Surrey Art Gallery and Surrey Art Gallery Association invite art fans of all knowledge and experience levels to join them for a bus tour of contemporary art in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant area on Wednesday, October 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring a packed lunch or grab a bite from local favourite eatery Budgies Burritos. Ages 16+. Cost is $39. Participants can register online at surrey.ca/artgallery under Gallery Events.
Ready, set, let’s go see some art! The group will meet in the morning at Surrey Art Gallery for an orientation over coffee. They will then join Surrey Art Gallery Curator Jordan Strom to visit galleries and artist-run centres in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant area.
First stop is the grunt gallery for artist Gabi Dao’s exhibition, a sentimental dissidence. The grunt gallery explores diverse Canadian cultural identity through public programming like exhibitions, performances, artist talks, publications, and special projects in the community. They aim to inspire public dialogue by creating an environment that encourages and nurtures innovative, collaborative, and provocative contemporary art.
Next, the group will head to Western Front, a leading artist-run centre for contemporary art and new music, and a platform for interdisciplinary, experimental art practices in Canada and internationally. Here visitors will check out Experimental Time Order by Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), a collaboration between artist activists Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips. The duo draws from their interests in quantum physics and Black/Afrodiasporic cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space to create videos, publications, collages, sculptures, performances, and discursive events. BQF’s recent work questions how we can interact with space-time in different ways in order to imagine, see, and manifest future realities in the present.
After lunch the group will move on to the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) for Kate Metten’s The Thinking Eye, Ryan Quast’s Eleven Minutes Late, and Molly Burke’s Unfolded. Created in a BAF residency program, Metten’s body of work reflects her interest in modernism and painting. It explores art’s ability to direct eye movement and create a sense of pattern and optical space. Quasts’ painted sculptures depict mundane items—including actual garbage—covered in layers and layers of dried paint. The work raises questions about perceived value and the role of labour in the art market. Burke’s Unfolded examines the role of visual perception in our experience of reality. Through the interplay of flatness and physical space, this work invites viewers to feel the tension between the reality we experience through digital screen-based devices and our embodied physical reality.
Finally, the group will round out the day by visiting the Libby Leshgold Gallery to see The Undesirables, a solo exhibition by Myfanwy MacLeod. Featuring works from 10 years of public art projects, finished and unfinished, her work includes Primrose: a 12-foot cast for a sculpture of a donkey, soon to be installed in Toronto. MacLeod blends art history, popular culture, and folklore in a charming way, skillfully walking the line between conceptualism and whimsy. Her work also touches on social, political, and environmental concerns, and she encourages more woman artists to take an active role in public art.
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