Woven Together: Celebrating the Basketry Guild's 20 Years

The Salt Spring Island Basketry Guild was formed in 1997 by a group of interested basketmakers and collectors.  Over the years the guild has invited instructors from all over the world to teach a variety of basketry techniques.  This year the guild turns 20 and is celebrating with an exhibition of new work by its members at the Salt Spring Gallery of Fine Art from Oct 12-31, with an opening event on Friday, Oct 13 from 5-7pm.  A retrospective of the SSI Basketry Guild's work will be in the library showcase for the month of October and the guild will be demonstrating basketry and teaching kids how to make baskets at the library on Saturday, Oct 21st from 10-3.

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Still Chasing

Ceramic artist Kuno Egger and visual artist Lisa Lipsett, partners in life and art, invite you to Still Chasing, the follow-up to Chasing Bliss

Still Chasing- Ceramic Art by Kuno Egger and Paintings by Lisa Lipsett
September 8- 20th.
Opening Reception Friday Sept 8, 5-7pm.

Read the sept 13 Gulf island's Driftwood review here.

Still Chasing is a collaboration between ceramic artist Kuno Egger and visual artist Lisa Lipsett, partners in life and art. While not over-romanticizing what it means to stick together for 30 years, these artists pour colour on the black and white of routine. Theirs is a loyalty to a shared love of an art filled life.

PRESS RELEASE: Still Chasing- New show of ceramics and paintings

Partners in life and art Kuno Egger and Lisa Lipsett are launching Still Chasing their show of fresh ceramics and painting. A follow up to last year's Chasing Bliss, it is the first show of the fall season at Salt Spring Gallery. While not romanticizing what it means to stick together for almost 30 years, these artists pour colour on the black and white of routine. Theirs is a shared love of an art filled life. 

Lipsett likes Egger's work when it is unfired- soft and vulnerable with dusty baby powder blue and fleshy iron oxide.  Egger was inspired to try a fresh approach this time around. "Before now my ceramic art has been all about form and my glasswork was about colour. Lately I have been inspired by Lisa Lipsett's paintings to take my ceramics to a more colourful place. I like the way she uses layering, the way she adds material and then removes some or nearly all of it, the way the
end result is often completely different from the beginnings. Such a process is harder in the world of ceramics mostly because of the constraints and unpredictable alchemy inherent in taking the final product up to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet going
down that road has allowed me to approach the world of abstraction and to push the boundaries of what is considered a pottery finish. I will always want to make "lovely pots" but for me creating this collection has been like a long term relationship, an adventure in a mysterious and sometimes scary land".

Lipsett has been panting for over 20 years, and works in acrylic, oil stick and water media building layers on wooden panels with cold wax. She likes to scrape down to get at the start of things, build up an understanding and let the painting slowly come clear. She starts very loose then slowly embraces and discards elements in turn until the chase ends and there is a stillness and satisfaction in what has been born. She plays with the tension of opposites like oil stick and water colour on the theme of fire and water.

Lipsett shares, "we enjoy the challenge of working away in our separate spaces and then visiting each other to be inspired by new shapes, textures and colours. We dance between independent creating and direct engagement. Just like marriage."

Still Chasing opens with a wine and cheese reception Friday Sept 8 from 5-7 with the artists in attendance. The show runs until Sept 20th. The gallery is open 11-4 daily. 


Sneak Peek

Still Chasing I - acrylic, water media, ochre, pastel on wood 9"x 12"

Still Chasing I - acrylic, water media, ochre, pastel on wood 9"x 12"


Paradise- 8th Anniversary Show

A celebration of 8 years of artful change with reverence to recently passed gallery member photographer Bob Rogers. Wine and Cheese reception Friday August 25, 5-7pm.  Show continues daily 11-4 until Tuesday September 5th.

Thanks everyone for the great vibe during the opening. It was so great to see you!

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Here's a sneak peek of some of the work you will see.

Ceramic bowl by Kuno Egger

Ceramic bowl by Kuno Egger


Paul R Bryans working on a new piece.

Susan Haigh's Rock Crab's Sunset coming alive.

Susan Haigh's Rock Crab's Sunset coming alive.

"Sunset Sail to Prevost Island" by Lisa Lipsett

"Sunset Sail to Prevost Island" by Lisa Lipsett

Susan Haigh

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Ripple Effect: Art Work for the Salish Sea

RIPPLE EFFECT: Art Work for the Salish Sea

There’s a ripple effect in all we do –
What you do, touches me;
What I do, touches you.” (author unknown) 


Everyone has their breaking point. Ours is projecting ahead to a possible moment in the not too distant future when the Salish Sea could be devoid of orca. Think about that for a moment. Imagine telling your children or grandchildren about these majestic creatures who used to live in our waters.  

This article lays out the grim reality http://bit.ly/2lZtbWh

We at the Salt Spring Gallery can not fathom life without orca. Many of us take direct creative inspiration from the Salish Sea and the creatures in her waters. We can't let this happen. 

In an attempt to do our part, we are making art work for the Salish Sea.

What does this mean? We are focusing our art making and art showcasing this summer on fundraising to support the Salish Sea and the remaining southern resident killer whales. We would love if you would join us by attending our events, making a donation or buying art that makes a difference. 

Orca in the Salish Sea

Orca in the Salish Sea

Exciting partnerships!

