With Esquimalt Lagoon in the background

Inspiration found in Colwood

Coast Collective invites community to its Acres of Art

On acres of property, there is Acres of Art.

The fifth annual outdoor art festival returns Saturday (July 12) to the Coast Collective’s sprawling property above Esquimalt Lagoon. Executive director Cindy Moyer said the show’s celebration of heritage, art and music is ripe for discovery.

“It is really very much an experiential thing, when you put people in a beautiful location with beautiful works, with people that are interacting with ingredients (with) which they can create something magical and new,” she said.

“It’s a spectrum and something interesting. It is a great way to spend a day.”

The festival marries music from the Matheson Band with a marketplace of 15 local artists selling their wares, as well as people dressed in period costumes. The key creative aspect is the paint-out on Esquimalt Lagoon, where anyone can pull up an easel, explore the scenic backdrop with a paintbrush and enter their work in a contest to be judged that afternoon.

Nothing, not even the weather, can dampen the community spirit Moyer experiences at the event from year to year.

“It is really the only community art centre of its kind on Southern Vancouver Island. It is a magical location.”

Visitors who may not know the site exists are invited to learn about the gallery and gift shop, Moyer said.

“It is a gem of a location and when newcomers come to visit they are generally taken aback with the beauty, tranquility and the experience they enjoy when they start to discover our artists.”

Metchosin resident Roger Palser’s 70 years of experience with wood have earned him an opportunity as one of those artists. He hopes his carvings and handmade harps draw more people into the world of woodworking, where he finds he is happiest.

“It is a nice day out and a time where I can sit outside and carve while I am there. It is a way to introduce other people to carving – it is a hobby,” he said. “I am also interested in trying to promote it to get more younger people to take up the hobby. It is a great relaxation and great art form.”

Palser’s passion for the event goes beyond just selling his wares. He invites anyone, even those not interested in purchasing art, to enjoy the venue for the same reason he enjoys being there: to be inspired.

“There is a lot of talented painters and craftspeople there and (it’s) a good avenue to find art,” he said. “You don’t have to specifically buy art, but for anyone interested in just looking at it, there is a lot of good stuff there.”

Acres of Art runs from noon to 5 p.m. at the Coast Collective, 3221 Heatherbell Rd. in Colwood.  For more information visit coastcollective.ca or call 250-391-5522.

alim@vicnews.com