The permanent collection of visual arts was founded in 1999 with a major donation of works by the Ontario artist, Michael Dobson. The imagery in Dobson’s six large watercolours is derived from west coast aboriginal art, especially Haida totems from Haida Gwaii.
Alfred Muma, then curator of the MEC, arranged for the original acquisition, and later contributed work of his own to the collection.
The collection continues to grow, with donations made by artists of their own work (several of whom have served as executive board members of MAS), and from work purchased from artists for the purpose of making a gift to the collection. It is currently comprised of 24 two-dimensional works, in a variety of media.
Since August of 2000, part or all of the permanent collection has been on view at MEC for the general public and visitors during the summer months. In October 2004, the collection was exhibited during the regular season, to promote its importance to the Powell River community, and as one facet of MAS’ participation in the Cultural Capitals Celebration 2004-04 throughout Powell River.
MAS is committed to ensuring that the collection will grow to a substantial and important body of works, representing visual arts of the Sunshine Coast. This collection will become an attraction for visitors, an art education tool for the schools and general public, and a tool to promote and support artistic expression and artists in the region.
(Header image by Anna May Bennett)