There will be an Orca Festival this summer called Orca Soundings: An Art Event for the Last of the Southern Resident Orca. This is an art project using whale sculptures and their human guardians, in a performance that reflects the wide spread knowledge of orca—both traditional and scientific— and love for these whales. The Orca festival is also fundraising for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation who are focusing their efforts this year on supporting the orca. We plan to partner with the Orca Festival to offer some joint events and host some orca pod visitations. We will also be fundraising for Raincoast Conservation Foundation as they spearhead a legal campaign to protect the orca in the face of increased pressures that threaten their very survival.

Here is a letter to anyone interested in joining there first big event at the Walk 4 the Salish Sea.

Hello Fellow Friends of the Orcas

As you’ve shown interest in our Orca Soundings project, we have exciting news to share – we’ve set a date for our Super Pod event!

Our Super Pod event is a creative effort to express the vulnerability of our Southern Resident Orcas; to create a lasting visual in people’s minds, one that we hope will inspire action.

On May 28th, our whales will join the last leg of the Walk 4 the Salish Sea, marching on the Westridge Kinder Morgan Terminal in Burnaby, and celebrating with the Walk 4 the Salish Sea folks at Westridge Park for the Fossil Fuel Freedom Fest.

To bring our vision of 2D and 3D orca props and puppets swimming through a sea of blue and green umbrellas to life, we need help! If you are willing to stand up for our Southern Resident Orcas please join us in Burnaby on May 28th.  And bring your friends!

Here is our (tentative) itinerary for the day, acknowledging that we have people coming from Salt Spring, Victoria and Vancouver:

  • 6:30 - 10am: travel from Salt Spring, Victoria and Vancouver to Burnaby 
    • 6:15am ferry from Fulford to Swartz Bay 
    • 7am ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen 
    • We’re organizing bus transportation from Tsawwassen to Burnaby and will need to know numbers
  • 10 – 11am: arrive at North Burnaby Secondary School
    • NBSS will be our muster point to gather, assign props (!) and hopefully practice some simple choreography to do our whales justice
  • 12 – 12:30pm: “swim” to George Green Park to meet the rest of the Walk 4 the Salish Sea walkers
  • 1pm: Join the Walk 4 the Salish Sea as they march on Westridge Kinder Morgan Terminal (approx. 3km)
  • 2pm Fossil Fuel Freedom Fest at Westridge Park 
  • 4pm (ish) – bus back to Tsawwassen terminal (for those ready to leave)

Please share this invite amongst your “pods” and pass along my contact information (jktoynbee@gmail.com) if anyone has any questions or is keen to get involved. We’ll have more details as we approach the date.

And a few pictures, to help you visualize and share in the excitement! More pictures and further details can be found here.

Jessie Toynbee



Enchantment- paintings by Susan Haigh

"Enchantment is where the paintings come from, being put under the spell of something that calls out to be painted".

   We are so excited to have painter Susan Haigh as our newest member of the gallery. We are launching her with a show entitled Enchantment opening Thursday May 4. The show runs until Sunday May 14th. 

About Enchantment:

   For this show I am bringing together three favourite themes, large close ups of flowers, wildflowers in their habitat and vertical landscapes featuring trees. The landscapes are small, 6" x 12" whereas three of the flower close ups are 36" x 48". All of my paintings stem from a particular scene striking me as special. I take pictures for reference and hope that one day I will capture this specialness in a painting.

I guess I have always sought the road less travelled and my sense of humour is such that I prefer to talk funny rather than be serious. I sometimes make up botanical names for my paintings like Agave Prehistorica and Lily Giganteum . I did a whole series of hexagons. I don’t follow fashion so I have no qualms about doing things a little different.

I am happy to be joining the Salt SpringGallery and its talented artists. The cooperative way of doing things is one that appeals to me on many levels and I hope my cheerful good nature will be appreciated. 


Artist Statement

I am inspired by nature’s balance and unstoppable push for life. The simplicity and complexity of plants, the beauty in shape and form, the natural curve at that point of least resistance. 

I have always had a great respect for nature, be it the diverse population of creatures that share our planet, the unpredictable and sometimes violent weather that wakes us up to our insignificance or the rich variety of plants that support us in a myriad of ways.

 To celebrate this diversity, I choose flowers and foliage as the subjects of my paintings, exploring their intense colours and inventive forms. My latest enthusiasm is for trees and I am working on a series of small paintings of forest scenes.

As a lover of pure colour, I can always find inspiration in the ways nature calls attention to itself. Living in the predominantly green world of British Columbia, I feel a shock of delight when I see a splash of red flowers or a slice of bright blue sea. The often flamboyant, deliciously scented flowers of the South Pacific and New Zealand that I encountered as a teenager made a lasting impression on me, leaving me feeling a deep connection to the unsullied colours of flowers everywhere.

   I often feel there is too much focus in the world on negative events.  I find solace in nature’s confidence. There is so much beauty to be found when we examine closely the interconnected reality of nature. Birds, animals and plants are all superb in their individual ways but flowers are the world’s boldest optimists.  They show their cheerful faces in even the most inhospitable places and wear colours that call out to be noticed. The endless variety of shapes and colours of petals, leaves and seeds astounds me.  I am in awe of the relentless life force that drives these creations.