Tossed & Found Show Opens March 11, 2016

Dirty Dozen local artists at the Salt Spring Gallery

“Tossed and Found” art show features recycled art

 By Jaime Murdoch

Salt Spring Driftwood article by Elizabeth Nolan and photo by Julia York

Salt Spring Driftwood article by Elizabeth Nolan and photo by Julia York


 On Friday, March 11, 2016, The Salt Spring Gallery of Art welcomes the “Dirty Dozen” to their show room for a fresh and exciting art show called “Tossed and Found,” a group show with a focus on art created from objets trouvés.  The show was dreamed up by Shirley Command who is a talented new Salt Spring artist working with found objects in an innovative and creative way.  The artists featured are passionate about bringing new life to old things and their work includes and is not limited to: mosaic, wood turning, assemblage art, welded scrap metal sculpture and unusual weaving.

 At a time when our landfills are only getting bigger and the plastic in the ocean is becoming more noticeable, we’re lucky to have the “Dirty Dozen” creating work from “garbage” and drawing attention to our disposable culture in a whimsical way. Their artwork inspires innovation and resourcefulness and sparks recognition and nostalgia; it is as accessible to viewers as it is diverse.  By coming together to witness this recycled art collaboration, you're not only supporting the arts, you're supporting an effort to waste less and see the beauty in the ordinary. 

Who are the “Dirty Dozen?” Well, they are a baker’s dozen of local Salt Spring artists who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when it comes to making art.  They’ll gladly visit the Blackburn Mall for scrap metal and other odds and ends, they’re friends with the recycling depot crew who keep an eye out for useful items and they’re happy to beach comb for shells and stones and chunks of old rope.  These are the artists that responded to the call for art in the fall and were accepted.  Since the launch of the Facebook event page, there has been so much interest in the show that there is a list of other local artists waiting in the wings for “part deux”!

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for community intermingling on Salt Spring: an event that aims to draw together artists young and old, experienced and fresh, professional and amateur.  If you’re kitschy or contemporary or you love to peruse thrift stores, beaches, forests or flea markets, there will be something at Tossed and Found for you.

 Join in the celebration on Friday, March 11th from 5 - 8pm at the Salt Spring Gallery (135 McPhillips) for a very special vernissage where you can view the work and meet the artists. Refreshments will be available for your enjoyment.

 From then on, feel free to visit the gallery, Tuesday thru Saturday, 11-4pm up until March 23rd.

Without the support of the Salt Spring Arts Council, and the encouragement and assistance from the artists (who are also co-op members) of the Salt Spring Gallery, this show would not be possible. The artists of the “Tossed and Found” show are very grateful for this support and excited to be a part of the thriving arts community of Salt Spring.

The Dirty Dozen

 Shirley Command – Artist and Organizer


Shirley’s work redefines the age-old axiom “form is function”. Her wildly creative pieces combine the rusted relics of yesteryear with recycled wood and found objects producing a new/old piece of art.

Her creations soundly illustrate the Japanese term “Wabi Sabi” which means to find beauty in imperfection and where authenticity is revered.  Having grown up in the West Kootenays, Shirley attributes her attraction to old and rusty objects to a childhood exploring ghost towns and abandoned mines.

 In her adulthood she attended Vancouver Island University where she studied Graphic Design. After a break from the art world to raise a family and work in banking, Shirley is thrilled to be immersed in creativity again. You can find her “shopping” at the local transfer station, garage sales and recycling depots to rescue beautiful objects that inspire her to create. She hopes that her love of these treasures as well as her sense of childlike wonder comes through to the viewers of her work.

 Jaime Murdoch – Artist and Organizer


 Fine textile artist and creative upcyclista, Jaime Murdoch enjoys creating recycled textile assemblage art using various techniques from dyeing and weaving to printing and stitching. While living in Japan, her brush with the textile traditions of Kyoto inspired her to return home to study Textile Art at Capilano University from 2008-2010. She currently enjoys life on Salt Spring Island as an artist and artisan with a deep interest in contemporary textiles including upcycled functionality, wearable assemblage and woven sculpture.

 Peter Allan - Artist


 Peter Allan studied Art History and art making at McGill and the University of Victoria. He has been fortunate to spend days in the great museums of Europe, Russia and North America. Peter's favourite art is painting that is still wet, and stone sculpture that is unfinished. Stone carving seduced Allan into making art, but as of late he has been returning to photography with an installation/memoir component, often with written word and audio. Peter is a proud member of the Salt Spring Gallery cooperative and his work has been included in the Sooke and Sidney Fine Art Shows.

Laurie Blakely – Artist


Laurie's (aka lolly b's) creative journey has been one of haphazard experimentation interspersed with wild creativity and muse abandonment. In other words she has spent the majority of her life as mother and volunteer. Having studied design in the 90's she more recently spent time in a workshop with Michael deMeng and Nick Bantock, while studying at the Cork School of Performance & Visual Arts. While taking time to recover from a SCAD heart attack and divorce, she has taken to the stage, including performing stand up comedy.

Ron Dewar – Artist


Ron Dewar is a well-known Salt Spring Tow Truck Driver who makes funky lamps from Garage Sale finds in his spare time. His industrial, old-fashioned-feel lamps are full of character and innovation.

Ceilidh Divers – Artist


Ceilidh enjoys all kinds of art and hopes to continue to grow as an artist and gain more skills in illustration and photography. She experiments and is not afraid to make mistakes, and when something turns out beautifully, for her, it makes it all worth it. Ceilidh likes the rugged look of art that uses recycled materials; and using found objects sparks her imagination. She often wonders, "what has this object been through in its life before becoming a piece of art?"

 Jessica Elliot – Artist


 Jessica Elliott has been interested in used materials as a medium for a long time. Her favorite repurposing materials to use are textiles and plastic bags; both are colourful and plentiful. Jessica employs heat setting and sewing techniques in her recycled works. She has fused plastic bags together with attention to colour and texture to create 'abstract canvas'.

 Hugh Finer – Artist


 Hugh Finer is a local wood turner/carver, who in the last few years has plunged into the vast world of woodworking. Finding inspiration from mentors Bob Mckay and Kurt Frost. Finer has found a great appreciation for the craft, and in skill involved.

 Rae-Anne Huth – Artist


 Rae-Anne Huth explores all kinds of creative pursuits and is an adventure world traveller. As well as making beautiful collages, she uses leftovers from her tile business, stained glass and broken china to create unique and wonderful mosaics.

Marnie Roper – Artist


Having moved from Toronto to Gabriola Island in 2012, then Salt Spring in 2014, Marnie began making her sculptures and hangings as a love-response to Nature. The process of making has become like a meditation, where stories held in the raw materials speak to stories in her, and her hands weave their coming together. Most of the materials – wood, stone, feather, bone, shell, copper and beads – are found or recycled.

Nycki Samuels – Artist


Nycki Samuels, the Tough Tiny Welder, is an artist whose goal is to create works that entice your eye into the earthy complexities and designs of each piece and recall a place of beauty in everyday life.

Niki Verzuh Smith – Artist


Niki Verzuh Smith is a local shop owner and an avid beachcomber who designs eye-catching mosaic frames using found objects and other personal treasures. She enjoys sharing her artistic passion with others.

 Alison Sparshu – Artist

 Alison has been working for 20 years shoeing horses, and along the way she has found unique ways of using the old shoes in a creative way. Alison is attracted to using any bit of scrap metal that lies around her shop. She collaborates on projects with her husband, who also creates works of his own. Together, they are known as Thistle Rock Forge.