Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery was launched 26 years ago after brainstorming by a group of ten artists who wanted to showcase their work. The name Art 10 Gallery stuck even though membership had climbed to 13 artists by the time the gallery opened. Today, Art 10 is a collective of 28 local potters and painters. Well known artists such as Jack Shadbolt, Tony Onley, Grant Leier, and Nixie Barton have taught or displayed their work at Art 10. The gallery continues to attract award winning artists including painters Denise McNeill and Marilyn Risdale and potter Ian Nattras to name a few. Over the years, the gallery has also showcased sculpture, weaving, collage, stained glass, and woodworking, among other media.
A majority of Art 10 potters are members of the Tozan Cultural Society. The Tozan, a rare ceramic kiln made up of thousands of single bricks is located at Tamagawa College in Cedar and is one of only three such kilns in the world. It is a huge, multi-chambered wood burning kiln. Tozan pottery has a unique look and a more natural, stone-like surface with subtle colouring. When the kiln is full of pots and the fires are stroked, the Tozan has been likened to a fire breathing dragon.
Art 10 has moved several times in it’s long history. The gallery has been gained exposure in many different communities within Nanaimo. This has been one of Art 10’s strengths and the secret of its success. As a group, the members are resilient and have learned from their collective experience. But most of all they continue to support one another. As artists they have contributed to such community events, such as The Festival of Trees. They have donated their art and time to the acquisition of Mount Benson and the Linley Valley. They come from many different backgrounds but all have one thing in common: A belief in the power of art to build community.
Recently the Art 10 Gallery moved from Port Place Mall to the Nanaimo North Town Centre. They are excited about their new home and invite loyal patrons and new clients alike to come and visit them there. The gallery is directly across from the lottery centre and is open mall hours. Pictured here are Art 10 Gallery members Marlie Schottke, Joyce Hedges, Barbara Lorimer, Maryann Fleming, Ruth Porter, Shirley Grey, and Keiko Bottomley celebrating the new Nanaimo North Town Centre location. Feature artist for the month of February, 2010, is George Williamson with his show titled Trains, Trains, Trains.