Preparing Your Work for the Student Show

VAS owner, Barbara, goes over tips on how to prepare your work for the Student Art Show.

Some other things to consider:

Your work does not have to be for sale for this show, you can put NFS instead of putting a price on your work. You can also make prints of your piece to sell if you want to. Let us know before the show and we will have you fill out some consignment paperwork. Vancouver Art Space does take a 30% commission if your piece sells, so keep that in mind when pricing your piece.

We will be posting the artwork online to get more eyes on your work. Having art shows during a global pandemic has slowed down our attendance, but we are still able to show and sell art online. If you have any questions, feel free to ask Barbara or Krystle or email us at


For the art show, what we are expecting for the entries is:

Barbara: If you have your art on a canvas, that would be acrylic paint or oil paint. You want to have it framed in a nice frame. This is what the back of your frame should look like. Should have a dust cover over it, a wire which is positioned one third down from the top of the frame. You should use D-rings and twisted wire. Don’t use eye-hooks because they stick out from the frame and that makes your piece hang funny on the wall. If it’s a large piece, you want to use large D-rings (they make them in all different sizes). This one has little bumpers on the bottom, that helps position it on the wall so that it stays straight better and it won’t migrate. But you don’t have to have those. The paper and the wire is a must. Don’t use saw-tooth hooks, which I don’t have an example of, but they’re the hooks with the little saw-tooth on them. That’s it for canvases.

Any Questions?

  • There’s a bunch of canvas art behind you and none of it is framed.

Barbara: So in that case, these pieces that are behind here are all self-framed. They have a finished edge around them. They have a thickness to them, they’re made thicker. So they have this thickness on them, the canvas is wrapped around the back, and they have D-rings and wire. This is properly done. It could have a dust cover, but it doesn’t have to if it’s not framed. But the edges are all clean, the corners are all clean, they’re all nicely finished and painted. This can be done one of two ways. Pam’s got hers painted black, but she could have painted her image all the way around the edge and have a finished edge that way too.

This one is a frame with glass and if you have a drawing or a watercolor, or anything that is done on paper: you want to have glass over it for several different reasons. Usually things like canvases, oil paints, acrylic paint, you can actually take a duster and just dust them off. The oil paint is pretty permanent and it won’t really affect it. But if you have something on paper like a mixed media piece, or a watercolor, or this is a charcoal drawing, you can’t do that. So you don’t want your work to be exposed to the elements because they’ll get damaged. So you want to have glass and on the back it’s going to be pretty much the same exact thing: the dust cover, the wire, the D-rings, that’s standard. This one has a double mat, you can do it with a single mat, but I like double mats because it gives that much more space between the glass and the artwork. You don’t want your artwork to be right up against the glass because it will eventually damage the artwork. The glass will actually, over time, pick up your image and the color. Anyway, you want to protect your surface with glass. In this case, you wouldn’t be able to have something like the canvases without a frame because you can’t protect the surface without a frame.

  • The canvases framed, are they sometimes thin or canvas panels?

Barbara: It doesn’t really matter if it’s a canvas panel or even if it’s like one of the wood panels that we have. Those can be framed or not, but the edges have to be finished. Like this kind of panel here, this is a plywood panel, all woods work, and then it has frame work around it, but you want to finish these edges.

  • Can I do alcohol ink and tie-dye? Like a dress?

Barbara: If you have a way of displaying it because we don’t (on-site). If we can properly display it, we can do that. Bring it in and we’ll see what happens.

  • Should all the information be on the back?

Barbara: Normally I label all my work especially if it’s been in a show before. I keep the label on so that there’s a prominence of accumulated shows. You want to put your name, title, the size, the medium, you can put the price if you want. You don’t have to put the price on the piece since we put the price on the tag. It’s good for your own accounting, for your own records to always have the title on the back and your name. When you’re having it in a show, whether it’s here or someplace else, then it’s always easily identified. If you just do that automatically when you frame it then you never have to worry about forgetting or losing it.

  • Do we need to have all our items on EntryThingy for the show?

Barbara: I would like you to have all of them on EntryThingy before the show.

Krystle: I want everyone to go through that process. I have gotten feedback from other artists that it’s a little buggy, so I’m hoping I can help get us through it. I am able to get in there and add other things too, but it really keeps everything nice and organized on our end. I wanted to have everyone do that even if it’s a little bit of a pain in the butt.

Barbara: Part of the reason we wanted  to set it up this way this time is because we get a lot of people walking through here saying that, their daughter, their granddaughter, their brother or sister, themselves, whoever are fabulous artists. We want to get our stuff in, how do we enter your show? There’s so many people that have no clue. So we want to put you guys through the paces of doing this so you have the experience of doing it. Which gives you the confidence to go out on your own and do it again and maybe enter another show someplace else and gain more exposure. Who knows what will happen, you might find a really cool niche and make a lot of money.

Krystle: And I just wanted people to understand that if they had any questions to be able to ask. Because if other people sent in stuff and they don’t follow the rules, their stuff doesn’t go on the wall. We send it back.

Barbara: We shave a really specific process. All of our shows that we show in the front have very specific guidelines. And if the artists don’t follow them we just send their stuff back.

