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CURRENT COLUMN

Visual Artists as Entrepreneurs and Marketers
September 2013
Visual Artists as Entrepreneurs and Marketers

Audain Art Museum
June 2013
Siting an Art Museum in a Forest

Gordon Smith Gallery
November 2012
Boosting the Profile of Artists for Kids

Equinox
September 2012
From glacial meltwater to contemporary art

Morris & Helen Belkin Gallery
June 2012
Professional curators of contemporary art were once as scarce as hen's teeth

Equinox Gallery
April 2012
Gallery owners have their eye on East Vancouver

Equinox Gallery
February 2012
Gallery owners have their eye on East Vancouver

Jacana Gallery
November 2011
Nothing is certain but death and taxes

Satellite Gallery
September 2011
Hope springs eternal


June 2011
The Hotel Waldorf
reimagined


April 2011
Education for the eye,
soul and mind


February 2011
Fine art inkjet prints
are here to stay


November 2010
SAAG endows the old
with new possibilities

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Gallery Views

Equinox Gallery at its new location

The 12,000 sq. ft. Equinox Project Space is open to the public at 525 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC (Thursday-Saturday, 12-6)

Gallery Owners Have Their Eye on East Vancouver

By ANN ROSENBERG
annrosenberg@shaw.ca

Last issue I made reference to the expensive commercial taxation rates and rental costs on Vancouver’s South Granville Gallery Row. It also indicated that, with few exceptions, city by-laws prohibit the establishment of art venues in residential areas and even on industrial lands unless they were zoned C3.

Exactly three months ago, during an interview conducted in preparation for that article, I knew that Equinox Gallery owner, Andy Sylvester, was seeking a new location in which to begin “a different future” for his gallery vision. In just that short time, he has not only found but renovated his dreamt-for premises – the Equinox Project Space, formally opens to the public on February 2nd and coincides with the 40th anniversary of Equinox Gallery in Vancouver. The inaugural exhibition, Fred Herzog: A Retrospective will showcase some 120 works produced by the artist since 1953. Equinox’s adjunct space is at 525 Great Northern Way in a former industrial building within the evolving Great Northern Way Campus site where nearby public transit routes and free parking make for relatively easy access.

A sophisticated, aesthetically arresting gallery interior has been created in an unoccupied structure that had become derelict during years of non-use. The dangerously uneven floors have been transformed into smooth concrete ones. Pristine, white 25-foot tall wall structures and post-to-post removable panels expose the even loftier original shell of the structure that surrounds them in a manner respectful of their heritage. The ring of windows below the steel-reinforced roof structure, casts indirect lighting into the vast open gallery below. It’s easy to visualize the potential impact of this 12,000 square feet of omni-purpose space that can accommodate any conceivable exhibition or event. This “room” is as big as the main floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery and six times larger than the ground floor exhibition area of the Equinox’s South Granville location.

Perhaps more and more galleries will soon be relocating from Vancouver’s westside and perhaps new for-profit or non-profit art establishments will open in proximity of 525 Great Northern Way. Already more than half a dozen art premises are situated close to that address in East Vancouver. In 2006 Catriona Jeffries moved eastward from South Granville Gallery Row to a converted auto parts building at 274 East 1st Avenue to work with a mandate not far removed from the aims Sylvester has set for his new endeavour. Ted Lederer relocated his Elliott Louis Gallery from a site in Granville Island’s Cascade Building (designed by Arthur Erickson) a few years ago, to make a thoughtfully designed gallery out of an edifice of a different purpose at 258 East 1st Avenue. Architect Steve Palmier is credited with the design, but Lederer did the hands-on scut-work and now has a bigger and better art gallery than most of his peers across town.

The grunt gallery on East 2nd Avenue is visible from the Great Northern Way Campus. Its program concentrates on work by First Nations people and takes place in a street-level commercial space of a live/work building for artists. The Western Front Gallery is housed in a 1920s building on East 8th Avenue that was once owned by the Knights of Pythias. This venue which is known for multi-media, video and experimental music became Vancouver’s first artist-run centre in 1973. In addition, fairly new and vibrant art venues have opened along the bordering Main Street and Gastown neighbourhoods. The high costs of operating a gallery in central Vancouver coupled with zoning restrictions are propelling the winds of change in an easterly direction.

Ann Rosenberg is a freelance curator, critic

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