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

Olympic athlete sends shout-out to Cawston Primary students

Canadian Olympic sprinter Khamica Bingham particpated in one of the school’s long-time traditions

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Penticton RCMP arrest man found ‘unlawfully in home’

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

‘It’s about equality’ says Penticton man rallying for Black Lives Matter

“Canada is not exempt from racism and oppression,” said Geoff Stathers, standing with his #BLM sign

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

WATCH: Burned out car be gone thanks to Vernon dealership, ski resort

Bannister GM Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort team up in road cleanup

Most Read