What was originally intended to be a round-up of just five new galleries to check out, quickly grew as more and more less obvious art spaces revealed themselves to me… Most of the places on this list were started by artists looking for ways to exhibit art, support other emerging artists, and build community. Here’s the who, what, when, where and why on nine relatively new, unexpected places to see art:
August Studios is a large, renovated warehouse space including artist studios, a members clay studio, an exhibition gallery, and an event space for things like workshops and pop-up events. It’s run by Mark George, who has a background in fine art, architecture and woodworking. George curates exhibitions, and organizes creative workshops and events.
The space is decked out with wooden trusses and 22-foot-high ceilings, allowing for large installations and performances. The programming is focused on community and making art a viable business for artists. As George describes, “We work with artists we like as people as well as their art. We are still getting our feet under us with a more art- and experience-centric agenda; our previous year was largely focused on pop-up product-oriented events. We’re working towards an inclusive and diverse program for artists-in-residencies, non-profit run events, and outside curators working with marginalized or disenfranchised community members — we have space to offer.” George has already begun talking to some of his favourite artists in Vancouver, but is also eager to learn about those he doesn’t know. “I’ve recently seen the photography of Sara Gulamali and was blown away,” he says. Fun events so far have included a clothing repair night, woodworking workshops with George himself, and an ongoing collage night with collage artist Lydia Ceclia. Follow @august_studios for the latest.
Atelier 8.18 is a gallery in the home of artist, curator, and educator Kyla Bourgh, started in March 2021. Not only does it allow Bourgh to exhibit the work of artists in the community, but she also gets to live with a regular rotation of it. Group exhibitions and creative events have been known to be held in the large outdoor space behind the building. All the art is for sale, with a goal of making art collecting easy and accessible. The Atelier is open to the public during the Opening and Finissage of an exhibition, or by appointment. The multi-talented Bourgh also runs a virtual crit club, providing an informal platform for artists from around the world to view and critique each other’s work in a supportive environment. Bourgh is currently preparing for a summer residency in France and will be raising funds through the Atelier’s next event, ‘Unknown Art Sale’, on June 25th from 1-4pm. Artwork ranges from $5-$500. Follow @atelier8.18 for more details on this and other events.
4by4 on 5th
Started by artist James Koester, the 4by4 on 5th concept is simple: display art in four street-facing windows, change the installation every two weeks, and, in the words of Koester, “keep things fun, fast, fresh, flexible, and friendly.” Located at 234 East 5th Avenue, the concept began as a response to its rapidly gentrifying area and aims to provide an accessible space for artists to share their work and communicate their messages with passersby. There are no price tags in these display windows! Follow @4by4on5th to view an archive of exhibitions and to find out what’s next.
YARD SPACE GALLERY
Heidi Holmes is an artist and the founder of Yard Space Gallery, a place for emerging and experimental practices, located in a private yard. Started in 2021, YSG provides space to exhibit art that is challenging to present in traditional gallery settings. To date, exhibitions have included ceramic art, audio and video installation, biodegradable work, and a baking performance. As YSG is unfunded and cannot pay for the creation of new artwork, it invites artists to reinvent existing artwork in new contexts. Holmes considers herself a custodian of the space and plans to pass on the role in the near future, allowing the space to evolve and develop to continue to serve its community. DM @yardspacegallery to book an appointment.
Collaboration and community are key to the innovative 560 Gallery, which combines an exhibition space with a high quality frame and print shop. The Gallery is led by Anna Kasko (pictured above) of KASKO Frame Works and John Goldsmith of PrintMaker Studio. Both are artists working in photography who started their respective companies in 2020 using the front portion of the shop as a gallery. In their own words: “560 Gallery is a locally-minded art space with an interest in exhibiting emerging and established artists. Our ambition is to use innovative approaches in the presentation of contemporary art while making art more accessible. We like to think of the gallery as a community oriented ‘third space’ and we seek fellow creatives to engage us and the local arts community.” Earlier this year, they launched Curated Editions, a limited edition print series co-curated by Kasko, Goldsmith, and Miret Rodriguez of Curated Tastes. Each month, they invite a different artist to create an art edition, with prints selling for $200 each. The current artist is Sandeep Johal, and past artists have included Christian Nicolay and Kirk Gower. The project will culminate in a group show at 560, displaying the first print of each edition. Kasko explains, “Our focus is with the underserved and underrepresented. We are also wanting emerging curators to come in and create shows to grow their experience in the field. We are seeking ways in allowing the community to grow within the fine arts by doing workshops, artist talks, studio rentals and by having the gallery!” Coming up is an exhibition by Emma Lehto and Genevieve Dionne, opening on July 16th. Save the date!
Since the beginning, Creative Director Shannon Pawliw of this Chinatown-based gallery has been referring to it as “this gallery”. The name stuck. Since Pawliw is herself a graphic designer and practicing artist, the branding concept for THIS Gallery came together easily. An exhibition space occupies the second floor, with room to host creative arts events like poetry readings, performances and workshops, and a studio and office space for Pawliw. The gallery is open to submissions from artists and the art on view is for sale (proceeds are split), allowing Pawliw to sustain the running of the gallery herself. In the future, she hopes to collaborate with neighbouring Carnegie Centre to bring arts programming to the centre. THIS Gallery, THIS residency, THIS workshop… THIS community. Buzz #227, Thursday to Sunday, 10AM-5PM.
A beautifully designed boutique in the South Cambie area, with thoughtfully curated goods for you and your home, Cadine features its own clothing line, fine jewellery, leather goods, home goods, and fresh florals harvested from their design studio in Southlands. The second floor loft, which overlooks the store, is dedicated to rotating art exhibitions. Currently on view, through July 2nd, is an exhibition of botanical paintings by Andrea Simmonds. Past exhibiting artists include Alison Bane, Chelsea Hornsby, Jason York, and Holly Marie Armishaw. Co-founder Paula Yi says, “Cadine endeavours to curate thoughtful exhibitions of various art forms and disciplines, and facilitate a unique platform for open expression, bridging artists and art appreciators. The Cadine Gallery has become a destination for interior designers seeking original fine artwork for clients while also being a place where individuals serendipitously discover the ‘perfect piece’ for their space.” A few artists they would love to work with include Hermentaire, Yoko Kubrick, Nicotye Samayualie, Arnold Goron, and Sergio Roge. Follow @ShopCadine for information on new art exhibitions and events.
Located in the south east alley at Broadway and Quebec, started by artist Mark DeLong – a self-taught artist working in a range of media including sculpture, drawing, painting, and sequential art. I don’t know too much more, but DeLong’s a pretty cool artist with Canada-wide recognition! Follow along @peanuts_gallery_.
UNDER MY DECK GALLERY
This is literally an exhibition space located under the back deck of settler artist/letterpress printer/amateur navigator Carly Butler’s home in Ucluelet. Inspired by other unconventional exhibition spaces around the world, Under My Deck Gallery started in 2021 in response to a lack of space for exhibiting experimental or installation art, including sound art. At my time of visit, there was art on display by Nuu-chah-nulth artist Hjalmer Wenstob, from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations of Clayoquot Sound. Butler and Wenstob have also collaborated on an exhibition (it’s currently on view in Victoria, presented by the Victoria Arts Council) that interrogates the stories transmitted through their commonly held histories. As for what’s coming up next, Butler says she plans to build walls.
@umd_gallery for details.