10 Ways Nanaimo Art Gallery Supports Local Artists

2018 01 12 NAG opening-1901wp
At Nanaimo Art Gallery, this place—the land, our stories, our histories, cultures and communities —is at the very heart of our work, and we consider the needs of the diverse audiences we serve, our relationships with artists, and our role as a public art museum every step of the way.  
In short, here are the top ten ways Nanaimo Art Gallery supports local artists…
  1. Artists from our region regularly participate in exhibitions alongside diverse artists from across Canada, the United States and abroad – our program sets local practices and perspectives in global dialogue. In 2017 and 2018, exhibitions feature works by artists with deep connections to our place including Heather Cameron, Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback, Gary Manson, Dawn Johnston, Michelle Di Menna, Sonnet L’Abbe, William Good, Joel Good and others.  
  2. Our programs inspire and empower the next generation of artists and ignite a life-long love of art. The Gallery serves kids across three school districts through TD Artists in the Schools, we host weekly workshops for kids ages 5 to 12 at Art Lab, and we offer sophisticated contemporary art programs for teens. For learners at all levels, programs foster critical thinking, develop technical skills, and build confidence in participants’ unique creative capacity and their own ability to express themselves through art. 
  3. The Gallery participates in local community events every year, including Nanaimo Artwalk, Bookfest, National Aboriginal Day, Miners Picnic, and we support many local initiatives to celebrate and promote artists and the role of art in our lives. 
  4. Artists are paid for exhibitions, talks and workshops, and often for costs associated with the production, shipping and installation of their artwork. The Gallery follows CARFAC fee guidelines - CARFAC is important for artists—learn about it at www.carfac.ca. 
  5. Over 20 local artists are hired annually as instructors for TD Artists in the Schools and Art Lab programs. We also hire local graphic designers, photographers and other creative professionals who contribute to programs in different ways. 
  6. The Gallery Store features work for sale by dozens of Vancouver Island artists and artisans.  A portion of proceeds from sales go back to artists. 
  7. Art Lab offers amazing workshops for artists at all levels to develop their skills, and opportunities like Open Session get together and talk about contemporary art theory and practice. The Gallery routinely organizes free artist talks and tours, creating opportunities for local artists to meet and learn first-hand from diverse professional artists from all over. 
  8. Our Curator, Jesse Birch, regularly visits artist’s studios in Nanaimo and across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to look, learn, share ideas and give feedback. If you are interested in a studio visit, contact the Gallery. 
  9. Our team is mentoring, hiring and training emerging arts professionals—we’re fortunate to work with recent art school grads and students, who serve in a number of different paid roles, year-round at the Gallery. Every year, we recognize an art student from Vancouver Island University with the Nanaimo Art Gallery Award for Artistic Achievement, which includes a cash prize.    
  10. The Gallery shares unique stories from Nanaimo with the world; our exhibitions and programs draw visitors from all over, and through publications, professional networks, presentations, our online presence and press coverage we’re raising the profile of our community and creating a buzz about art and ideas in Nanaimo.   
In 2018, we are exploring the question how can we speak differently?  In Hul’q’umi,num, the language of the Snuneymuxw on whose traditional territory we operate, scekwul yuxw 'alu kws nec's tu sqwal ct? 
Our program is guaranteed to have something that invites you to think, dream, ask questions, see things from different angles, and talk. Our team of staff and volunteers are friendly, enthusiastic, and are happy to welcome you to the Gallery and share info and insights on our programs.  Admission is by donation, so we invite you to use the Gallery as a resource often, and bring your friends along!
See you soon,
Julie Bevan
Executive Director
Photo by Sean Fenzl


Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Contact Us

150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia

+1 (250) 754-1750
Tue - Thu, Sunday: 12 - 5 PM
Fri: 12 - 9PM, Sat: 10 AM - 5 PM



You are here: Home About Gallery History and Vision 10 Ways Nanaimo Art Gallery Supports Local Artists