Tom Schmidt’s Just Thinkin, sculpted from Carmanah marble. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Art takes over Alberni Valley Museum for latest exhibit

Artists examine their personal sense of place in unique show

MIKE YOUDS

Special to the News

Asked about their sense of place in the world, people sometimes relate to the landscape as a dominant force while others see themselves more in a cultural or spiritual context.

As landscapes go, the Island bears considerable influence in this measure of identity, which is why My Place, a regional juried art exhibition, offers a refreshing variation on a popular theme.

The organizers, city residents and artists Robert Gunn and Chris Doman, invited artists across the region to submit works on the spaces they inhabit — physically, mentally or emotionally. Within a couple of months, they managed to engage 26 area artists working in a range of media in 26 different directions. Instead of sticking to safe, sentimental or romantic depictions of beauty and home, My Place ventures off the conventional path and into a wilderness of the human condition.

Translation: This is not your run-of-the mill art exhibition.

That’s not to suggest there aren’t some stunning landscapes in the show and sale, Jillian Mayne’s Backwater Cathedral and Paul Jorgenson’s Village of Stars, both acrylics on canvas, among them. They hold their own alongside abstract expressionist marble sculptures by Tom Schmidt and Connie Watts’ acrylic on canvas, Connectivity, rooted in Indigenous symbol and tradition.

Works by Arthur Lismer, Emily Carr and George Clutesi — on loan from the arts council’s permanent collection — serve to ground the show in a sense of the local with their expressions of place during the 20th century, a different world.

Gunn explained to a packed gallery on opening night that the idea of My Place arose before they had any space in which to hold it.

“Lo and behold there was a six-week blank spot for this gallery,” he said.

All who submitted works were included in the show. Adjudication had more to do with the relationship between the works and the artists’ statements, Doman said. Several of the artists made it to the opening.

“If you folks hadn’t been brave enough to submit something for a theme show — and I know a lot of people resist that — we wouldn’t have had it,” said Jamie Morton, museum director. “And it came together really well.”

My Place continues through to July 14 in the Founder’s Gallery.

Just Posted

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

First Vancouver Island heat wave of the summer is here

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement as temperatures creep into the 30s

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Alberni Valley Vintage Tractor Club contributes to charity

Funds raised from hay sales go towards BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

Most Read