Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vancouver's Art Scene

Easy to Find : My first night in Vancouver happened to be a Tuesday. I happened to be walking by the Vancouver Art Gallery, which stays open late on Tuesdays. Why not go in?! It is a beautiful building and had some pretty interesting exhibits. For the most part, the art was Canadian and historical. There were a lot of landscape paintings that I would classify as less than masterpieces. There also was an exhibit featuring one of the country's most loved artists: Emily Carr. While looking at her work my first thought was how the heck did she get in a gallery?? (please don't banish me, Canada.) Her subject matter is very native Canadian and her style is pushing landscape and totem polls to almost a cartoon style. Upon researching more about Carr, I have learned more why her style and subject matter are this way and while her art still doesn't interest me, I can see the love her country has for her. Another Canadian artist heavily represented was Scott McFarland. He's a pretty good photographer, and based on the sheer amount of works he had, there were bound to be at least a few that I liked, which there were. Something that I've never seen before and thought was interesting is that there was a room with two small spotlights focused on specific parts of very dark photographs that had obviously been augmented to have one central light source:
So the room is very dark and the light part of the photograph REALLY pops. I'm not sure that I like this much digitalization of photographs, but this concept of bringing the dark room into the gallery is quite interesting.

An exhibit at the museum that was definitely eye catching was their contemporary exhibit: "Is only the mind allowed to wander." The works were inspired by the figure in some way and in most cases resembled portions of the figure. One piece I liked in particular was Patrick Traer's "Baby Blue Balls" and yes, it kind of does look like what it sounds like...It was HUGE and the texture was so soft and inviting...quite the parallel it draws.

Underground : I happened upon the coolest art gallery I've ever seen. Located in a half empty mall type building is Ayden Gallery. When I walked through, there were paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc on the walls, in the gallery. There were some clothing items and turntables where a dj was setting up. Pretty regular for any hip trendy gallery of the day. As I walked around I noticed 4 or 5 artists working on pieces. It was pretty fabulous to walk around the gallery, looking at these finished pieces, but also to watch the artists working. The gallery seems pretty young and the exhibit definitely was chosen based on trends as it was "Robots vs Monsters." This theme of course led for some pretty funky interesting art. Please check out the website to see examples, the artists are very talented. I realized later as people started coming in, the artists finished their pieces, and the music started to pump, that it was the actual night of the show opening.
Those artists there weren't just part of a performance element, but were actually cramming before the opening. (See, not only college students are still painting the walls on the day of their opening...lol.) It made me think that this is an idea I could really get behind...interactive galleries. Any takers?


  1. I found the perfect building for our gallery, near CSP and not too expensive and a nice looking building...just let me know when you're ready ; )

    I loved this blog entry, lots of info and it made we want to be there with you!

  2. Dunno what I have to contribute to an interactive gallery, but I love it. :)
    Maybe I'll be your dancing girl. haha.

  3. All I know is that you LOVE totem poles.