Expressing pride doesn’t necessarily mean gay pride.
The Victoria Pride Society and Madrona Gallery are hosting an art walk and exhibition in Trounce Alley during this year’s Pride Week and are hoping to draw a broader crowd to the annual event.
In celebration of Pride’s three-year-long theme of Proud, the art show aims to represent more than just gay pride.
“It’s an opportunity for individuals to express their version of pride, or in having pride, and that’s not necessarily gay pride or trans-pride, it could just be any type of pride,” said Laurissa Chapple, a spokesperson from the society.
“That’s the beauty of art, is that it’s malleable in what it’s representing or communicating.”
The Pride Art Walk and Exhibition is a first for the society, but the goal is to make it an annual event, Chapple said.
An annual art show was formerly held at the Martin Batchelor Gallery during Pride Week but it was never a part of the Pride events.
Michael Warren, owner and director of Madrona Gallery, approached Victoria Pride Society with the idea for the show after hearing that the Martin Batchelor Gallery would not be hosting its show this year.
The arts and Pride match together so well, Warren said, because they are both forms of expression.
“I just hope that it allows people to engage in Pride Week in a broader way, (and) allows people to not only express themselves in context of pride through artwork but also for the general public to come and engage in Pride in a different way,” he said.
For Chapple, the art show is about breaking barriers.
“What I’m looking forward to the most is just (seeing) the dynamic and the diversity of our community,” she said. “Art is one of those things that speaks to every race, every age, every religion – it’s something that really transcends demographic.”
People are invited to browse art in the alley, visit merchants, and talk to the artists on the exhibit’s opening night (June 30) from 7 to 10 p.m.
The art will continue to be displayed at Madrona Gallery (606 View St.) throughout Pride Week (July 1-8).
Emerging, professional, and community artists are welcome to submit original works displaying a theme of Proud until Wednesday (June 20). All work must be available for sale.
“(The art) doesn’t have to be any direct reference to sexuality or anything like that,” Warren said. “It’s more of a personal exploration (of pride).
“However, if people do want to do a direct expression in terms of sexuality, we encourage that, too.”
For more information about Pride Week, or for submission guidelines, see victoriapridesociety.org/eventlist.html.