Vancouver’s arts scene changing its look

This spring marks some big changes for the Vancouver arts scene. Multiple long-standing galleries are closing their doors, gallery row is getting some new life, new galleries are opening, we’re losing some of our public art and gaining gaming grants.

A new generation is finding its way amongst the already established, and it’s exciting. Like any industry, it goes in waves, and we wanted to highlight some of the noteworthy adjustments taking place.

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery  – Closing April 24, 2011

After opening in 1979 with his then-partner Don Buschlen, who passed away in 1992, gallery owner Barrie Mowatt has just recently announced that he will be closing his gallery at the end of April. Mowatt has become a force to be reckoned with in the Vancouver arts scene. With two Vancouver Biennales under his belt, as well as the Buschlen Mowatt Foundation and work with Arts Umbrella and the Celebration of Hope Foundation, it’s safe to say this won’t be the last of his arts influence in our city. Deciding to go out with a bang, the Buschlen Mowatt gallery will be holding a sale from April 7-20, a great opportunity to name your price. Fifty percent of the sale proceeds will go to a charity of your choosing – not a bad way to acquire some art and give back!

Dianne Farris Gallery – Closing April 9, 2011

It was announced early in March that the South Granville staple Dianne Farris will close her gallery after 28 years. Construction, the economic downturn and an expiring lease contributed to the decision made by almost 70-year-old Farris. After a long career owning a physical space, Farris plans to continue her online gallery (a first of its kind) and is looking forward to her next steps which are still unknown. Farris is known for her ability to spot emerging talent such as Angela Grossmann, Attila Richard Lukacs, and Graham Gilmore.

Marion Scott Gallery – Moved  from Gastown to South Granville March 11, 2011

It’s not all closing shop for the Vancouver galleries! In its 35th year of operation, the Marion Scott Gallery has moved to South Granville (also known as Gallery Row) from their former home in Gastown. The inaugural exhibition of Itee Pootoogook will run until April 10. We love to see galleries move and expand, because business is booming! The family-run gallery prides itself of positioning the work of Canada’s Inuit artists within a national and international contemporary artistic framework. Expanding their activities to include sponsored initiatives with some new artists, we’re looking forward to seeing what Marion Scott Gallery has ahead of them.

Vancouver Biennale – De-installation June 2011

Early Friday morning the Vancouver Biennale crew took police tape-like wrapping that said “It’s not the same without sculpture,” and draped numerous sculptures in Vancouver. As they lead up to their Auction and Gala on April 30th and eventually towards the de-installation of many of our beloved public art pieces in the city, they are asking that we stop and ask ourselves, if it really is the same without art. Public art changes our environment and how we interact with it – like them or not you can’t deny the influence art has on many. After almost two years in our city, these pieces will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. You might be surprised at your own reaction to some of these now infamous landmarks like, Yue Minjun’s A-Maze-ing Laughter at English Bay. Touch them, take pictures, and take note of them now because soon it’ll be too late.

Gaming Grants increase to $15 million – eligibility remains unchanged

New Premier Christy Clark held a press conference last week announcing that she will make good on a campaign promise to add $15 million to community gambling grants. At quick glance this is fantastic news, but Clark confirmed that only groups currently eligible would actually benefit. Clark has to move quickly to meet the upcoming May 31 deadline for grant applications if she actually has intention to change the eligibility requirements. Any money at all going towards arts and culture is good in our books, but this will not mean financial certainty for some who had hoped it might. This is the time to put pressure on Clark as she’s in her infancy of her career as BC’s Premier.

More in The Art Market

The Cheaper Show celebrates 10 years of offering art for affordable prices

This Saturday, June 25, numerous art lovers are getting ready once again for the 10th installment of The Cheaper Show in Mount Pleasant.

Vancouver Biennale creates blue forests to spread environmental awareness

International artist Konstantin Dimopoulos is creating blue forests in the City of Richmond, Port Moody and West Vancouver as part of the Vancouver Biennale.
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