BC Culture Days Celebrates 10 Years

From September 27 to 29, 2019 take part in Canada’s largest public celebration the nation’s arts & culture, BC Culture Days.  BC Culture Days has helped facilitate a host of free engaging activities and events taking place throughout the region over the three day event. The weekend of artistic expression explores the intersection of creativity, the arts, and well-being. Featuring painting, theatre, experimental performance art, literature, design, cinema, and beyond, BC Culture Days is a family-friendly weekend that builds community, encourages exploration and discovery, and celebrates creativity in all its forms. 

Drumming at Kamloops Edition of BC Culture Days, 2015. photo: Lori Jantz

“Creative expression is vital for the health and wellness of a community,” says BC Culture Days Manager Nazanin Shoja. “We are proud to shine a light on the essential role arts and culture plays across the province to boost community engagement, foster deeper social connections, and build an understanding and appreciation for the collective artistic experience. With hundreds of engaging and exciting community events taking place across British Columbia, I have no doubt there will be an event that will cater to every taste and interest, while encouraging exploration into new artistic ventures!” 

To help celebrate its 10th anniversary, BC Culture Days has selected 10 emerging artists from across the province to act as cultural ambassadors in their respective communities, encouraging participation and presenting innovative activities across a broad spectrum of disciplines — including painting, animation, carving, poetry, theatre, and dance — as part of the weekend festivities. The 2019 BC Culture Days ambassadors are Tiffany Blaise (Vancouver), Brock Gratz (Kelowna), Molly Gray (Fort Langley), Alyssa Harms-Wiebe (Vancouver), Mundia Kabunda (West Kelowna), Julian Legere (New Westminster), Sebastian Nicholson (Prince George), Olivier Salvas (Vancouver), Emily Shin (Richmond), and Dyana Sonik-Henderson (Victoria). The artists’ biographies are available at: culturedays.ca/bc/ambassadors.

Dancing at Port Moody edition of BC Culture Days, 2015. photo: Bob Homer

BC Culture Days will officially launch with a provincial kick-off event in Mission, BC on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 1pm–3pm at the Heritage Park Centre. Mission: A Mosaic of Cultures will showcase a broad range of cultural activities by notable and emerging artists from the Mission community. Beginning with the official opening ceremony, including a welcome by a representative of the Leq’á:mel First Nation, the public is invited to participate and experience artist demos, hands-on arts and crafts, artist talks, storytelling, workshops, and samplings from Mission’s vibrant culinary scene.

During BC Culture Days weekend, visitors are welcomed to seek out, create, participate and share the wealth of cultural activities to be found all around the region; from Music at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, Claymaking in West Vancouver, Bellydancing in North Vancouver, Heritage bus tours around Burnaby, Art Demonstrations in New Westminster, Art In The Park in Coquitlam, and much, much more.   Visit culturedays.ca/bc to find out how to participate and for full details about all the events. 

David Wilson brings Water to Kimoto Gallery

Water, water everywhere.  That expression is especially apt here in Vancouver. 

‘While Others Are Sleeping’ acrylic on canvas by David Wilson

In a new series of paintings, Water, coming to the Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver artists David Wilson looks at the natural watery surroundings and rain-soaked city streets of his hometown.  Locals viewing his works will recognize not just familiar streets and harbours of Vancouver but also the glisten of rain reflecting the city.  Water, or fluidity, is a pervasive theme that runs through Wilson’s work.  In many of his paintings, rain-spattered cabs, and slick, reflective streets embrace the idea of our city in the rainforest.

“Rain-soaked city streets evoke something entirely visceral,” Wilson says. “So often you find this in the film industry, which goes to great lengths to recreate that saturated-with-rain aesthetic—and for good reason. Those streets reflect so much of ourselves back at us. It’s like peering in a distorted mirror that reminds us of places we inhabit, both imaginary and real.”

Moving away from abstraction, and using representation as a starting point, Wilson’s new work aligns colour and movement with more realistic depictions of a scene. Smaller and more detailed marks create what appears to be a sharply rendered image but upon closer examination reveals the looseness of the paint. Less interpretation is required, giving the viewer a more immediate and relatable experience.

“The annual precipitation we endure has created a sort of gloomy identity associated with living on the Coast,” Wilson says. “But if one lives here for an extended period of time one can, and often will, develop an affinity for it. The cycle of renewal and growth that we see, as the rain waters the earth and feeds the lakes and rivers, deepens our relationship with the world. The smell of new rain, the scent of the ocean and the fecund soil saturated with moisture inherently tie us to a place that solidifies our identities as West Coasters.”

David Wilson’s exhibition, Water will be on display November 2 – 24, 2018, at the Kimoto Gallery, 1525 W. 6th Avenue, hours Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday 10am – 6pm, Fridays Noon-5pm.

 

Artist David Wilson draws inspiration from Instagram

Vancouver painter David Wilson’s latest exhibition, Interrupting the Interface, opening Thursday at Kimoto Gallery, takes inspiration from today’s most prolific source of images, Instagram.

Wilson’s new series of paintings demonstrates the subtle interface between reality and filtered reality. It’s an important distinction in the age of fake news and doctored images, but also a deeper comment on how the filters of memory or mood inform our everyday perceptions.

Wilson, best known for depicting Vancouver, has turned to Instagram – and to other cities — in building this body of work. “I pulled thousands of wet street scenes from places like New York, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, and London. I was trying to connect that rainy Vancouver aesthetic with these other places, and to focus on commonalities rather than the iconic landmarks of each place.” Similarly Instagram curates diverse images from around the world, bringing places together in the online depository. 

