There's no better place to find excellent West Coast and western art than the upcoming The West Fine Art Show.
The three-day event is the brainchild of noted artist Murray Phillips and Senator Gerry St. Germain, who offered his immaculate South Surrey ranch as the setting. It has a dual goal to raise funds for Indspire, formerly known as the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.
"When I was in my 20s I was a parole officer in Kenora, Ontario," said Phillips, "and I used to work a lot with aboriginal people and I always thought if there was ever a chance I could do something to fundraise, I would do that."
Phillips is well-known for his wilderness paintings and is well-connected in the arts community. He is a featured artist at the Calgary Stampede and was the owner of Westwood Gallery in Langley, where he lives.
Red Robinson returns as the emcee, and this year, visitors can check out his art, too. Robinson was approached by the show's cocoordinator, Brian Croft, about exhibiting his sketches of famous people created when he was a teenager. Robinson graciously agreed and donated about 16 pencil and pen and ink drawings, none of which the public will have seen before.
Croft, a noted artist himself, is going to be unveiling his newest print at the show.
"I'm the only guy painting cosmopolitan scenes of theatres and restaurants and stuff like that," Croft said, "but nonetheless, it's a legitimate part of the west, too."
Each year he chooses a different locale to paint and works with the local archives. When done, he presents the city with a large framed print. When he featured Cloverdale, the mayor and council presented him with an award.
The art featured will range from paintings to sculpture to Métis beadwork and more from artists such as Mark Hobson, Una-Ann Moyer, Gaye Adams, Roger Arndt and Lisa Shepherd. A full list of artists is online at www.westart.ca.
The show is completely funded by the artists and they also give 25 per cent of all sales to Indspire, which gives educational scholarships to indigenous youth.
"It's a truly unique, one of a kind art show" said Croft. "You know it's hard to go somewhere and see that kind of depth of art in one place."
The West Fine Art Show runs from Sept. 7 to 9 at Indian Springs Land and Cattle Co., 19339 8th Ave. in South Surrey, with ample parking for visitors. Friday evening, from 7 to 10 p.m., is artist introductions and the unveiling of Croft's newest print. Saturday begins with a free pancake breakfast, 9 to 11 a.m., and goes until 4 p.m. Sunday's hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free admission on all three days.
John Gilliat performs flamenco rhumba on guitar Friday and Saturday, and Exit 58 will entertain on Sunday.