Galleries and museums have thankfully begun to re-open, and, it turns out, there are a handful of exciting new art galleries in the mix. Gallery-hopping may not be quite the same as pre-pandemic, and sure you may have to book a time before visiting, but it is worth the (minimal) effort to get out and see some art and their unique venues.
ALPENGLOW PROJECTS is a new gallery from furniture designer Jeff Martin. Located next to Jeff’s production studio, Jeff Martin Joinery, in the iconic Parker Street Studios, Alpenglow Projects brings together furniture, design and art. Opened since the end of September, the gallery was conceived as an alternative to the traditional design fair, providing a platform for artists to showcase their work without the prohibitive costs of a fair. It also serves as a showroom for Jeff’s furniture line and ongoing series of glass work, Excavated Vessels. Representing fifteen or so artists from across North America, the artists are connected through their inspiration from nature, much like Jeff’s practice. For instance, local lighting designer Lukas Peet’s pebble series is cast from actual stones collected on his hikes. When turned off, the pendants resemble smooth stones. Other works on view include cactus lamps by Steven Haulenbeek, made from a complex process of resin bonded sand, and fun, ceramic side tables by Bari Ziperstein. Looking ahead, during typically slower months like January and August, the space will host artist residencies. First up this winter is Rubeena Ratcliffe, whose simple, abstract paintings in muted tones are on view as part of the current exhibition. When asked how he chooses the artists he represents, Jeff responded by describing his interest in ontology—the study of being—and seeking artists who share in his curiosity. The gallery is open by appointment, visit the website to schedule a visit.
HOWARD495, a stone’s throw from Monte Clark and in the same building as Bocci’s offices, is a new project space run by art advisor Krista Howard, specialising in secondary market work. Opened earlier this year, but closed temporarily in mid-March along with everything else, the gallery swiftly moved their exhibitions online. The current show MASK.ING brings together 15 diverse artists including Beau Dick, Douglas Coupland, Cindy Sherman, Adad Hannah, and Tyler Toews, connected through their use of masks. The exhibition is on until November 28th and is a reminder that online viewing rooms can’t replace the experience of seeing art in person. Gallery hours are usually Tuesday to Saturday, 11AM-4PM or by appointment.
AFTERNOON PROJECTS is a new gallery at 603 Powell Street that opened at the end of August, run by Benny Xu. Not an artist himself, Benny studied business at SFU and still runs a trading company, but his true passion is arts and culture. He serendipitously met the building’s landlord at an art show and learned of the available space in the building. Already home to artist studios, the landlord was looking for someone to run a gallery out of the ground-floor space, which was perfect for the gallery Benny’s always wanted to start. A small, windowless ground-floor space, the inaugural exhibition BABY (now closed) featured works by six emerging artists from New York, France, Toronto, and Vancouver. Inflated balloon-like vinyl shapes by Arthur Marie were strewn throughout the gallery, alongside mostly works on paper using ballpoint pen or mechanical pencil, demonstrating a resourcefulness among the artists. What’s upcoming is still in the works, but follow them on Instagram to stay in the know. DM to book a visit, Thursday-Sunday, 12-5PM.
CEREMONIAL / ART over in Kitsilano is a new gallery from Sarah Macaulay of Macaulay & Co. Fine Art. The gallery focuses on works by First Nations artists from British Columbia. The inaugural exhibition in this new space is of work by the late Chief Henry Speck, exquisite gouache on paper paintings from 1958-1960, and new carvings by Cole Speck. Gallery hours are Thursday to Saturday, 12-5PM and by appointment.
There is never a good time to move, so why not during a pandemic! Previously located in the unmissable, red industrial building at 525 Great Northern Way, two of Vancouver’s long-standing galleries Equinox and Monte Clark have moved to make way for the construction of the Broadway Subway. While they may have left the vibrant art hub of non-profit and commercial galleries including Libby Leshgold at Emily Carr University, grunt gallery, Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Burrard Arts Foundation, and Gallery Jones, their new locations have us venturing to unique buildings in different parts of the city.
EQUINOX GALLERY is now located at Commercial Street and 20th Ave, in a huge, industrial building. On until November 14th is a solo exhibition by Shawn Hunt, the artist’s first with the gallery, featuring new paintings and sculptures. A collection of photographs by Fred Herzog and a painting and collage/sculpture, both by Bobbie Burgers, are on view in the adjacent room where a large table invites you to peruse art catalogues. Entrance is from the back lane where there’s plenty of parking. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10AM-5PM. Tip: The gallery’s conveniently down the street from the lovely Flourist, who’s offering fresh bread, pastries and coffee to take away.
MONTE CLARK GALLERY has moved to Railtown, next to the Settlement Building (or what was likely once the loading bay for the building), home to Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver Urban Winery and Settlement Brewing. Another massive warehouse space, the new location is full of impressive surprises. You buzz to enter, then walk down the steps into the cavernous gallery space. The current exhibition, SEPTEMBER, is a fantastic group show with a little of everything—painting, photography, video, sculpture. A video projection by Vilhelm Sundin looms overhead as you descend into the sparse, raw gallery space. There are modest paintings on linen by artist Brenda Draney, new ceramic sculptures by Alex Morrison positioned at the base of concrete pillars, a simple sculpture by Roy Arden, a moody painting by Holger Kalberg, among other works. A set of doors brings you to the exposed art storage racks teeming with artwork, and beyond that, stairs lead up to a spectacular lofty space on the second floor with more art. A Bocci chandelier hints at the building’s former tenants—it was previously used as Bocci’s storage space. The gallery’s office area is also full of art on display, secondary market works, including Douglas Coupland’s Wigs in the Style of Andy Warhol, a series of flattened wigs in gaudy gold frames. SEPTEMBER is on view until October 22nd and up next is an exhibition by Colleen Heslin. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30AM-5:00PM.