Discover Robert Rauschenberg at Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980
Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980

This summer, the Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist. The presentation features billboard-sized prints, intimate drawings, collages, sculptural works and large-scale fabric constructions from one of the most experimental periods of Rauschenberg’s career.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery is fortunate to count many significant works by important international artists in its permanent collection, and our considerable holdings of Robert Rauschenberg are a highlight,” says Daina Augaitis, Interim Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Rauschenberg’s radical approach to art making blurred the lines between mediums, demonstrating his incredible ingenuity in mixing materials and imagery. We are pleased to share a selection of influential works by this artist, with a focus on his collages and mixed-media pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, many of which paved the way for his own thoughts around art making and inspired others to follow his experimental trajectory.” 

This exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery features a number of significant examples of Rauschenberg’s collages and multi-faceted prints. Such works combine newspaper and magazine clippings, material salvaged from the streets of New York, and his own photographs to create fragmented, layered compositions that unravel the cultural and political milieu of the time. Key works include Autobiography (1968), a monumental three-panel composition from the Gallery’s collection that represents the culmination of the aesthetics and methodologies that occupied Rauschenberg for a decade. The work, which details his biographical history through overlapping self-portraits and objects of personal significance, was the first fine art print made on a billboard press. Another important print is Sky Garden (1969), also from the Gallery’s collection, the largest work in his Stoned Moon series, which emerged from an invitation by NASA to witness the launch of the Apollo 11 Mission. Also included are examples of work Rauschenberg produced after relocating to Captiva Island, Florida, in 1971, when he began to investigate the natural and the handmade, and embrace a more overtly abstract aesthetic, as well as works that use fabric as a support for printed imagery.

See these works and more when Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980 opens July 6th, on show at Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby, until October 27, 2019.

Queer Arts Festival celebrate rEvolution

The 11th Annual Queer Arts Festival (QAF) opens June 17th, celebrating Vancouver’s queer arts, culture and history. Themed rEvolution, QAF 2019 closes on June 28th, the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots which fittingly brought together the queer artists in New York’s Greenwich Village to push back against oppression.

As it’s done for the last decade Queer Arts Festival brings together another line up of stellar parties, artists and events. Multimedia, performing and traditional visual works from emerging and established artists come together at Roundhouse Community Centre.

Art Party! on June 18th features the QAF curated, by Curator Elwood Jimmy, Relational rEvolution exhibition which kicks off the Festival. Guests can also catch a glimpse of the other exhibitions, events and performance that make up the 2019 line up.

Closing on June 28th, QAF features a performance of the Queer Songbook Orchestra before celebrating the half-century since the Stonewall riots, and the start of the modern pride movement, with Stonewall 50 Glitter is Forever. The Vancouver Pride Society, ZeeZee Theatre and The Frank Theatre come together to revel in the queer rEvolution.

Queer Arts Festival runs June 17 – 28, 2019, centred on the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. For full details of the 2019 line-up and ticket information visit queerartsfestival.com

Picks of the Week – May 15, 2019

It’s that time again, the unofficial kick off to Summer; Victoria Day, May Long, May Two-Four, whatever you might call this long weekend there’s no doubt you’ll find something entertaining to pick from…

Dance: The Scotiabank Dance Centre’s popular Discover Dance! series brings its season to a close with a performance of African dance by Jacky Essombe to the Centre on May 16th, for two shows, at noon + 6pm

Arts Umbrella Expressions Festival – Animal Farm

Festival: The Arts Umbrella brings a variety of performances to the stage with its Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, May 17 – 25 at Waterfront Theatre

Ballers:The Great Leap explores a 1989 exhibition basketball game in Beijing at The Arts Club BMO Theatre Centre until May 19th.

Balls: See if Whitecaps FC can notch another win when they play host to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday evening at BC Place

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

Puppets: Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas from May 16 to October 14, 2019.

Jericho: Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Jazz: Vancouver’s Alan Matheson Septet bring their ‘little big band’ sound to the stage at Pyatt Hall on May 18th.

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports slays audiences with laughter at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience.

Art: Celebrate the Class of 2019 at The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the public exhibition of graduating student works until May 19th

Fairytale: May 16 – 26, Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage

Bill Reid Gallery brings new exhibit: qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways

Opening April 10th, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways.

