Meet the 2018 Jurors





Photo by Yukiko Onley

Nick Bantock received his BA of Fine Arts in England and is one of those rare artists who has taken his wide-ranging creativity and shared it through many avenues to gain international audience recognition. His paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages and prints have been exhibited throughout the UK, France and North America and his works are in private collections throughout the world. Nick has produced artwork for over 300 book covers, designed theater posters for many London plays, and was on the committee responsible for selecting Canada’s postage stamps between 2007 and 2010. Nick has authored 25 books, 11 of which have appeared on bestseller lists, and has had translations made into 13 languages, with over 5 million sold worldwide. His bestselling Griffin & Sabine books were transformational, giving multi-sensory reading experiences to audiences of all ages. Nick has also written numerous articles and stories for international newspapers and magazines, given keynote speeches to a wide range of audiences, provided dramatic readings on radio and stage and taught painting and collage workshops. In 2010, the Museum Outdoor Arts in Denver opened a seven-month major retrospective exhibition in his honour. Nick lives and works out of his home in Victoria, B.C.


Photo credit: Kate Cino of Art Openings

Wendy Welch is a widely known and respected Victoria-based artist with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. She is currently the Executive Director of the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA), a private post-secondary accredited art school that Wendy founded in 2004. Wendy’s art practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, art writing and curatorial work. She has had solo exhibitions at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery and Open Space, and has been included within group shows in Montreal, Calgary, Portland and Los Angeles. Wendy wrote weekly art columns for Monday Magazine from 2000-2007, has had writing published in Canadian Art Magazine and Border Crossings, and has also written essays for a variety of artist catalogues. Wendy has curated numerous exhibitions over the years, and is currently curating and writing for the artist-run Slide Room Gallery at VISA. She has taught at the Victoria College of Art, the University of Victoria and Camosun College, and currently holds the Vice-Chair of the “Art in Public Places” Committee with the City of Victoria. Wendy has had a significant impact on the educational art scene in Victoria.


Photo credit: Quadra Island Studio Tour

Lee Gass is a highly accomplished sculptor, teacher and lecturer, with a life-long passion for expression through 3D art. His background as a UBC professor of biology has been foundational to a body of work that represents an intuitive and sensual perspective on science and the natural world. Lee has participated in numerous sculpting exhibitions, including a large-scale travelling exhibition in BC and Washington State. His work has been exhibited in several Vancouver and BC galleries, and in large sculpting events in the USA. Lee has published a variety of articles on art and sculpture, and lectured about the interface between art, form and science at universities throughout Canada, the U.S, and the Far East. As a past-President of the Sculptors’ Society of British Columbia, Lee conducted workshops for aspiring stone sculptors. He is a member of the Northwest Stone Sculptors’ Association and has given demonstrations and talks at stone carving symposia throughout the Northwest USA, incorporating specialized photography and lasers in his instruction. Now retired from academia, Lee has become a full-time sculptor in his Quadra Island studio, where stone, wood and limited-edition bronze pieces are produced.