Pam: Those guidelines are industry standards. So it’s not like it won’t happen at other galleries too.

Barbara: Exactly, so it’s not just us being snooty or picky or anything. It’s the way that this art industry works. If you were running a gallery or if this was just a gallery, we would be dealing with a lot more artists and the more stuff you get coming through and everyone’s doing it higgly piggly on their own with whatever they make up, then it makes the gallery crazy. You have to have those standards in order for the whole thing to work. Otherwise everyone has a special circumstance, everyone needs something special, and Krystle would be running around like a crazy person.

  • Shipping standards?

Barbara: For this show we don’t really need to go into because they’re all local so they’ll be brought in and taken away. But there is the shipping as well, because that’s on the artist too. When you enter a show that’s in another state it’s on you to pay for the shipping and pay for the return.

Pam: And ship properly.

Barbara: Yep, you got to have good boxes, you got to pack them properly. It’s almost a full time job entering shows and doing that part of it, doing the gallery part of it, not to mention making the art itself.

Inspired By The Greats, Artist Spotlight Part 2

Nataliya Shlomenko

“Pair of Dogs” inspired by John Sargent Noble
“City Scene” inspired by Jeremy Mann
“Rhythm” inspired by Kazimir Malevich

Artist Statement:

Nataliya Shlomenko a local artist based in Seattle Wa, where she also works as an art instructor. An architect by education, she studied painting for two years in Rome, Italy. Nataliya took part in the art events Art Prize Michigan and Steamposium Seattle WA. Her style is the representational impressionism.

More of Nataliya’s work can be seen HERE

Tom Rosenthal

“Love/Ai” inspired by Robert Indiana
“Home/Jia” inspired by Robert Indiana

Artist Statement:

Though I’ve had formal training in advertising art and graphic design (Pratt Institute BFA Graphic Design), I have never worked steadily in that field. I was never attracted to the sales aspect of the discipline, but rather, I was fascinated by the formal, compositional aspects. Especially the use of typography, words as images.
Over the years, though I have worked in various fields, (most recently home renovation), I’ve continued to make (and sometimes show/sell) visual art rooted in graphic design and typography/text manipulation.
Words and letterforms make very effective art building blocks because of two main attributes:
1. Their formal qualities, the way they divide space, create dynamic negative space. Letterforms have intrinsic balance of positive/negative space and effective typographic design uses this to its fullest.
2. Communication, clarity of statement. There are few faster ways to make a statement or express a point than simply spelling it out.
For these reasons I have always been inspired by and felt a kinship to Robert Indiana. Although there is little variation in his typographic choices (mostly stencil derived lettering similar to the Clarendon typeface), he was a pioneer in the use of letterforms, advertising and graphic design principles to make fine art.
When I began to learn Chinese, (working with Chinese immigrant labor in the construction and carpentry fields) I was very excited to be able to add a whole new arsenal of design elements to my work, Chinese characters.
The ideographic nature of written Chinese can make for fast communication of simple ideas as a single character, rather than being merely a sound component, is a complete abstract concept. Chinese characters also have their own balance and variation of positive and negative space.
Robert Indiana made work that used Chinese characters late in his career but little where they interacted directly with western characters, rather they were either on their own, or with English captions.
Some of my most recent work explores what happens when both writing systems are used simultaneously, interactively as design elements.
This is partly inspired by fifteen years of working with Chinese immigrants and learning Chinese language.

Inspired By The Greats, Artist Spotlight Part 1

Christopher Fowler

“Homage a Monet” inspired by Monet

Artist Statement:

I’ve found three statements made by other artists that resonate with my approach to photography:

The first is from Dylan Thomas, who said art is about telling the truth.

The second is from Georgia O’Keeffe, who said what appeals to us about mountains and rocks and trees is not that they’re mountains and rocks and trees, but rather the lines, planes and textures they present to us.

The third is attributed to Picasso, who said when he paints a wild horse, you may not see the horse, but you will feel the wildness.

I don’t do photoshop or otherwise manipulate images, aside from cropping and, when needed, truing the horizontals. I don’t even use filters or a lot of different lenses (Admittedly I do have a zoom lens, but my tendency is to use it in the wide-angle length so as to get the greatest possible depth of focus).

The images are quite literally what came through the lens. They may not be technically sophisticated, but they are– or at least they are meant to be–deeply felt

More of Christopher’s work can be seen HERE.

Ed Whitmore

“Ephemeral” inspired by Jackson Pollock

Artist Statement:

Born and raised in the New York City area, Ed has been living and working in San Diego for the past 25+ years. Ed works with metal effects paints (iron, copper, bronze) which change color as they oxidize, creating a lovely brown, green, blue patina. The process yields dramatic yet naturalistic effects which evoke the passage of time and his longing for an idealized lost past.

