'IMBIBE: Vessels of Illumination

'IMBIBE: Vessels of Illumination

Canada 150 inspired exhibition planned for Kootenay Gallery of Arts 2017 season

An exhibition inspired by Canada 150 is among the scheduled attractions at the Kootenay Gallery of Art this year.

An exhibition inspired by Canada 150 is among the scheduled attractions at the local art gallery this year.

The Kootenay Gallery of Art has released its exhibition schedule for 2017 and highlights include 150 Creative Acts in Celebration of Canada, as well as works from local students and exhibitions exploring the histories of Asian-Canadian families and communities in BC.

Starting June 16 and running until July 29, 150 Creative Acts in Celebration of Canada will include two parts: works from professional artists, and opportunities for communities members to participate.

“I had a call for submissions for professional artists to submit under [the theme of 150 Creative Acts]. We’ve received some and we’re going to be announcing who’s going to be in that show pretty soon,” explains Maggie Shirley, curator at the gallery. “But they’ve come up with all sorts of ideas interpreting [that theme]. Some of them were very literal and some of them were much more abstract.”

For the second part of the project, Shirley has approached the art teachers at both Stanley Humphries Secondary School (SHSS) and the Kootenay-Columbia Learning Centre (KCLC) about working with the students on public artwork that fits the exhibition’s theme.

Creating public artwork will allow the gallery to engage the public further in the exhibition.

“I believe that there’s a relationship between the gallery and public space, that the two kind of feed each other, and so that’s one of my interests is that I want to get more people into the gallery, but I also want to get them active while they’re here and also active, and make art visible, in the community,” explains Shirley.

The gallery will also be challenging the community to do as many acts of creativity as they can, and will offer workshops for different groups in the community to make collage cards with their wishes for Castlegar and Canada.

Other exhibitions will showcase work from community members as well. Youth Visions 2017, running Apr. 20 to May 27, gives students and teachers in School District 20 an opportunity to exhibit their work.

“It’s always great,” says Shirley. “The gallery is always just bursting to the seems and everybody loves that show.”

Some students from Selkirk College will also have an opportunity to exhibit their work this year. From Aug. 4 to Sept. 16, students from the Digital New Media Program will display their work during the Class Act exhibition.

“I’m going to go to their year end show and just pick some of the art,” says Shirley. “And that’s the first time we’ve done that with the Digital New Media Program.”

But before any of those exhibitions open, the Kootenay Gallery of Art’s 2017 exhibition schedule will open with Plant Memory and High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese, both running Mar. 3 to Apr. 15.

Artist Tsuneko Kokubo’s family spent time in the internment camps in the Slocan Valley and in Plant Memory she explores the relationship between the origin of plants like those in her mother’s garden that originated both from BC coastal communities and Japan and the movement of immigrants.

High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese is an interactive, multi-media exhibit directed by Nicola Harwood that includes poetry by Fred Wah.

“It’s mostly online, but there’s also a visual component to it and one part is an interactive lottery game,” explains Shirley.

For more information on this year’s scheduled exhibitions, visit kootenaygallery.com.

Gallery now accepting exhibition proposals by email

Local artists interested in proposing an exhibition for 2018 can now submit their proposals by email.

“So before you had to mail in or bring your physical documents here, and now we’ve changed to you can either do that or you can submit them electronically with a Dropbox file or something,” explains Shirley. “And that’s just to encourage more people to apply.”

The gallery’s selection committee will be meeting in May, so while there’s no hard deadline for proposals, Shirley recommends submitting before then.

Those who’d like to make a proposal can find more information at kootenaygallery.com/submissions.

Those who’d like to see their work in the gallery’s gift shop or exhibited during Christmas at the gallery can contact the gallery at 250-365-3337 or kootenaygallery@telus.net.