It was a great response to this being our 50th art show,” says art club president Sharon Rennie. “People who might not usually come out to the art show did this year.”

Rennie attributes the success of the show over the years to the fact that the club has been adamant about keeping it a fine art painting show. “We’ve been told that we’re one of the longest-running art shows in the region. People who frequent art shows are very complimentary about the works and how they are displayed. They say it’s one of the best art shows they’ve ever seen.”

The opening night event kicked off with a very special presentation to St. Alban’s Anglican Church, which has hosted the art show and the art club for 50 years. “A coast artist named Jan Poynter painted St. Alban’s during the Plein Air paint-out in 2016, and gave the painting to the art club to raffle it off or do what we wanted with it,” says Rennie.

“We thought we should give it to the church, in appreciation of our partnership over the last 50 years, and how the two groups have supported each other.”

This year’s art show might be over, but Rennie says the community should keep its eyes on the art club and their next project: a mural on the Sidewalk Gallery building on Railway Avenue. “And we thank the community for its support.”