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Local artist two-time finalist in national competition

Published: August 9, 2017 

BY JENNIFER PARSONS

Local artist Cheryl Wilson-Smith is one of 50 artists selected as finalists for the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) for the second time in the program’s history. 

The national visual arts competition, which has been operating since 2015, offers finalists the chance to take home one of eight awards totalling $30,000 or the Salt Spring Prize (Joan McConnell Award) of $17,000 as chosen by an independent jury. 

“Being a finalist is pretty exciting,” said the artist this week. “I am honoured and grateful. There were 50 just out of 21,000 entries selected so I am feeling really fortunate.”

Wilson-Smith says she submitted “Granite and Lichen through a national call for entries and was notified recently of its success. the glass sculpture was born of inspiration from “the granite rockcut I walk by daily on Howey Street near the Viking Island Outpost office.”

“I was also a finalist two years ago and was fortunately to be able to give an artist talk on Salt Spring Island where I met some really amazing artists that live there and the community itself is magical,” she adds. 

Winners of the SSNAP, a biennial competition established in 2015, will be announced in October, however the finalist artwork will be on display for a month prior. 

“We’re excited by the calibre of works submitted. The entries were up 50 per cent over our inaugural year, and we believe the 2017 Exhibition will showcase the best of Canadian visual art,” said Founding Director Ronald Crawford recently.

“We congratulate each finalist for the quality, diversity and originality of their submissions, and for enhancing the conversation about the visual arts from coast to coast.”

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