I had a great art day in Vancouver a few days ago. When I go to town and don’t have to fill my trip up with car errands, it feels like a day in London! Going as a foot passenger and just doing art and the fireworks instead of shopping(if I can’t buy it on the Sunshine Coast, I probably don’t need it) is so refreshing, like a mental health day. I did have to pounce on the only empty spot in the ferry parking lot but I made it onto the 1:05. I started at the Pendulum Gallery with the DRAWN show, the centrepiece to the current Drawing Festival in Vancouver at 20 venues.

There were some real gems and I’ll certainly be looking up these artists; Erin Scwab, Mandy Boursicot, Kristina Fiedrich, Robert Malinowski, Leah Biggs, Ben Clarkson, Roger Watt, Ina Levytsky. One of the most impressive pieces was a nearly life size drawing by Bruce Pashak of a woman holding 2 babies and some large lizards. What a knockout! From my figurative artist network, Jay Senetchko showed a dark brooding tiny image of a boxer and Charles Keillor showed a couple posing atop their sailboat in a strong black and white vintage look.

On my way to the Roundhouse to see Queertopia and Noel Silver’s large Heath Ledger painting, I stopped in at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery on Homer for Redefining Drawing. Top class! Alan Storey‘s large horizontal canvas had a mechanical tractor driving around the big prairie plain with black felt markers tracing its journey, very lively and innovative. I was very impressed with Kako Ueda’s incredible cut paper works and Jane Masters pin prick “embroideries”.

After the Roundhouse, I stopped in at Raw Canvas to see what was hanging on their walls. It’s a fun little cafe in Yaletown with an art studio in the back where you can just don a coverall and make art, all the equipment is there for a reasonable fee. Too much fun! I spent nearly an hour in Chapters on Robson writing down a big list of names of good figurative artists to research and go after for the figurative artist network site. I’m writing them very legibly now so my volunteer researcher can get to work on them when I send her my scanned pages. I’m very glad to have a volunteer!

We took in the Mexican fireworks show along with thousands of our closest friends down in English Bay, quite fun and I played around with my camera settings and got some good photos of slidey light patterns. The next day I started at the Marion Scott Gallery in Gastown with some huge Inuit drawings, very excellent, then spent 2 hours in the VAG and saw it top to bottom. If you go to the terrific Musee D’Orsay French drawings show, try to make it up to see the Fiona Tall video installations too. I watched almost all of them in their entirety, thoroughly enjoyed the Rise and Fall and A Lapse Of Memory. The breathtaking Niagara Falls and the Brighton Pavilion provide stunning settings to her compelling stories, nonverbal but with great sound effects. Taking time with these excellent videos and not rushing around saving money(HA!) at Costco is what makes Vancouver give me the culture hit that I get when I travel to London and other art centers.

If I’d taken the early ferry, I would have done almost all of this in the one day so I hope some of you get inspired to jump in there and see some good art in Vancouver soon. In the VAG, I got chatting with a German artist and we’ll probably get in touch online soon. Speaking to strangers can lead to some interesting connections and it’s great to have a good art card to be able to hand over straight away to really introduce yourself with. A picture says a thousand words.
Published on: Aug 2, 2010

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