"A healthy and supported art community is a vital part of any great city. Having a community based art school, like the Vancouver Island School of Art, is a cornerstone for creativity and learning for all generations. It inspires not only talent, but appreciation and simply adds to the vibrancy of our community."
Dean Fortin (Mayor, City of Victoria)
"The Vancouver Island School of Art forms an indispensable part our community's tapestry. Art education plays a vital role in offering people a sense of fulfillment and purpose in their lives. VISA has connected, and continues to connect, so many people with the joy that comes from the power of creation."
Michael McEvoy (Trustee, School Board District 61)
"VISA matters! Every day VISA shows us the power of the arts and the importance of community. VISA is a true sanctuary where excellent arts programming sparks the mind and nurtures the creative spirit. Our support of VISA is crucial for the development of an informed and inspired community. VISA is truly a unique gift to Victoria, and I look forward to seeing it flourish and grow."
Lynda Gammon (Associate Professor, UVic)
"Where would Victoria be without the Vancouver Island School of Art? It is an extraordinary place where aspiring artists can receive instruction and inspiration. It is also a wonderful community where people can jump right into the stream of studio practice without the impedimenta of university credentials."
Mowry Baden (Professor Emeritus, UVic)
"VISA presents a unique service for those interested in pursuing their creative interests beyond the weekend art class option. It is an unparalleled blend of keen instructors, a disciplined approach, yet in an entrepreneurial environment which presents a realistic version of choices for oneself after art school."
Jennifer Kostiuk (Owner, Jennifer Kostiuk Gallery, Vancouver, BC)
"The Vancouver Island School of Art has become an essential part of the cultural landscape of the city. Creating a cultural hub in the Quadra village through its classes in studio, cultural theory and art history, ongoing arts events, as well as the Slide Room Gallery, this small vibrant centre is a unique offering amongst local art institutions. Offering professionally trained faculty who are active in the field, this school gives students in the early stages of their training as well as mature students who wish to study part time, critical training in contemporary art practices. In a city the size of Victoria, arts offerings that create a sense of community within a credentialled environment which encourages both critically engaged and hands-on approaches to visual art, are crucial in building on the vibrancy of the city's cultural production."
Lisa Baldissera, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1999-2009)
"I really enjoyed my recent guest artist visit to your school; great staff, students, and faculty working in a very professional and collegial environment. I think your contribution to arts education thus far has made a big impact on learning opportunities for a broad constituency of arts interests. Good work! Here's wishing you continued success and growth in the future.This institution offers a wonderful alternative to college and university art programming as the school has the freedom to offer a range of specialized courses; as independent school it is not obligated to confine itself to a standardized curriculum."
Gary Pearson, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
"I started taking classes at VISA in 2004 when it first opened, and this spring I will be graduating with a Diploma in Fine Arts. Over those years, the school has been, for me, a significant place of learning, sharing and personal growth. I am now a graduate, a volunteer, a curatorial intern, and a donor. I have included VISA in my will. I believe that art is vitally important, and I support it with both participation and financial contributions."
Laura Feeleus (Diploma of Fine Arts 2010)
"When I first joined the school, I was an ex-poet/writer from Japan, who had always dreamt of learning visual art, but didn't know anything, even how to hold a brush. Being with VISA these four years has changed me a great deal, and now I can say with pride that making art is my vocation. There are lots of things that make the school special place to be, but the thing I like the most is its flexibility; they don't rigidly follow the rules and curriculums. Instead, they always try to meet students' particular needs and conditions as much as they possibly can. Without it, many students at school, including me, would have quit school and given up their dream. It is extremely important that we keep this wonderful school running in this beautiful city."
Kumiko Fujinami (Diploma of Fine Arts 2009)
"I was impressed during my first conversation with Wendy that she was willing to take on the prospect of starting a new school with a sense of creative spontaneity but also a serious commitment to contemporary art practice. The school offers new kinds of courses that aren't taught anywhere else in BC. As an instructor I have had the chance to work with students who went on to graduate school, who curated exhibitions abroad, and who are represented by a prestigious Vancouver commerical art gallery, to name only a few. For myself, the Vancouver Island School of Art provided a reason to stay in Victoria and deepen my engagement to painting, writing, teaching and community involvement."
John Luna (Faculty, Vancouver Island School of Art)
"Vancouver Island School of Art is one great place. The school helped me do things I never thought I would or could do - and learn what it is that I am really interested in doing in art. Not what I think I should do... but what I want to do thanks to the great teachers and interesting courses and workshops. The first time I came to the school I thought I would just take one little weekend workshop and see how that went. It went so well I ended up taking the Visual Arts Certificate and learning more than I could ever say in a little blurb like this!"
Lorraine Douglas, Student
"I entered Vancouver Island School of Art in my mid-50's, looking for a way to expand my world a little. What a surprise to discover I'd been living a half-life! I've been given new eyes, art is everywhere, awaiting only my interpretation. With kind, skillful instruction and a truly supportive atmosphere, I am learning a myriad of techniques to employ in expression of this new perception. Now this is living!!"
Helen Mason, Student
"This is my third year at Vancouver Island School of Art; I usually take one or two courses each term. My work will never make it to MOMA but my life has been enriched by learning to "make art". Without fail, the teachers have responded to my learning style, ability, and motivation. They've has pushed me just enough to feel challenged and given me feedback and encouragement to boost my confidence. I'm grateful that VISA is part of our community."
Peter Renner Ed.D., Student
"Wendy, my deep appreciation goes to you for many reasons: First, I LOVED the workshop! Whether or not it frees me up to take paint-play or other creative pursuits further, it was a welcome interlude and inspiration in my life. Your generosity of Self in your easy, gentle chat and direction-giving was quite delightful, and I'm hoping you'll be offering another workshop that will be of interest to me. Your teaching style is clear, open, permissive, encouraging and reflects, I assume, your organization's underlying philosophy of reaching out to all. What more could a student ask for?"
Shirley Grosser, Student
For more student feedback read some of our Course Evaluations.