Users of Instagram edit their images by adding filters, in contract to the traditional meaning of a filter, to remove part of it – like when you filter coffee grounds. Wilson says he does “a little of each” when he works up an image. His process is both reductive and expansive, removing elements of realism by adding brushstrokes of paint.  “I’m essentially re-interpreting. It’s my own perception – based on my life experience.”  

See for yourself how the artists interprets the landscape with inspiration of Instagram.
David Wilson “Interrupting the Interface” opens Thursday September 7th and runs until September 30, 2017 at Kimoto Gallery,  1525 West 6th (at Granville).

20th Anniversary Eastside Culture Crawl

EastsideCultureCrawl16From November 17 to 20, 2016, the Eastside Culture Crawl invites art lovers to celebrate its 20th anniversary.  East Vancouver comes alive for four-days of visual arts, design, and crafts, filling 78+ open studios, homes, galleries and garages from Columbia Street, to 1st Avenue, to Victoria Drive, and the waterfront. Expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors from across Metro Vancouver and beyond, the Crawl introduces visitors to more than 475 participating visual artists in this year’s monumental event.

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Tangible Interaction – Marshmallow Clouds

“This year’s festival represents a remarkable accomplishment; not just for the hundreds of vibrant and creative visual artists who have participated in the Crawl over the past two decades, but for our city as a whole,” says Esther Rausenberg, Executive Director. “For the past 20 years, the Crawl has served as a vital and meaningful intersection between artistic creation and discovery, sparking impactful dialogue and sustaining a passionate engagement in the arts within Vancouver.”

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Richard Retrault – Wall Woodcut

Created in 1997 as a place for artists to gather together, bond, and showcase their work, the Crawl has grown each year, becoming an iconic staple of Vancouver’s arts and culture scene.

“This is an opportunity for people to glimpse behind the scenes,” Rausenberg adds. “To witness the creation of new works, understand the inspiration and process behind a piece, and to experience firsthand the methods used to bring works of art to life. Now in its 20th year, the Crawl is a tremendous melding of the resilient and determined artists who have been with us since the beginning, and the youthful and vibrant new artists who shed an exhilarating light on our city’s great future.”

For art fans from across the Pacific Northwest, the Eastside Culture Crawl showcases an ever-expanding selection of determined and inspired painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, glassblowers, furniture designers, and much more. Featuring the biggest line-up of artists, venues, and events in its decades-long history, the 20th anniversary edition of the Crawl will offer guests an expanded list of insightful juried exhibitions, evocative contemporary films, and engaging artist presentations.

For a full listing of the open venues plus the event listings of featured presentations, installations, and talks visit culturecrawl.ca

Friday Find – Picasso: The Artist & His Muses at VAG

This summer at the Vancouver Art Gallery, discover the most significant exhibition of the master of modernism, Picasso.

Picasso: The Artist & His Muses examines the relationship of his artwork and the six women who provided his creative inspiration. From the early 20th Century Paris through to his last year’s the exhibition delves into the evolution of this work in association with his life and loves.   Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque, all the played a significant role in his personal life and development of his artistic endeavours.

The exhibition includes a wide variety of this work, from pencil sketches, prints, paintings, and sculpture.  It’s interesting to see some of his work evolve from more true-to-life sketches to the abstract Moderism style we are usually associate with Picasso.

Picasso: The Artist & His Muses is open until October 2, 2016 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Visit vanartgallery.bc.ca for more information

Friday Find: Eagle Aerie Gallery – Tofino

EagleAerie_IMG_0088In the centre of the tiny village of Tofino, you’ll find Roy Henry Vickers’ beautiful Eagle Aerie Gallery. Roy Henry Vickers is an internationally renowned First Nations artist with works in galleries and collections around the world.  His works have often been given as the Official Gift of the Province of British Columbia; having been presented to the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin.  Visitors arriving at Vancouver International Airport pass many of his works in the YVR halls.

Vickers’ mixed heritage, his mother was of English descent, has given his work a distinctive, and sought after, style.  The longhouse styled gallery in Tofino, is a tranquil, destination to peruse the original prints and carvings as well as the reproduction prints, lithographs and block mounts.  The gallery regularly hosts special events like Roy telling the personal stories that inspired his art.  With works costing from a few $1000 to a few dollars, there’s something for every budget to take home a piece of Roy Henry Vickers art on your next visit to Tofino.

Eagle Aerie Gallery is located at 350 Campbell Street, and free to visit from 10am – 5pm, 7 days per week.

Fragrant Wood Gallery debuts new Balinese Collection

This week, Fragrant Wood Gallery debuts their latest collection, Western Canada’s largest curated collection of Balinese wood carvings is now on display in the clean, modern gallery.
The unique combination of ancient Asian techniques and themes contrasts with cool Western modernity of the gallery. “We want to reframe the perceptions of ancient art forms,” says Fragrant Wood Gallery manager and curator Estelle Fu. “Seemingly dated pieces become beautifully contemporary when fused with today’s crisp, minimal aesthetic.”  A relative newcomer to Vancouver’s South Granville gallery row, opening in 2011, Fragrant Wood is developing a niche as the city’s location for Southeast Asian Art.
This latest collection, comprised of intricately carved wooden sculptures and masks, alongside  vibrant paintings, is the product of many years of study and travel throughout Bali and the neighbouring region.  Each piece was privately acquired during numerous trips across Bali, Indonesia, including works by noted artists I.B. Oka, Ida Bagus Anom Suryawan, A.A. NG Suta Wijaya and A.A. GD Raka Cipta.  “Fragrant Wood Gallery has built close relationships with the artists we represent,” adds Ms Fu, “We can’t wait to introduce their beautifully timeless work to Vancouver’s most discerning collectors and admirers.”

Fragrant Wood Gallery is located at 2233 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, open 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Sundays
Ph: 604 558 2889 Twitter: @fragrantwood1 Facebook: Fragrant-Wood-Gallery