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)

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

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

The currently vacant lot on Main Street where a Dairy Queen, retail and residential spaces have been approved to go into. (Town of Oliver)
Main Street in Oliver is getting a Dairy Queen and residential units

Oliver council gave its approval to fill the empty lot with DQ and residential units

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are looking for the rightful owners of two standup paddleboards seized in an investigation March 19, 2021. (RCMP)
Is this your SUP?: Vernon police

Two standup paddleboards seized by police to be returned

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Marylou Jensen. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP searching for missing senior

Marylou Jensen left her Grenfell Road home on foot at 5 p.m.

Most Read