Beach Side Brush Strokes & West Coast Creations

 In Blog

Vancouver Island is home to some of the most talented artists in the country, and as such, these local artisans have become staples in our communities. Their works can be seen in galleries, in shops, in parks, on our beaches, and even on roadsides. What is truly special about the artists on our island is that they are an active part of our community. Many artists have studios open to the public, they sell their creations at markets and fairs, and many have contributed to the beauty of our towns and cities by displaying works in public spaces. The artists who call this island their home give our cities the whimsy we are so famous for.

Parksville is especially notorious for harbouring a variety of talented artists, perhaps none more well known than local glass-blower Ted Jolda. Jolda was catapulted into the spotlight by Oprah’s list of favourite things, at which point his glass blown pear was featured on the cover of her magazine. Jolda had always been locally famous, known for hiding his gorgeous glass blown fruit in trees throughout town for anyone with a keen enough eye to find and keep. These days, his works can be found in most boutique shops in the area, but he has moved his studio to Nanaimo, where he still welcomes visitors.

Since Jolda moved his studio south, Parksville had an opening for a local glass studio, and Robert Held has carried on the torch. Located on the south side of Parksville, Held’s studio is something to behold. Glass is blown in the back and displayed in the front, and visitors can shop the variety of one of a kind pieces Held creates daily. From vases to ornaments to more functional dishes and glasses, every piece was hand crafted by Held and is sure to garner a plethora of compliments at your next dinner party!

Glass blowing isn’t the only specialty Parksville offers. Head down to Parksville’s downtown area and visit Monk Studio for breathtaking paintings of our picturesque landscape that put Monk on the map. In the summer, anyone strolling past will often find Monk painting out on the street, where he encourages onlookers to pick up a brush and add to his masterpieces. Any brave talented soul to add their own brushwork to his canvas can sign their name on the back. Want to see the piece you put your brush to once it’s done? Give the studio your phone number and once the painting is complete, you’ll be contacted for an offer to purchase.

For a real piece of Vancouver Island, keep an eye out for Frank Armich’s works, whimsical woodland sculptures created from a variety of locally grown trees. Frank’s works can be seen hanging in spas, resorts, boutiques, and restaurants around the mid-island area, and he also has a collection dedicated to driftwood alone. For beach lovers who want a reminder of the sun and surf all year long, these pieces are perfect.

Our little seaside community is rich with local creations, so much so that Nanoose Bay offers multiple Studio Tours a year for anyone looking to expand their art collection, or just explore the Oceanside artist community. The most popular of these tours takes place in April, and maps are available at most local retailers and hotels. Staying at Sunrise Ridge? Ask one of our Guest Services Agents for a current Studio Tour Map. Even if you are outside tour dates, many studios on the tour are open to the public year-round.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know what you’re looking for until you find it – especially when it comes to artwork. For a wider breadth of local artwork, head downtown and browse a few of Parksville’s beautiful boutique shops, most of which display primarily island-based artists. From sculptures to housewares, to wall hangings and more, Parksville has cornered the artisan market, so it’s impossible not to find a piece (or several) that you can’t resist taking home.

Reserve your stay at our Resort and start your search for the perfect art piece!