Newest artists' collective ready to show

It was the word’s definition that appealed most to the members of Victoria’s newest artists’ collective when they considered calling themselves “GAGE.”

By definition: “A valued object, deposited as a guarantee of good faith.”

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The GAGE Gallery, which will host work by its 17 members and potentially bring in guest artists as well, welcomes the public to its grand opening, Friday from 7 - 9 p.m.

Its members range from realists to abstract artists who work in a variety of media.

The group found its location at 2031 Oak Bay Ave. serendipitously, said member Diana Durrand.

“We were looking everywhere, but we weren’t having much luck because everything was so, so expensive,” she said.

Durrand, a mixed-media artist, decided to put an ad in the wanted section of an online classified website.

“Within a minute, up popped a space for the exact amount we could afford,” she said.

While the gallery will feature works for sale, its members share the burden of rent, each paying $100 per month. Within five weeks of taking possession, members and friends have whipped the place into shape.

“The space is really lovely, we’ve had so many people donating, putting in floors and painting the walls,” Durrand said.

The grand opening features an art-auction fundraiser, with bidding for small works by various members beginning at $50.

Solo shows are scheduled to follow.

Member artists include Alain Vincent, Alesha Fowlie, Arlene Nesbitt, Bonnie Helm-Northover, Deirdre Kelly, Dennis Shields, Diana Durrand, Donald Ius, Edmir Fernandes, Frances Beckow, Francis Sullivan, Johanne Hemond, Natalie Shumka, Paddy Bruce, Rodney Malham, Shelby Assenheimer and Yvonne Freigang.

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