Rage Flowers by Lindsay Delaronde with Performance by Erynne Gilpin, Photo by KL Peruzzo

The premiere group exhibition is guest curated by four members of the ReMatriate Collective — Ts?m? Igharas (Tahltan), Tiffany Creyke (Tahltan), Angela Marie Schenstead (nêhiyaw), and Denver Lynxleg(Anishinaabe) — and features nine Indigenous artists. The exhibition also features Audrey Siegl (Musqueam) as an important contemporary Water Keeper. The show honours the important role of Indigenous women on the coast, both past and present, in a timely investigation amid ongoing debates about pipelines and Indigenous rights. qa? y?xw is a h?n?q??min??m? expression that means “water honours us.”

Tsesqel Original by Carrielynn Victor

qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways, features video, photography, carving, printmaking, beading, and performance by artists affiliated with various Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and the interior of British Columbia. Each of the nine artists considers a unique experience with the life-giving element of water, and creates innovative works based on culturally specific practices.

“This exhibition highlights womxn’s unique relationship with water as child bearers, healers, doulas, and other roles key to Indigenous matriarchal societies of the Northwest Coast as we are womxn and waterways,” says the ReMatriate Collective. “Water connects us all through the seas, rivers, and clouds, and is not bound by human-imposed borders. Through art, performance, and interactive programming, we explore water as a crucial element for all of creation, as well as its historical uses for survival and sacred cycles. In addition, the artists look at the excess of contemporary resource consumption as a threat to sensitive environmental and coastal ecosystems.”

Reconcile This by Krystle Coughlin

The ReMatriate Collective formed in 2014, dedicating itself to strengthening future generations of Indigenous women through positive self-representation. Their work encompasses the dissemination of public visual- and text-based works and exhibitions, including social media photo campaigns and hands-on workshops on traditional practices and skill development. Their collective work has been featured at the Western Front (2016), Arts Underground in Whitehorse (2018), and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC (2018).

To find out what each of the nine artists brings to the qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways exhibition visit Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, 639 Hornby Street, from April 10 – October 2, 2019. Find more information. exhibition hours and more online at billreidgallery.ca 

DanceHouse Explores The Garden of Earthly Delights

DanceHouse welcomed Montreal’s Compagnie Marie Chouinard to the Vancouver Playhouse March 15 & 16, to present Hieronymus Bosch : The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Commissioned by the Jheronimus Bosch 500 Foundation to celebration the artist’s 2016 quincentennial, the work is based on Bosch’s triptych : The Garden of Earthly Delights. Presented in three acts, representing the three panels of the artwork; The Garden Of Delights, Hell and Paradise. The characters in the painting come to life as the dancers, start in the poses portrayed in the artwork, before setting off on a creative journey in dance.

In the Speaking of Dance, pre-show talk, guest Annie Gagnon (rehearsal director) stated that the dancers are given some creative license to make their own connecting movements between the choreographed set pieces opening up the possibility that each performance is slightly different. Knowing this makes the Garden of Earthly Delights feel extra spontaneous with the organic connections between the structured poses and synchronized group work. With the erratic, and near-violent work of Act II:Hell bookended by the ethereal and tranquil Act I: The Garden of Delights & Act III: Paradise, all three acts work nicely together and as stand alone pieces. Compagnie Marei Chouinard’s Hieronymus Bosch : The Garden of Earthly Delights, like the artwork it’s based on, is indeed a work of art.

DanceHouse next brings US company, MOMIX with Viva MOMIX to the Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, on April 12 & 13, 2019.

22nd Annual Eastside Culture Crawl is coming

From November 15 to 18, 2018 the 22nd Annual Eastside Culture Crawl brings art lovers from all around Metro Vancouver to East Vancouver.  For four days, studios will be opened, garages exposed, and artworks displayed for  Vancouver’s favourite celebration of visual arts, design, and crafts.

Credit: Grace Lee

An expected 35,000 art fans, cultural patrons, curious tourists and locals alike will marvel at more than 500 of Vancouver’s exceptionally talented art makers. The Eastside Culture Crawl invites visitors to immerse themselves in the neighbourhood from Columbia Street to Victoria Drive and from 1st Avenue to the Waterfront, with on-site visits, live demonstrations, probing presentations, and intriguing installations.

“More than just the home to Vancouver’s popular, four-day celebration of visual arts, the Eastside community contains the largest ratio of artists per capita in the country and serves as the nucleus for hundreds of visual artists and their studios,” says Esther Rausenberg, Executive Director of the Eastside Culture Crawl. “Unsurprisingly, the current economic climate in Vancouver is making it difficult for people to survive the rapid pace of development in this city, and many artists are struggling to retain their studio spaces.”

