Bidding is closed!

As part of our newest event, the Downtown Wild Art Walk, there were 20 artist-painted swallow nest boxes being displayed in 20 downtown store windows. They were auctioned off at the WildWings Wrap Party, raising over $1000!

All proceeds are going to support the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society’s Project Nest Box Program, where we build, maintain, and research the swallows use of the nest boxes made specifically for them.

Thank you to everyone who constructed, painted, displayed and bid on these works of art! This event will be back next year and will also include a children’s version!

1. Gabriel Abney

Gabriel’s art education started early. His grandmother, Genevra Sloan, a professional artist and university art teacher, was teaching him colour wheels and figure drawing at the kitchen table as a child, and often had him tagging along to shows, galleries or to her studio. Although his focus in college was digital art and ‘new media’, Gabriel’s first love was painting and print-making. His paintings often contain bold contrasts and textures and heavy use of the palette knife. He works in silkscreen printing, and has painted on and off for his whole life – mostly in the abstract expressionist style favoured by his first art teacher.

Nest box can be spotted at Enso Accounting & Tax (121 Jubilee Street).

2. Cheri Fretz Beaulieu

Cheri has been a Cowichan Valley resident for over 30 years. She loves exploring Vancouver Island with her camera, capturing the charm of nature from behind her lens.  One of her favourite subjects are the magnificent landscapes we call home, as well as things that might be overlooked by others. She often finds beauty in the forgotten and discarded.

Nest box can be spotted at Judy Hill Gallery (22 Station Street).

3. Rachel Cruse

Rachel Cruse is a Vancouver Island artist currently residing in the Cowichan Valley. Her paintings reflect deep longings for nature and simplicity. They embody light, flow, spaciousness, room to breathe and a profound heartfelt love for the natural world. 

For more by Rachel Cruse, visit her website and instagram.

Nest box can be spotted at Outlooks Menswear (53 Station Street).

4. Deborah Czernecky

Deborah Czernecky is an established Canadian Artist with a life-long passion for paint and nature, particularly in its spirituality, and having traveled widely from ‘coast to coast to coast’, Deborah likes to refer to Canada as her ‘big backyard’. While primarily an “en plein air” painter, she has produced a diverse body of work ranging from the raw power of the majestic Canadian Rockies to the serenity of an early lake mist.

Nest box can be spotted at Arbutus Café (195 Kenneth Street).

5. Chantey Dayal

Chantey’s paintings have abstract beginnings which then give way to recognizable forms themed on women, nature, and patterns, Chantey’s ethnicity plays a large influence on her use of colour and line, and she seeks to reveal stories, both tangible and otherwise. The result is a juxtaposition of visual playfulness, and serious yet heartfelt content. She approaches her work through movement, meditation, and humour. Chantey also loves to star gaze, plant seeds, and her kitchen is her other favourite “studio space”. 

Nest box can be spotted at Willow & Orchid (101 Station Street).

6. Charihey (CD Good)

Charihey (CD Good) uses IChing divination in her artwork to create a theme and inform her cross-disciplinary work. New to Vancouver Island, she is entranced with the water and mystical forests. She likes to bring nature through in her work and often seems to automatic paint. “A painting can be felt with your eyes closed. Look at it as you would listen to a piece of music possibly with eyes squinted and blurred focus. It will appear to move and in different lighting change. I believe a painting changes with the gaze of each person that looks at it.” 

You can find more by Charihey by subscribing to her blog.

Nest box can be spotted at Soulful Memories (28 Station Street).

7. Shirley Dickie

I love sparrows and remember many years ago (60 yrs) being dive bombed by them while working in the garden. I was born in Penticton BC and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. I am essentially self-taught, though as a young artist I attended various workshops and classes at the Vancouver School of Art. I sought expression in all types of media practicing such styles as: realism, abstraction, symbolism, and inner intuitive expression.  I create from my inner experience and depend largely on dreams and imagination for ideas and vision.

You can find more of Shirley’s work on her website.

Nest box can be spotted at Bucky’s Sports Shop (171 Craig Street).

8. Pauline Dueck

Pauline Dueck is a full-time artist based in Cobble Hill, Vancouver Island. She paints bold, color saturated images, in a realistic yet painterly style, adding complexity with layers of acrylic paint and colored glazes. Her subjects frequently reflect her agricultural roots and love of the outdoors, featuring animals and bold florals, with a touch of whimsy. She is also known for her wave and water themed paintings. Pauline is an active member of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, having curated their annual Fine Arts Show and numerous other shows for the past 7 years.

You can find Pauline on her website, or contact her directly.

Nest box can be spotted at Essential Remedies (141 Craig Street).

