By Robin Laurence
IRON WILLED: WOMEN IN STEM
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, Burnaby. To Oct 2
Through interactive digital displays and colourful info-graphics, Iron Willed celebrates the lives and accomplishments of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It also examines the gender hurdles they had to overcome to make their mark in their individual fields. Women profiled include Harriet Brooks, the first Canadian woman to become a nuclear physicist; Irene Ayako Uchida, who introduced cytogenetics to Canada; and Donna Strickland, whose work with lasers won her a Nobel Prize.
PULL: PRINTMAKING IN THE TIME OF COVID
Salmon Arm Arts Centre, Salmon Arm. To Oct 9
While the subtitle of this show clearly references Gabriel García Márquez’s famous novel Love in the Time of Cholera, the focus here is on ways individual members of the Kamloops Printmakers Society have responded to the fears, anxieties and isolation triggered by the current global pandemic. Artists employ multiples in highly innovative ways – including 3-D installations – to express the passions, beliefs and strategies that have driven their artmaking over the past year and a half.
SUZO HICKEY: SMALL FISH BIG LANDSCAPE
Museum of Northern BC, Prince Rupert. Sep 4 – Oct 9
Working in her Prince Rupert studio through the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Suzo Hickey painted a series of northern landscapes that convey both the ordinary and the exceptional. As her exhibition statement declares, “If you’re not going anywhere, you look at what you have and you make it your world.” But then, it seems, you add something unexpected – clouds of coloured ovals or dots dancing across land and sky, infusing the images with energy and delight.
SUBMERGE/EMERGE: HEATHER ASTON & WENDY MOROSOFF SMITH
Dundarave Print Workshop & Gallery, Vancouver. To Sep 19
This two-person exhibition of long-time friends and colleagues expresses deep concern for our beleaguered planet. Heather Aston’s heavily layered monotypes examine the pollution of our oceans and the endangerment of marine life by plastic waste and abandoned fishing gear. Wendy Moroso Smith’s collograph monoprints sound a note of hope, employing the symbol of the oculus to suggest a possible transition to a better world. The oculus, she writes, is “a portal where one thing ends and another begins.”
ANSELMO SWAN: EVERYDAY OBJECTS
Ian Tan Gallery, Vancouver. Sep 2 – 30
From crumpled aluminum foil to gingham shirts to steaming cups of coffee, it appears there is no object too humble or mundane for hyper-realist artist Anselmo Swan. Confections, such as cupcakes with thick swirls of pink icing, hold peculiar sway in his oil paintings, as do candy wrappers, emptied of their contents. (The before and after of sweet desire?) Typically, Swan isolates his subjects on a plain ground, thus amplifying our focus on their arresting forms, colours and textures.
BALANCED FORMS: XWALACKTUN, JAMES HARRY, & AUSTIN HARRY
West Vancouver Art Museum, West Vancouver. To Oct 2
This show spotlights the traditions and innovations of an outstanding Coast Salish family of artists. Xwalacktun (Rick Harry) is acclaimed for his powerful public art commissions and for his commitment as an educator. His many students have included his sons, Nexw’Kalus-Xwalacktun (James Harry) and Aan’yas-Xwalacktun (Austin Harry), whose works push traditional boundaries and whose media and materials range from aluminum and LED lighting to 3-D modelling and animation.