Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Prolific driftwood artist collaborates with Victoria’s unhoused community in brand new showcase


Victoria’s own Tanya Bub has made a name for herself in the city and across the world for her attention to detail in her artwork as well as her philanthropy.

Bub doesn’t just create her driftwood sculptures for the sake of creation, she always attaches a deeper meaning to her art with the purpose of helping others and bringing attention to causes she is deeply passionate about.

In 2022, she created a larger than life sculpture capturing the likeness of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with proceeds going towards Ukrainian refugees and in 2023 she kept herself busy with several charitable exhibitions and projects which positively impacted communities in and around Victoria. 

Bub put on a show for Wild ARC, raising nearly $11,000 for wild animals rehabilitation, she did a circus themed showcase for Our Place Society and she put together a special piece called Sitting with Grace that was a throne made of upcycled materials she found on the street. 

Carla, a member of the Pandora Avenue community, posing with ‘Sitting with Grace’ (Our Place Society)

The throne was made in order to bring attention to the grief that unhoused Victorians experience in an effort to inspire compassion from neighbouring communities. 

Those examples are just the tip of the iceberg in how Bub uses her artwork to help those around her. 

Her next endeavour is an exciting collaborative one called ‘Building Bridges.’


Following the creation and showcasing of Sitting with Grace, Bub met another local artist, Star Casement, whose values aligned with her own in that they wanted to break down barriers of fear and prejudice that separate housed and unhoused Victorians through art.

Casement was featured in a documentary made by Bub and local filmmaker, Ross Whelan, which features eight interviews with people from the unhoused community—Casement was the final interviewee who made an impassioned plea with Victorians to care more about marginalized neighbours. 

“Star’s ideas of celebrating people for their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses is so simple, yet powerful,” said Bub. 

“She has a broad vision and practical ideas about how to make it happen.”

Together, Casement and Bub decided they would collaborate in ‘Building Bridges’ to empower artists within the street community in a real and tangible way. 

They connected with the Municipality of Saanich’s community arts programmer who offered up the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre as a venue for their new exhibition that will feature sculptures, paintings, bead work, drawings and wall hangings made by artists from Victoria’s local street community.

“We have been so moved by the support and generosity from the District of Saanich and the community who have stepped up to help out with the exhibition,” said Bub.

“It takes tremendous courage to cross these unspoken lines and we are particularly proud of the artists for taking a leap of faith to build bridges with Victoria’s community with their beautiful artwork, so mark your calendars and come see the show.”

Cardboard signs used by houseless people in Victoria that Bub integrated into her Sitting With Grace Piece (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

To make the exhibition as accessible as possible, it will be free and welcomes people of all ages to visit the showing and appreciate the artwork created by Bub, Casement and several unhoused community members. 

The exhibit runs from January 10th through February 4th in the main gallery with an in-gallery meet-and-greet with the artists on January 20th and 27th. 

There will also be a by-donation showing of the documentary Sitting with Grace in the multipurpose room of the rec centre on January 21st at 6 p.m. Whelan and Bub will both be in attendance to speak about the project and answer any questions during this screening. 

Building Bridges: An art exhibit by local street community artists   

  • Where: Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Road
  • When: Wednesday, January 10th to Sunday, February 4th
  • Admission: Free!
Curtis Blandy

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