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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

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

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

September 2010

June 2010

April 2010

February 2010

November 2009

September 2009

June 2009

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February 2009

September 2008

April 2008

February 2008

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June 2007

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November 2006

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June 2004

Gallery Views


A gallery befitting a Haida giant

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, at 639 Hornby Street in Vancouver

On May 10, 2008 the chapel-like building that used to be the Canadian Craft Museum, will begin a new life as the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and as the headquarters of the Bill Reid Foundation. This stand-alone structure is set jewel-like within the quiet cloister, behind the Shon Tower project at 639 Hornby Street. Vancouver Architect Paul Merrick designed the complex for the Hong Kong-based, Shon Georgia Investments Ltd., on the site where the Georgia Medical Dental Building was demolished in 1989.

From its inception, this lovely structure has been one of Vancouver's most significant “bonused” cultural amenities (see Preview, September 2006). Bill Reid Gallery supporters have raised a substantial sum towards the huge endowment that will ensure coverage of all essential costs (by way of interest generated by the Fund) once the city-assisted lease is over.

The Audain Foundation's $1,000,000 gift (announced in the Commercial News Services press release of March 10) is earmarked for gallery restoration and is a great start. Money does attract money, but only if the cause seems right. Without such fulsome financial support, the Bill Reid Gallery might fade into history as did the Canadian Craft Museum, but from everything I've heard, read and seen, it seems assured that this institution will be important to Vancouver's cultural life in perpetuity.

What will be different about the survival prospects of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art? Although the previous Craft Museum had a pretty exterior, it was bypassed by many visitors and Vancouverites because the edifice could not be seen from Hornby or Georgia Street. I believe that Bill Reid's international profile is so strong that the gallery (located in the financial district) will quickly become a must-visit designation for all who wish to learn about his life, art, and contributions to the revival of First Nations culture. Such fame is augmented by the four Reid works illustrated on the $20 bill, and the major works of sculpture sited in significant Metro Vancouver locations.

When the “little church” housed the Craft Museum, the high vault of the 8,800-sq.-foot interior and the narrow mezzanine were not amenable for the display of small objects. This Temple to a Teapot could not have been designed more inappropriately. The transformation of an awkward, empty chamber into a multi-purpose, flexible exhibition and events venue, has been on-going for months and will so continue. (See billreidgallery.ca/ and billreidfoundation.org/)

The edifice perched high above Christ Church Cathedral and down the way from the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel and the Vancouver Art Gallery, will soon be a secret no more. It's now the haven of the Raven's Trove of gold and silver jewellery and Reid's gigantic Mythic Messengers frieze – a suitable gift to the foundation from Bell Canada Enterprises which is in the business of communication.

Ann Rosenberg is a freelance curator, critic and author.


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