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About the jurors

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Harold Allanson, SFCA, TWSA, AFC, CSPWC

Harold showed an interest in drawing from a young age and attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts for a year and a half in his late teens. Still needing more training to work as a commercial artist, lack of finances and a need to make a living he went to work in the trucking industry for the next 30-odd years.

He was fortunate enough to be able to retire at fifty-six and he and his wife built a new home on their seven-acre Gabriola Island property. It was there that Harold turned back to drawing and painting. Watercolour classes were available and twenty some years later is still his passion. He became deeply involved with the Federation of Canadian Artists, in other art groups and events, and has Instructed classes in Canada, US, and Spain. Harold’s paintings have shown locally and internationally and have won many awards. His work can be found in collections in various countries.

Harold and Merrily now live in the small town of Crofton on Vancouver Island where he paints from his Gallery.

Jason Gress

Jason is a Nanaimo based artist who maintains an object based sculptural practice. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (honours with distinction) from the University of Victoria, (2003) and Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan (2005). His artistic practice involves sculptural objects of varying materials from fabric to wood to stone, and range in scale from miniature to large scale public works. His research interests involve many aspects of pop culture, consumer culture, nostalgia, and kitsch, and almost always contains an element of humour. Jason has recently completed two large scale public sculptures, and has exhibited in public galleries and artist run centres across Canada.


Jason has been teaching Visual Art at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo BC, since 2006.

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Darcy Johnson

Darcy Johnson has been a visual artist for over 25 years, working mainly in abstract painting and drawing. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions, artist residencies and public lectures. Darcy has also organized and led various visual art workshops and assisted in curating many student art exhibitions. She has art work in private and corporate collections in the USA, China, Japan, Sweden, Germany and across Canada.


After completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a number of formal visual art courses, Darcy completed a Masters in Art Education at the University of Victoria. She has taught high school Visual Art, Digital Art and Science for over 20 years. Darcy is also a yoga and meditation teacher.


Darcy’s training and interest in biology and psychological science informs her artwork. She works abstractly in order to capture recurring patterns and impressions of natural processes and the organic world. Darcy's fascination with the way we remember and experience our environment in its elegant variety, is always present in her work.

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