More of Ed’s work can be seen HERE

Larissa Sievers

“Stroll” inspired by Gustav Klimt
“Lady in Feather Hat” inspired by Amedeo Madigliani

Artist Statement:

I am an Artist based in Seattle Wa and wish to branch out my art further

More of Larissa’s work can be seen HERE

New Beginnings Emerging From the Dark, Artist Spotlight

Regina quinn

Morning Mist
Spring Snow

Artist Statement:

The elegance of a fallen leaf on the forest floor, the eerie glow as morning fog lifts, the dynamic tension between abstraction and naturalism – these are the inspirations for Regina Quinn’s encaustic and oil paintings. A New York City native, Regina divides her time between New York’s Catskill Mountains and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where her work is influenced by the stark winters, lush springs, exuberant summers and vibrant autumns. Working in encaustics and oils, she builds transparent and opaque layers, scrapes and scratches and incises to reveal and obscure, working towards the sense of awe and wonder she experiences daily in the natural world.

More of Regina Quinn’s work can be seen on their website here.

Diane Cameron

Out of Darkness 1
Out of Darkness 2


Nature is a recurring theme in my work and these pieces are a good example of that?leaves and trees. I explored the idea of white on white by creating an image of leaves that are there but the viewer has to look closely to see them. I hope that will encourage some thoughts about nature?wonder, appreciation, perhaps concern. I?ve always been fascinated by bare trees in winter and the patterns they make, especially against the snow. In the white on white forest I created, the trees are barely visible, almost hidden?what we see when we rush by without stopping to really look.

More of the Diane Cameron’s work can be seen here.

All of the artists work can be purchased in our physical gallery in the Vancouver Mall in Washington as well as in our online store here.

Ongoing Classes and How They Help Our Artists

different artists have different ways they work

Each art teacher is going to have different things to teach you, even if it’s a class you have already taken before. One watercolor instructor may show you one way to set up your paint palette and another teacher will have a different preference. It’s not that one is wrong or right, it’s just that each instructor will have a different approach. I love to share that with people, because we as humans, never stop learning!

ongoing classes give you constant challenges

We have had students coming to our classes for years. Our students continue to learn and grow with us and improve at creating their art. Vancouver Art Space is a place to come and be creative in an encouraging environment.

Join Us!

If you would like to join us for a one time class, a 4 week or 8 week course, check out what we have to offer!

White on White Group Art Show: Artist Spotlight Part 3

White on White is our group art show hanging for the month of November at our gallery in Vancouver, Washington. This is part 3 of 3 blog posts where we will be introducing you to the artists participating in the show.

Joshua Unikel

Artist Statement:

Joshua Unikel has shown at CICA Museum (S Korea); Aether Gallery (Bulgaria); Griffith University Art Gallery (Australia); Sofia Art Week 2019 (Bulgaria); DesignPhiladelphia; The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Lawndale Art Center and will be showing at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art: Portland. He is the co-editor of No Quo: Attempts (DesignInquiry Press, 2017) and Beyond Category (Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press, 2015). His work has been published in Western Humanities Review, The Collagist, Tupelo Quarterly, The Journal, Sonora Review, [PANK], TriQuarterly, The Essay Review, Fugue, The Normal School, Essay Daily and other national journals. Unikel also serves as a contributing editor of Seneca Review.

He has been a residency and fellowship recipient at DesignInquiry; an artist-in-residence at The Open Book Workshop and a speaker at AIGA Pittsburgh, The AIGA Design Educators Conference, AWP, NonfictioNOW, Oberlin College, Michigan State University, The University of Oregon and Stony Brook Manhattan.

More of the artists work can be seen on their website HERE

The piece pictured above can be purchased HERE

Diane Cameron

Summer Leaves
Hidden Forrest

Artist Statement:

Nature is a recurring theme in my work and these pieces are a good example of that, leaves and trees. I explored the idea of white on white by creating an image of leaves that are there but the viewer has to look closely to see them. I hope that will encourage some thoughts about nature, wonder, appreciation, perhaps concern. I’ve always been fascinated by bare trees in winter and the patterns they make, especially against the snow. In the white on white forest I created, the trees are barely visible, almost hidden, what we see when we rush by without stopping to really look.

More of the artists work can be seen HERE

The artwork pictured above can be purchased on our online store:

“Summer Leaves” can be purchased HERE

“Hidden Forest” can be purchased HERE

Barbara Sheehan

Pour a Little Tea

Meet Barbara Dianne Sheehan, the Owner of this exciting  endeavor. Barbara has over 40 years experience designing, painting, and working in the creative arts. She has owned and operated an exclusive fine art and art furniture gallery,  a custom home remodeling and design firm, and since graduating from Pacific NW College of Art in 1996, with a BA degree in Painting, has worked as an independent artist.

From 1996 to 2001 Barbara was a founding member of PBNJ Studios, a group of artists committed to the fine arts community in SE Portland. Her work includes oil paintings, pastels, computerized/digital and photography collages – generally experimenting with materials and visuals.

Barbara has been professionally represented by ArtReps Richard Brooks,  as well as Mary McCay at Directional Publishing Inc. Her paintings have been featured in solo and group shows in Portland Oregon, New York City, and Ballyvaughan, Ireland.

The artworks pictured above can be purchased in our online store:

“Pour a Little Tea” can be purchased HERE

“Bounce” can be purchased HERE