9. Jennifer Hedge

Living on Vancouver Island, Jennifer’s main inspiration comes from nature. While the detail gives a sense of realism, the composition of her paintings gives them a contemporary feel. Jennifer hopes her work reminds people of the beauty that surrounds them and how important it is for us to protect these exquisite landscapes and the creatures that inhabit them.

Nest box can be spotted at Fabrications (125 Kenneth Street).

10. Alisha Kairos

Inspired by the deep – all things wondrous and hidden beneath the surface – Alisha has been painting in the Cowichan Valley for ten years. Her career in graphic design lends well to her understanding for colour and composition. Her carefree spirit encourages the wild and unexpected, which fosters the freedom to truly get lost in the process. Through the working of each piece, she is truly gifted with love, passion, and glimpses of the prophetic.  

To contact Alisha directly, visit her instagram.

Nest box can be spotted at The Red Balloon Toyshop (158 Craig Street).

11. Misha Koslovsky

Misha’s Nest Box features traditional post, panel and shingle construction common in the Pacific Nor’West. One window offers a reflection of Somenos Marsh while the other has a crescent Moon shade partially drawn.  A cozy nest is assured! Misha has been a long-time supporter of the WildWings Festival and welcomes the opportunity to design a bird house! He is a life-long practitioner in the theatre arts having combined an academic career with one as a professional set & lighting designer. Misha has made the Cowichan Valley home for over two decades. 

Nest box can be spotted at Volume One Books (149 Kenneth Street).

12. Suzan Kostiuk

Sometimes the lines I draw behind my eyes fold up and become a thumbprint, falling like the rain.” As a formally trained artist, I’ve enjoyed the luxury of appreciation of the arts throughout my life. Being able to immerse myself into my creations where the hours pass by unnoticed is something that I absolutely love and crave. I am exposed to artwork by other artists daily, which is challenging and pushes me to find my own path. The images on this birdbox represent these connections to the sun, land, and waters that sustain us all.

Nest box can be spotted at Giggle Gear Clothing Co. (63 Station Street).

13. Lahna Lampson

Acrylic on wood

Lahna Lampson is a Cowichan Valley raised hobby artist, who’s happy place is foraging in nature. This bird box was inspired by the lovely transition from summer to autumn, when the weather is still hot but the sunflowers bring in the yellow of coming the fall season.

Nest box can be spotted at Monk Office (138 Craig Street).

14. Selina Lampson (age 9)

Acrylic on wood

This birdhouse is called October Meadow. I took a lot of time on this birdhouse. I was inspired by the meadow in my yard.

Nest box can be spotted at Scott’s Toys & Hobbies (68 Station Street).

15. Patricia Mansell

Born in Kent, England, Patricia moved to Canada in 1981 and resided for many years in Alberta.  She now lives in Nanaimo, BC. She has a special interest in painting endangered wildlife.  Often something unique about the animal will inspire a painting.  She develops her paintings from research and photographing animals in the wild and enjoys bringing out each animal’s character.  “One of the strengths of wildlife art is its ability tell stories.  In my paintings I try to bring out the individuality of each animal as it goes about its everyday life.”

Nest box can be spotted at Little Bird (163 Station Street).

16. Melissa Manson

I was inspired to participate in this project as I’ve always enjoyed the scenic walks through the Somenos Marsh and my kids in the past have participated in the bird boxes through their elementary school. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to be part of that as well. I was inspired by nature and flowers and providing a serene home for these lovely birds.

Nest box can be spotted at Excellent Frameworks (115 Kenneth Street).

17. Katherine Phethean

“Autumn Mists”
Acrylic on wood

Katherine Phethean was born and raised in Scotland and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. She has lived in the Cowichan Valley since 2005. The changing light and colours of October in the valley were the inspiration behind this bird house. 

Nest box can be spotted at plentiFILL (163 Kenneth Street).

18. Kathleen Schmalz

Keeping within the neutral colour scheme that allows swallows to be safe from predators in their nest boxes was a good challenge for me. I abandoned my typical bright underpainting but stuck to the 2 other hallmarks of my painting style: pattern in the muted stripes and negative space in the leaves. The camouflage leaves have been created by not painting the stripes across those areas of the nesting box. I hope you like it, and even more important, that the swallows like it!

Nest box can be spotted at Belongings (55 Lois Lane).

19. Abigail Smith

“A Child Sense of Wander”
Acrylic 2022

Do Most birds sleep at night? If so, do they dream of flying in the night? This dreamy night scene holds that curiousty for me. Maybe there is a bird family out there that needs some extra space…one can dream…

For more of her work, you can contact Abigail directly.

Nest box can be spotted at Wishes (125 Station Street).

20. Kelsey Towe

Nest box can be spotted at Urban Forest Bistro (23 Kenneth Street).