Vancouver Island School of Art

Art Incognito

I am pleased to be part of this annual fundraiser for the

Vancouver Island School of Art

 Original art by known and unknown artists is sold by silent and live auction. This is a ticketed event that includes lots of great food, drink,  music by a local DJ, and a range of non art-related silent auction items from the generous support of local business.

In its seventh year, Art Incognito has been honoured with past support of contemporary artists such as Mowry Baden, Robert Youds, Lynda Gammon, Eric Metcalfe, Gary Pearson, Norman Yates, Michelle Forsyth and Cal Lane. The Art Incognito fundraiser has provided substantial and important financial assistance for the Vancouver Island School of Art to fulfill its vision of creating a robust contemporary arts community in Victoria, through courses, exhibitions, performances, readings, film showings, garden projects and artist talks given by nationally renown artists. One of these visiting artists, Landon Mackenzie, had the following to say about our school:

I was impressed by VISA. It may be the last real “Art School” in Canada …such an inspiring context for making art and being engaged human beings … also the sense that everyone is committed to a vision that the school can offer something special that is complimentary to the regular college and university offerings.”

The proceeds from Art Incognito support the Vancouver Island School of Art in its dynamic contemporary art programming and community outreach that includes our on-going series of events free to the public. Check out my profile on the Art Incognito webiste.


I just finished my 12-week "Directed Study" at the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA) from this past winter semester. I met with Wendy Welch, the director of VISA every second week. 

VISA website describes the Directed Study: This course gives students an opportunity to work on a project under the supervision of a faculty member. Students submit an application that contains a proposal outlining what they intend to work on in their directed study. At the end of the project, students present their work to their advisor and one other faculty member for a final critique. Directed Studies can be taken up to a maximum of four times (Directed Studies I, II, III, IV). Days/times are scheduled on a per person basis. The student and advisor meet on a bi-weekly basis on a specified day and time for the duration of the semester. Directed Studies Students meet for one hour every two weeks and receive 36 credit hours upon completion. Prerequisite: enrollment in the Diploma Program or with permission of the Director. 

Final critique day with left, Danielle Hogan, middle, Jill and right, Wendy Welch. Wendy was my advisor and Danielle wass the other faculty member that was part of my last critique day. 

"Flow" - JIll Ehlert © - 48" x 48"

"Flow" - JIll Ehlert © - 48" x 48"

Panorama of the installation

I had 23 new works hung in the "Slide Room Gallery" for my critique. To see all the drawings click here.

To see this series finished click here.

Ambiguous Abstraction

The following images are by Mark Bradford

Recently I received an email from  VISA (Vancouver Island School of Art) advertising a series of workshops titled "Painting Today". There were a couple of workshops that really caught my attention. One was a workshop called  "Ambiguous Abstraction" which they describe like this: 

"Ambiguous Abstraction refers to a kind of abstract imagery that opens up the question of the painting's content to a range of (often provocative) meaning and associations. 

In opposition to ‘pure abstraction’ where the subject of the painting is its own form, Ambiguous Abstraction flirts with personal and political content, and “can also embrace broad topics such as memory and presence, materiality and transcendence, and the flattening of high and low culture. Following are a few of the artists that paint in this style" Mark Bradford, Fabian Maracaccio, Terry Winters, Ingrid Calame, Ian McKeever, Beatriz Milhazes, Arturo Herrera 

In furthering my search on "Ambiguous Abstraction" 

I came across "Painting Today" by Tony Godfrey 

Painting Today by Tony Godfrey: Book Cover

"Painting Today"  presents an international roundup of the best painters of the past 40 years. 

Written by Tony Godfrey a 20-year veteran at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the volume begins with a look at the Global Scene. Further chapters explore the neo-expressionist movement of the ‘80s, photorealism and the use of photography as a point of departure for painting, pure and ambiguous abstraction, history painting, painting space, and installation painting, as well as the requisite review of the figure, landscape, and still life. Chapters on Death and Life, the Leipzig School, Post-feminism, and Painting Tomorrow round out the beautifully designed, dynamic 448-page book, which includes 550 illustrations, artist biographies, and a chronology of painting since 1968." 

For a more in depth look at this book with links to many of the artists in this book check out the blog: