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Vancouver Island Art Galleries

I can identify with Pablo Picasso when he said “The purpose of art is washing  the dust of daily life off our souls”.

Thankfully there are art galleries in every city, village and hamlet on Vancouver Island and for over a decade there have been art workshops where some of the world’s most renowned art instructors hold court. You can view the results of their mentorship in each and every gallery you encounter.

In addition to the numerous galleries in towns throughout the Island you will often see roadside signs that will direct you to hidden studios where you can find art in all of the disciplines from First Nations traditional to contemporary fine arts.

Take the time to wash the dust of daily life from your soul.



Our Favorite Art Galleries of 2014

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is committed to bringing art to life and providing the public with a wide range of experiences in the visual arts.

Throughout the month you can enjoy tours, lectures, video presentations or meet with today's best graphic designers and of course, every day you can stand in front of a painting by the iconic Emily Carr.

There are drop in tours from 2:00 – 3:00 a couple of times a week. Check the website for current exhibitions.


Arthur Vickers Gallery
Cowichan Bay
I loved Arthur Vickers’ art before I heard the stories behind them. But when I heard the stories, I wasn’t sure which moved me more.

It all took on a life of itself, the sense of being transported to a more natural time.

I love the art, I love the stories, and I love the culture that produced both.

They operate the gallery on a “by appointment or by chance” basis therefore it is a very good idea to schedule your visitation here.


Chemainus Theatre Gallery Giftshop
The Chemainus Theatre is well known for the plays it produces but did you know that within this magnificent structure is a gallery of paintings, prints, jewelry, clothing, glass, wood and sculpture from over 100 artisans? Indeed there is and it represents some of the best of our Island talent.

Each month a new exhibit is launched. Check their website for upcoming events. 

The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays. 



Old School House Arts Centre
Qualicum Beach
If ever you find yourself in or around Qualicum Beach make sure you visit the Old School House Arts Centre.

Also known as TOSH, the Centre puts together exhibits of both the visual and performing arts. This coming year they have invited 30 acclaimed Vancouver Island artists in many different mediums to exhibit in their 3 galleries.

Starting on April 12 their ‘Art from the Attic’ sale gives you a great opportunity to experience a variety of masterworks of traditional and contemporary art.




Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery 
You can find this superlative gallery on Back Road between Comox and East Courtenay. Here, under one roof, you will find some of the best of Pacific Northwest Native art including masks, prints, carvings, sculptures and jewelry.

The inventory in the gallery is constantly changing making each visit a unique and memorable one.

If you can’t get here you can still purchase art directly from their website.  





Sprit of the Fire
We had the opportunity to visit friends that had arrived from Seattle to vacation at the Wick. While wandering about we saw some beautiful blown glass sculptures by Sol Maya. Our friends likened them to those produced by the world famous Chihuly of Seattle.

Much to our happiness we found that Sol’s ‘Sprit of Fire’ studio was just down the road. Alas, the day that we arrived, this funky studio was closed.

We will definitely call ahead next time.


Himwitsa Native Art Gallery
On every visit to Tofino we feel an almost spiritual connection the mountains, forests and beaches, unlike any we have felt elsewhere. Then we visited the Himwitsa Native Art Gallery and while looking around began to understand.

The gallery is First Nations owned and operated and specializes in the presentation of the most talented and innovative native artists. The length and breadth of the art on display is breathtaking.