Some of the early submissions for the 6x6 Auction at the Smithers Art Gallery.

Some of the early submissions for the 6x6 Auction at the Smithers Art Gallery.

6×6 Auction: An art show for all

Artists of all ages and experience are invited to express themselves at the Smithers Art Gallery 6x6 Auction.

The 6×6 Auction is a Smithers Art Gallery exhibit and fundraiser meant to showcase the talents of artists at all levels and ages. It is a community showcase for those who have yet to pick up a brush and for the more experienced who want to show off their mastery or take the opportunity to try something different.

“It’s totally wide open, and that’s kind of the point. We say use any medium, any style,” said gallery manager Caroline Bastable.

Six inch by six inch wood panels both treated and untreated are available to use at the gallery, but Bastable insists that should not limit the scope of the piece.

“You can make your own out of any material. So really the only criteria is the finish piece must match six inches by six inches. That’s kind of the fun thing: that’s the only unifying thing about all of the pieces,” said Bastable.

Even that unifying dimension has ways to get around it.

“Some people choose to put two together and create one picture across two, and they would be hung very close side by side – or even four together. So you can combine them if you find it difficult to work on such a small area,” explained Bastable.

The last 6×6 Auction was in 2012 when over 300 panels were submitted. The plan is to now hold the auction every other year. This year’s show has an added twist of flavour.

“We thought we’d add a theme, so the theme is song titles. That’s just to help give people some inspiration and a bit of an anchor when they start to think about what they want to create. If somebody already has an idea in their head of what they want to do and it didn’t start with a song title, well, with a little bit of Googling they can find a song title to fit,” laughed Bastable.

The gallery is holding workshops to acquaint people at all levels with the brush and some techniques. They run from Sept. 20 to Oct. 5. Exact dates and times will be posted on the gallery website

Some creations from the first two shows include wood carvings, fabric and clay in place of wood tiles, and a series of tiles with a fishing theme with pebbles stuck on and all connected by fishing line.

“It’s amazing what people come up with. The creativity in this community is always outstanding. I love seeing what people come up with,” exclaimed Bastable.

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 15. The artwork will be on display from Oct. 21-24. Final bidding on the evening of Oct. 24 takes place during a wine and cheese reception.

Ideas on themes for the next auction are already being taken.

The idea for the auction came from the gallery board as a way to engage the community while at the same time raising funds for the non-profit institution.

“We won’t consider doing things that don’t have a community engagement element to them. It’s part of why we’re here,” said Bastable.