Mahon hall, salt spring island BC – Sep 23-Oct 22, 2017
By Deirdre Rowland
“This exhibition is exemplary – a diverse showcase of visual art from across Canada. I’m very happy for all the artists involved, including the winners,” says Vicky Chainey Gagnon, who was a juror for the inaugural Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP), in 2015.
Only in its second year, SSNAP has become one of Canada’s largest national visual arts prizes. The 2017 jury – composed of David Garneau, Denis Longchamps and Naomi Potter – recently selected 49 works out of over 2,000 entries. The 2017 SSNAP Finalists’ Exhibition opens at a gala on September 22 at Mahon Hall on Salt Spring Island; the winners will be announced at another gala event on October 21.
Founding director Ronald T. Crawford is proud of the quality of the work chosen, saying, “This is going to be one of the best visual arts exhibitions in Western Canada, if not countrywide.”
Two-time finalist Cheryl Wilson-Smith of Red Lake, Ontario, believes the prize is an important showcase: “Attending the exhibition in 2015 offered me connections with artists from across Canada. To speak and share perspectives with them was invigorating.”
John David James from Salt Spring Island, who is also a two-time finalist, says, “What I love about SSNAP is that it’s national, it’s juried by three judges who are blind to the identity of the artists, and it offers a way for artists to develop their work further.”
Finalists’ works will be revealed at the opening and will feature two- and three-dimensional pieces. Artists incorporated beads, moose hide, otter skin, hand-spun book pages, oak and spiderweb into their pieces.
Gala Opening SSNAP 2017 Finalists’ exhibition Sep 22, 6PM