The Moss Street Paint In is an outdoor artistic event unlike any other. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria which is located on Moss Street just south of Fort Street hosts the annual not-for-profit event.
The event features approximately 100 to 150 established and emerging artists from Victoria and the surrounding areas. Each of the artists is selected for the event based on a competitive process which includes criteria such as excellence of work and originality.
The basic concept behind the event is that artists bring their studio to the street. They are provided space to display their work and they are permitted to sell their work. However the main focus of the event is art awareness and education. This is accomplished by the artists talking with the visitors about their particular form of art, or demonstrating techniques by producing work on site.
Despite the name, paint is not the only medium you can expect to see when you go. The opportunity to meet individuals working in sculpting, pottery, sketching and carving - and learn about each of these artistic processes - also exists.
The event itself is free but naturally they gratefully accept donations that support the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
And if you can walk the full length of Moss Street without finding at least one piece of art you want to buy, I would be surprised.
With so many fabulous artists in one place, it is very difficult to choose just one.
Of course, who says you have to take home just one piece?
The Moss Street Paint In is a one-day event held in mid-July from 11:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The entire two kilometres of Moss Street is closed to vehicular traffic and lined with the booths of the artists. Past events have seen upwards of 40,000 visitors during that brief 5 ½ hour period.
What that means is a massive crowd of people. You may want to avoid this event if you are claustrophobic! Careful consideration should also be given to bringing pets or small children simply because it can be difficult to move around and easy to lose someone.
Again because of the massive crowd of people – getting to Moss Street and finding parking can be a challenge. Your very best bet is to take the bus right to Fort and Moss Street. Other good options are walk if feasible or ride your bike. If you must drive, then you’ll be looking for parking on one of the surrounding neighbourhood streets (along with thousands of others). Be sure to remember where you left your vehicle!
If you are an artist wishing to be considered for an invitation to participate or you would like to be involved as a volunteer, visit the events section of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s website under “Gallery Paint-In” for details and the application forms.
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