Credit: Desireé Patterson

Rausenberg continues, “Our mission is not only to celebrate our visual artists during the Crawl, but also support their growth and vibrancy all year long. We are committed to working together with the artistic community towards the goal of retaining a zero loss of studio space by coming up with sustainable creative solutions and assisting artists to find suitable studio replacements so they can continue to thrive.”

This year the Crawl is helping to increase artists’ profiles and enhance visitors’ experience with the launch of a brand new festival app. Available for free download on November 15, the Eastside Culture Crawl app will help festival goers better navigate the neighbourhood, favourite preferred artists, and locate nearby refreshments, bike parking, and car-sharing vehicles.
This year’s event will include a series of workshops and demonstrations for those passionate followers looking to learn about the inner workings of their favourite art form such as pottery, live chainsaw carving, natural textile dyeing, and glassblowing.

Credit: Judson Beaumont

The Eastside Culture Crawl gets underway November 15 – 18, 2018 but before the main event, check out

Spaces, Places, and Traces: Eastside Culture Crawl Preview Exhibit
A juried exhibition of works, featuring 70 artists from the 2018 Culture Crawl, on from October 27 – November 18, 2018, taking place at Arts Factory,  Firehall Arts Centre, The Cultch, Alternative Creations Gallery.

To learn more about the workshops and events offered throughout Eastside Culture Crawl, visit culturecrawl.ca/events

Picks of the Week – November 7, 2018

The Holiday season is underway, but this weekend we also take a moment out of the entertainment to remember the 100th anniversary of the armistice of WWI.

Ceasefire Series : Three Winters
photo: Emily Cooper

Ceasefire: The Cultch honours the Armistice with the Ceasefire Series of three plays exploring the causes, effects, and traumas of war from different lenses,

Honour: Sunday November 11th, veterans will be honoured at the Cenotaph at Victory Square in Vancouver, starting at 10am, followed by a Remembrance Day Parade.

Dumplings: Tonight, get your fill of delightfully filled morsels as Vancouver Foodster and Tasting Plates YVR present Dumpling Fest 2018, an exploration of Dumpling dishes around Vancouver

Bloom: Thursday night, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre welcomes Troye Sivan: The Bloom Tour, with guest Kim Petras

Ache Brasil
Pic: David Cooper Photography

Brazil: Celebrate the Bossa Nova as Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre Society (VLACC) presents a dazzling concert showcasing Brazil’s multi-faceted musical culture in Aquarela do Brasil: An Explosive Celebration of Music and Dance, November 8 & 9, 20188pm at Vancouver Playhouse.

Gum: Until December, visit Mouthfeel at Western Front, a spectacular, peculiar exhibition commissioned by the City of Vancouver about gum, co-created by students

Clockwise from bottom left: Georgiy Rhatushnyak (Randy), Stefanie Stanley
(Mother), Brennan Cuff (The Old Man), Owen Scott (Ralphie)
pic: Emily Cooper

Ralphie: Align Entertainment brings the holiday classic A Christmas Story: The Musical to the Michael J. Fox Theatre stage in Burnaby, from November 2 – 17, 2018

Screening:  Thursday evening join MISCELLANEOUS Productions for a free screening for the Vancouver film premiere of Monsters, at The Annex, preceded by a new 5-minute short film, Ghosts of Productions Past.

Enemy: The Enemy at The Firehall Arts Centre is a topical, contemporary interpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, running November 10 – December 1, 2018

JTJustin Timberlake brings his Man of the Woods tour to Rogers Arena for two dates Thursday and Friday night

Son: Gateway Theatre remounts, the autobiographical one-man show, Empire of the Son, a son’s tale of an emotionally distant father, running November 8 – 17, 2018

Laughs: Just for Laughs presents French comedy star,  Gad Elmaleh at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Thursday evening.

Sweat: The Arts Club Theatre Company continues to Sweat at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, until November 18th.

Couture: The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Guo Pei: Couture Beyond is the first Canadian exhibition devoted to the work of Guo Pei, China’s preeminent couturière until January 20, 2019

Art: Visit Kimoto Gallery November 2 – 24, for a new series of paintings, Water, by Vancouver artists David Wilson looking at the natural watery surroundings and rain-soaked city streets of his hometown.  

Pop: British pop singer/songwriter Lily Allen brings her sounds to the stage at Vogue Theatre on Friday night