The TD Art Gallery Paint-In has been going strong for 30 years, and is a much anticipated fixture on Victoria’s summer calendar. This July was no different. Throngs of art lovers strolled in the sunshine along 10 blocks of Moss Street between Dallas Road and Fort Street. Visitors came not only for the art, but also the atmosphere, the food and drink, the street musicians, the learning opportunities and the camaraderie.

To commemorate this milestone anniversary, an outdoor display called “Paint-In Stories” featured interviews with long-time participants of the event. These include artists, as well as volunteers and various members of staff. Featured here is a collection of quotes from a few of our Paint-In veterans.

Mary Fox is a clay artist with a passion for sharing her craft. She says, “The Paint-In has always been less about sales and more about educating the public about art and craft.” And what’s the best part about teaching kids to work with clay? For Mary, it was earning the nickname ‘Captain Clay.’ 

For Mary-Ellen Threadkell, Paint-In coordinator (pictured below), “art introduces other people’s culture, methods, and practices.” When Mary-Ellen started at the Paint-In, there were only 49 artists. Now there are nearly 200! She says, “The Paint-In was my passion for 15 years!”

“Meeting the artists” is what Peter Reid, Paint-In photographer, claims to be the best part of his job. “The Gallery at one end, the water at the other end. That to me is an extra special thing.” Who can dispute that? For Peter, the Paint-In is “part of the summer in Victoria.”

For Diane Rickson, volunteer, the Paint-In is “a sea of people and a great happening in Victoria. A real community event. With the artists coming back every year, you got to know them,” She adds that “children need to be exposed to art.”

“I recall a sense of joy in finding a community,” says artist Kristi Bridgeman. What does Kristi find most rewarding? Having “a one-on-one conversation with an audience. The Paint-In touches on so many different qualities of the city.”