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

Steelhead, Huu-ay-aht submit plans for Kwispaa LNG Project

Total plan would cost $10 billion, last 25 years

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Mother passes SD70 trustee torch to daughter in Port Alberni

Jane Jones loses after one term, but proud of her daughter Connie Watts

ELECTION 2018: Sharie Minions named Port Alberni mayor

Haggard, Solda, Washington, Poon, Paulson and Corbeil named councillors

Four incumbents re-elected to School District 70 in Port Alberni

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board will have a new look

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read