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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Urban Contemporary Art Galleries in Vancouver, BC

We had the chance to visit Vancouver, BC for a 3 day visit towards the end of January as I had a travel tradeshow that I was attending. So we turned business into Bherd business and extended our stay to explore the urban contemporary galleries of the area. We didn’t do any research before we went up and thought it would be no problem to just ask for recommendations while we were there. Although, the recommendations were good, we managed to somehow hit 70% of the galleries while they were changing out their exhibits or they were closed. Some were very gracious and let us in to look around, some were just too busy and too torn apart to allow us entry.

I wanted to put together a list of the urban contemporary, pop art, and low brow galleries that we had recommended to us, some we are able to put our 2 cents in, some we can only say check ‘em out and report back for us! This is not an exhaustive list and we hope that other art lovers will let us know their finds as they explore the Vancouver, BC area. We recommend calling the galleries and checking on their exhibit rotation and even planning on hitting some of these galleries during an opening night - specifically Canvas Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Antisocial Gallery
2425 Main Street (the gallery is located behind the antisocial skate shop)
Mon – Sat: 11am – 6pm and Sun: 12pm – 5pm
We read about this place in the Georgia Straight (it’s like the Seattle Weekly). It sounded interesting and we were excited to explore it, however, when we arrived there was a sign on the door that said they were closed – something about attending someone’s trial? We then stopped at a coffee shop around the corner from Antisocial and they said it’s too bad we didn’t hear about the opening the night before – it was great and they always put on a good show. It always makes people feel good when you tell them how they just missed the big party! Well, we’ll have to come back and check this one out next time.

Art Speak
233 Carral Street (Gastown)
Tue – Sat: 12pm – 5pm
We did not get a chance to go to this one, but is was recommended to us by Canvas Gallery. Art Speak is a non-profit contemporary gallery that focuses on the integration of writing, poetry and visual art.

Ayden Gallery
49 Powell Street (Gastown)
Wed – Sat: 12pm – 6pm and Sun: 12pm – 5pm (or by appointment)
This gallery was recommended by Pablo, one of the owners of El Kartel (another great find). This gallery/store was in the process of taking down their exhibit when we stopped in. It’s a smaller space that focuses on contemporary works of both established and emerging artists.

Canvas Gallery
91 Powell Street (Gastown)
Mon – Fri: 10am – 6pm, Sat: 12pm – 8pm & Sun: 12pm – 4pm
The gallery space is cool to say the least. It’s split into a couple different areas: entrance corridor, lounge & entertainment stage with the art hung throughout the space. They were just hanging a new exhibit and did not have all the information up yet when we walked in. However, they were very gracious and let us take a look at what was up and check out their space. The photography that was up was stunning; the artist used cool blues and greens that gave the photographs a glowing eerie feeling. Canvas gallery not only features contemporary photography & art from high profile and emerging Vancouver artists, but also hosts entertainment and has a swanky lounge area. Definitely coordinate your visit with one of their exhibition openings or special events.

Contemporary Art Gallery
555 Nelson Street (Yaletown)
Wed – Sun: 12pm – 6pm
Believe it or not, we actually hit this gallery on their opening night for Fastw├╝rms. Fastw├╝rms are an art collective from Toronto. The group made this a fun and interactive experience with a multitude of activities going: the movie room had “Ninga vs. Witch” playing, a couple of “tattoo artists” drew tattoo’s with a selection of sharpies on a line-up of eager attendees; and a “hair artist” (and by the looks of what was going on, he was not a licensed hair stylist) was cutting some poor saps hair. I’m guessing the poor sap was drunk and thought it was a good idea at the time! The hair artist was dramatically trimming a centimeter of hair here and there around the guys head – I kind of think he was rounding the hair off into a bowl style but didn’t wait to see the end results. The exhibit also had murals, mirror paintings and giveaway posters. It was strange – in a good way!

El Kartel
1025 Robson Street, Suite 121-A
I’ve been up and down Robson 20 times since El Kartel has been in business, but it wasn’t until this last visit that I went in. It’s mostly a retail shop that sells t-shirts, shoes, hats & toys from the likes of Upper Playground, Fifty 24SF, Damage, Evisu, Kid Robot, and more. They have rotating urban/pop art exhibit and while we were in town the Woodpile Collective was on display. This is a trio of artists from Victoria, BC who create collaborative pieces on wood done in street style with urban design. John & I loved their work and are figuring out how we can woe them down to do a show in our gallery. Pablo, one of the owners of El Kartel was friendly and helpful when we told him we were looking for gallery recommendations.

The Fall
644 Seymour Street
Mon – Sat: 11am – 10pm & Sun: 12pm – 8pm
We didn’t get a chance to see this place, but I ran across it while I was at home following up on the urban contemporary, low brow art galleries. The art gallery is on the 1st floor along with the retail space and upstairs is the tattoo & piercing studio.

