The 18th annual Art Exhibit opens this weekend at the Harrison Gospel Chapel.
Hosted by the church, the art show runs in conjunction with the Harrison Festival of the Arts each summer. It features a wide range of art including paintings, photography, turned wood items and jewelry.
Event chair Wendy Martin says visitors always enjoy the unique art on display and like the change from the outdoor festival and beach activities to an indoor venue. Anywhere from 200 to 400 visitors attend the show each year, with folks signing the guestbook from England, across the United States and of course local residents too.
“People always comment that it’s a good variety of art and that it’s professional,” says Martin.
One of the 15 artists this year is local photographer Gerald Neufeld. He is a landscape photographer and will be bringing his Fraser Valley and beyond photos to the show. Neufeld, who attends Harrison Gospel Chapel, says while he has always had an interest in photography, he has had time to focus on it more in the last 10 years or so.
“In more recent years, I’ve gotten to appreciate the landscape around us,” says Neufeld. “I enjoy nature and appreciate God’s creation.”
Pastor Brian Cool says his church definitely values the arts, with an unusually large amount of musicians and artists coming out of a small congregation. He sees a connection between faith and art.
“God is a creative God, and He’s given us the ability to create,” explains Cool. “There’s a role of an artist in culture, to be able to speak into the world about things in another way . . . There’s a profoundness in what’s being explained.”
Organizers invite locals and visitors alike to check out this year’s exhibit. While it is not a faith-based art show, it is family-friendly.
“We aspire to be a key destination during the Festival for people who enjoy viewing visual art in a quiet, relaxed, comfortable indoor environment,” states Martin.
The exhibit runs July 11-12 and July 17-19 from 12-5 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome. There will also be door prizes, a silent auction, kids’ colouring area and free refreshments.
In addition to the show, the chapel hosts a “faith and Art” Sunday worship service July 12 and 19 at 10:30 a.m.
The Harrison Gospel Chapel is at 514 Lilllooet Ave. For more information, see www.harrisongospelchapel.com