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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


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SAAG endows the old
with new possibilities

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Gallery Views

By ANN ROSENBERG

Three oases in a maelstrom of Canadiana

Since the 1960’s the art and artefacts produced by Canada’s First Peoples (from British Columbia’s Coastal regions, the Arctic and elsewhere) have, increasingly, been sold to the public as objects to enhance boardrooms, homes and bodies. The current marketplace is filled with items created in response to the current interest in art that continues and/or reflects native culture.

Marion Scott Gallery, 308 Water Street

Marion Scott Gallery, 308 Water Street

Inuit Gallery, 206 Cambie Street

Inuit Gallery, 206 Cambie Street

Spirit Wrestler Gallery, 8 Water Street

Spirit Wrestler Gallery, 8 Water Street

Northwest Coast Native totems and masks, Inuit carvings in ivory and bone along with other pieces of Canadian ‘tribal’ art are sold in a dozen outlets in Gastown – Vancouver’s historic tourist designation. They are shown in chock-a-block displays alongside all manner of maple-leaf emblazoned clothes and trinkets; moose Mountie dolls, vinyl-coated B.C. placemats, et al. The eye has no rest in these street-level souks. Three Gastown galleries offer relief from this chaos. Native Art is installed with care in premises of which their managers are proud.

Huge, pilaster-flanked windows illuminate the Marion Scott Gallery’s ‘new’ 1906 venue at 308 Water Street. The great interior wall of original, hand-poured concrete was a deciding factor in the recent decision to relocate from downtown to Gastown. The mother and son co-proprietors – Judy and Bob Kardosh – are bringing with them a 30-year-old business that was started by Judy’s mother Marion Scott. The gallery will mainly promote and vend Inuit work and give special attention to women artists from the Arctic Circle.

Close to the Marion Scott is the Inuit Gallery at 206 Cambie Street. The prevalent feature of its 1910 premise is its tall, virtually floor to ceiling windows that spill light onto the aesthetically installed art; the original, supporting timber posts and exposed bricks. Melanie Zavediuk has directed this 26-year-old enterprise for a decade and hence her tenure goes back to the period when the Inuit was situated on the north side of Water Street. Her gallery fosters work by artists who are extending and making new, time-honored Inuit traditions.

Spirit Wrestler, at 8 Water Street, has been in operation since 1997 in the 1886-7 Byrnes Block, a multi-purpose edifice which was the first brick building constructed in the heart of Gastown after the fire of 1885. The large, ground floor windows invite visitors to view more closely works which reflect proprietors’ Nigel Reading, Gary Wyatt and Derek Norton’s desire to show art created by various Canadian First Peoples’ artists alongside that produced by their African and Maori counterparts.

Ann Rosenberg is a freelance curator, critic, and author.

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