Grunt Gallery
350 E. 2nd Ave, #116
Wed – Sat: 12pm – 6pm
Another one that was recommended, but we did not get there. This is an artist run gallery that not only features contemporary visual art, but also performance, artist talks, publications and special projects.

JEM (Just East of Main)
225 E Broadway
We peered in from the outside, as it was not open when we stopped by. The great thing about the space is that we could see most of the artwork just fine from outside as it’s a small space with large windows.

OR Gallery
480 Smithe Street, Suite 103
Tue – Sat: 12pm – 5pm
We didn’t get to see this gallery, but I thought it was well worth mentioning. It is a non-profit gallery run by a board of directors that are committed to exhibitions for contemporary art that is experimental, challenging or critical.

Western Front Gallery
303 E 8th Avenue (near Main)
Tue – Sat: 12pm – 5pm
The Western Front Society is one of Canada’s first artist-run centers. We would have 1st of all never found it, as it is off of Main, in a neighborhood and the building looks like an old Grange hall (I think maybe it is). So just get yourself onto main street and ask for directions! We were a little thrown off when we walked in. The only thing we saw was a movie playing in a darkened room. There were people walking around out in the hall busy doing something and I guessed that they may have worked there. But we ran out of time to explore and so we hot footed back out. The Western Front was recommended by several people we ran into, so I know that it is worth another visit.

All the galleries listed above are in or very close to downtown Vancouver. The one’s near Main are within walking distance of each other and we were told that there are a few other artist run galleries around Main as well. I look forward to getting another chance to re-explore the galleries and hopefully add a few more to the list!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Christopher Olson, Seattle Contemporary Artist

Title: Joe Gould's Secret
Medium: Acrylic on canvas, 4"x4"
Year: 2007
Location: Artist's residence - For Sale

This piece was created as part of a series of over thirty individual 4" x 4" canvases which were then displayed together side by side unframed (see photo below).

Working in this small format allowed Chris to create each piece in about a 4 to 6 hours which he found very rewarding. Side note, this is not the only size that he works in. Most of his other pieces tend to be 18" x 24" or larger.

If you would view more of his other work, here are some links:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sara Samuelson - Seattle Artist

remnant #1 cancer productus - 2007
colored pencil on plastic film
8" X 5.5"

canis domesticus - cranium and the left mandible - 2007
colored pencil on plastic film
11" x 10"

Both pieces are available for sale and are currently not displayed.

Subjects featured in this collection are parts of a compete picture --portions of shells, pieces of insects, fragments of skeleton. The images of these subjects have been thoughtfully composed to reveal information not available from the object alone. From a remnant, information has been unearthed.

Sara's work is also available for viewing at: www.sarasamuelson.com

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Angela McFadden - Seattle Abstract Artist

50x 66" "Untitled" oils $3000.00 - 2007

50 x 51" "Breathe" oils $2500.00 - 2007

If you would like to see additional work, it is available by contacting Angela from her contact section of her website: www.angelamcfadden.com

Angela works with oils, as well as acrylics, and loves them both. Sizes of artwork range in size from 3 to 5 feet some a little larger, she prefers to work in large scale abstracts. Prices range from $600 to $3000. She currently has exhibits in Bellevue, Tacoma, Federal Way at this time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Pecha Kucha" February 12th at See Sound Lounge

Here's a great event you shouldn't miss:

Mend that bleeding heart at the See Sound Lounge with Seattle’s 5th city-wide Pecha Kucha Night. We’ve got a great line up of artists, film-makers, architects, designers and other amazing creative folks. Share ideas, see great work and make some mischief.

Event Details:
Tuesday, February 12th at 6:00 PM
See Sound Lounge 115 Blanchard St, Seattle, WA

Theme: LOVE

Linda Carlin, Senior Design Analyst, Frog Design
David Harrell, Fellow, Royal Institute of Public Health
John Grade, Artist, Seeps of Winter/Suyama Space
Allan Packer, Artist, Davidson Contemporary
Jon Taylor, Architect/Artist, Callison
Alex Maxim, Knowledge Manager, NBBJ
Dave Clapper, Editor, Smokelong Quarterly
David Ho, Architect, Gensler
Ryan Matthew Smith, Photographer
Shannon Wells & Jed Dunkerley, SlideLuckPotShow

About Pecha Kucha: www.pecha-kucha.org

Pecha Kucha (the Japanese for the sound of conversation) gathers creative individuals to share their work and ideas in an informal environment. Pecha Kucha Night was conceived in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (from Klein Dytham architecture, in Tokyo), as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each - giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to showcase their ideas, visions, work/areas of curiosity.

