Gypsy eyes, a painting by Justin Maas which he submitted to the Federation of Canadian Artists in seeking a senior signature member designation with the prestigious organization. (Contributed)

Portrait artist receives prestigious designation from Federation of Canadian Artists

Justin Maas, renowned for his pastel portraits, is now a senior signature member of the federation

Justin Maas has added several more letters to the end of his name.

The Salmon Arm graphic artist has been named a senior signature member (SFCA) of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the largest and generally considered most prestigious art association in Canada.

The talented artist joins the rank with such other notable artists as Robert Bateman, David Goatley, Mike Svob, Dene Croft, Andrew McDermott, Dianna Ponting and Alan Wylie.

Senior signature members from the past include Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson, Robert Genn and Group of Seven member Lawren Harris, who founded the federation in 1941.

Maas is the only member of the federation’s Thompson Nicola Shuswap chapter to have the designation and one of only 90 from across Canada.

Read More: Celebrity portraits attract book offer

Read More: Shuswap artists on display

He was chosen for the honour by a selection committee of the federation’s board of governors after completing a series of requirements.

Maas first had to be juried in as an active member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and with the approval of three jurors, was then able to participate in juried shows.

“Once you have been in seven shows over four years, you’re then able to apply to become an associate member,” explained Maas.

“But my understanding is that I am now the only SFCA in this area.”

Excited by the distinguished accomplishment, Maas was required to send three physical paintings and seven digital artworks to the selection committee at the federation’s Vancouver headquarters.

All were pastel portraits and almost every subject is from Salmon Arm, including Tovah Shantz, of the Shuswap Pie Company, a self-portrait and one of each of his daughters.

Not sure what the new designation means, the humble Maas says it will be helpful when he applies to galleries for shows and will hopefully lead to other opportunities.

He points out portrait artists have challenges in marketing their work as most of it is commissioned.

Read More: South Shuswap crawling with art

Read More: Salmon Arm Art Gallery hosts exhibit focused on songbird decline

“It has taken a long time to get my name out, but the last couple of years have been very good,” he said.

“Social media helps a lot and is now opening my work up to clients all over the world.”

The gifted graphic designer’s new book, Drawing Realistic Pencil Portraits Step by Step: Basic Techniques for the Head and Face, is available to pre-order at many online sites and will be available in local bookstores this July.

This is shaping up to be a banner year for Maas, who will be featured this spring in The Artist Magazine, one of the biggest art magazines on the market.

Home from Vancouver after a weekend event where he received his senior signature status “in recognition of extraordinary achievement in the field of visual fine arts,” Maas will continue to do what he loves with new anticipation.

“I’ve always drawn; every kid draws, I just kept on,” he said, noting he went to the Art Institute of Chicago right from high school and followed that up by earning a degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Submitted by Cassidi Markus)
Snow flurries forecasted for the Okanagan this weekend

Arctic front expected to bring colder than average temperatures and snow

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Matthew Wedman was selected in the 2019 NHL entry draft by the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
Kelowna Rockets MVP inks deal with Charlotte Checkers

Matthew Wedman was the Kelowna Rockets 2019-20 MVP

(Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near house

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Vernon, Penticton, Cranbrook concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is conducting a citizen survey. (Black Press file photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen survey to conclude Nov. 1

2020 Citizen Survey results used to evaluate services

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

The Summerland Steam will play their first exhibition game of the season on Friday, Oct. 23. Unlike previous years, there will be no spectators allowed in the stands this year in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brennan Phillips - Black Press)
Junior B hockey teams to play in empty arenas

Summerland Steam and other teams affected by decision to close facilities to fans

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Most Read