Posted by Center on Contemporary Art

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Post Battlefield of Love

Wow! What a night! And you know what, I definitely feel like I had a good night as well. ( Maybe a little too good of a night.) The night started out with the local artists popping in one after another followed by the guests . The place started to fill up and the libation were going down. It's always a lot of fun to bring in a group of people, meet new faces, and see some old friends. With all of the new changes to the gallery and the great artwork, the feeling was light, fun, and stimulating. I know it's only a couples days after, but I am already excited to have our next show which is going to be on the 15th of March. (Our 1st anniversary!) This show, "Love Is A Battlefield", will be up until February 23rd. So everyone still has some time to come by and look at this great line up of Seattle artists and their artwork. (And I definitely recommend that you do.) Bherd Studios will be open 12 - 6 pm Wed. - Fri. Feel free to stop by when ever. If you can't make it at those times, write us an email and we can set up a time to meet.

(Sample of Chris Sheridan, Kate Protage, and Dan Voelker.)

(The crowd plus ballons animals.)

(Andre Martin's artwork.)

(And this how the rest of the evening turned out.)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Little Sample of "Love Is A Battlefield"

"Wishing For Her" 30" x 22" Collage, Acrylic, Spray, & Oil on Canvas

So the last few days I have been engulfed in a creative juggernaut. Since last Monday it has been go, go, go. It's kind of like that every time we have a show. Over the last few days I have been spreading myself thin. And today was no exception. The day started off with the cat meowing at my door. And that meow was just a smidge too early. It was early enough to wake this bag of bones up though and I am glad she did. A bowl of frosted mini wheats, a banana, a cup of joe, 9am, and I am out the door. My body was telling that I should not be awake, but I am, so lets get a move on. Now some people are reading this and saying give me a break! 9am! Early! Yep, that is early to me. Don't hate me, I am just lucky. (And I plan to stay there too.) Up to my parents house to work on frames for paintings that I need to get done before Saturday (Three more coats for "Wishing For Her" and "J+Y" and a final coat for "The Three Day Rule"). From there, a half hour drive downtown to pick up a painting at Harpers (Second and Seneca, where I am showing some artwork). Back to the shop where I meet with my contractor to build some shelves. (Oh it's so nice to have more room in my work space now). Next thing you know its five o'clock and I haven't started painting on any of the paintings that I need to finish by Saturday and I realize that I still have to do a Free Art Friday. (Greenwood, I have a big day tomorrow and you are first on my list). A little more painting to a point where I know I can finish it all tomorrow and I decide it is time to take a mental break. The last three nights I have been at the shop 12pm to 11pm. It's a little after seven and I call it a night. I go over to my buddy Erik's place, hang out for a bit, then realize that the silk screening for tomorrows Free Art Friday is not going to get done all by itself. I make 5 minute trek home and look for parking. Little did I know, but tonight everyone decided to park 5ft away from each and for some crazy reason I forgot how to parallel park. So I did the mile away park, got the mail, got inside the place, and did the first thing any animal owner should do, and gave the cat some love. But it did not take long before I knew that I was going to be turning right around. Cat litter was needed and it needed to be purchased now. Back out the door, a little long board ride down to Safeway, now I am back, and I am writing you.

But there has been one thing that has been missing in this crunch time before the show. Something that makes my life easier. That one thing that tells me everything is going be alright and everything is going to work out good. And that's Michele. She has been on the East coast since Monday and even when she is out there, working her tail off, she still keeps me up, and still keeps me going. I can't wait to pick her up and get my arms around her.

If you are still are reading this you should come out to the show on Saturday night Febraury 9th, 6-9pm @ Bherd Studios. http://www.bherdclothing.com/Upcoming_events.htm (You'll be able to find directions at the bottom of this web address) This is our first group show and we have some really good Seattle artists featured. I think that I have known about this show since the end of the summer, so it almost being here is really exciting. I hope everyone will be able to make it out to enjoy the libations, good time, and great artwork.
Take it easy and I'll talk to you soon.

(Thank you wind for not blowing out the power.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Amy Reinecke


Amy Reinecke, Seattle artist, sends us her submission of her glass artwork. While using the medium of glass, her themes are there for the viewers to build their own conceptual meanings.

(Detail of "Missle")

For the sake of artwork, and the continual discussion of it, I will lend my thoughts to these vibrant pieces. A neon missle pointing down, positioned between mirrors. I get the feeling that the reflection of the missle is a statement of the wars that are upon us. The neon representing the ever present glare that me must look at, that we need to look at. Also to note the glow on the walls, the effect illuminating from the neon missle. Maybe the effect of the glow is the missle on its surroundings and those who are touched by it.

2'H 4'W 2'D

When I think of nets, I think of my childhood and the bugs that my buddy Jason and I used to catch. With the colors provided, and the different shades of the colors when they overlap while looking at them, I get the feeling of youth, playfulness, and desire.

Thank you Amy for being the first artist to show the medium of glass. If anyone is interested in the either of the peices, Amy still has them and they are available for sale. To get in touch with Amy please writes us back at speakandbherd@hotmail.com and we will send the message on to Amy.