Port Alberni art show looks to future after the pandemic

Visitors admire the artwork on display at the Alberni Valley Museum for the newest exhibit, “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings.” (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Visitors admire the artwork on display at the Alberni Valley Museum for the newest exhibit, “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings.” (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
A close-up look at a piece of artwork on display at “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings.” (ELENA RARDON / ALBERN IVALLEY NEWS)A close-up look at a piece of artwork on display at “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings.” (ELENA RARDON / ALBERN IVALLEY NEWS)
Visitors admire some of the artwork on display at the Alberni Valley Museum for “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings.” (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Visitors admire some of the artwork on display at the Alberni Valley Museum for “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings.” (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Jean McIntosh—one of the adjudicators for the art show—introduces “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings” at the Alberni Valley Museum on Thursday, May 5. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Jean McIntosh—one of the adjudicators for the art show—introduces “Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings” at the Alberni Valley Museum on Thursday, May 5. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

A new art show at the Alberni Valley Museum looks at the challenges of the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also looks forward to an uncertain future.

“Emergence: New Works, New Beginnings” officially opened at the museum on May 5, 2022 to a reception full of artists and admirers. The juried art show is the second one that has happened at the Alberni Valley Museum, after the success of “My Place: A Personal View” in 2018.

More than 80 artists submitted more than 135 pieces to the show, said adjudicator Jean McIntosh. The panel of judges—made up of McIntosh, Kerry Mason, Astrid Johnston and Tim Paul—narrowed this down to 72 pieces of art from 60 different artists across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

“The response was exciting, and a little overwhelming,” said McIntosh. “I think you’ll agree that the results are spectacular. It’s a wonderful collection of diverse works in many different mediums, with approaches and subjects as varied as the islands on which we live.”

The museum’s show room is filled with everything from paintings to sculptures to interactive designs. Some of the artists used traditional oils and pastels, while some used recycled materials and vintage toys. Several of the pieces had already been purchased by the end of the exhibit’s first night.

The theme was made intentionally broad, said McIntosh, but many artists used it as an opportunity to respond to the challenges of the past two years.

“They’re looking forward, as we all are, to define new realities,” said McIntosh.

The exhibit will be available to view at the Alberni Valley Museum until Sept. 3, 2022.

The show will also include a few talks and workshops organized by the Alberni Art Rave Society. The first will be a presentation by Hupacasath First Nation Councillor Suuwayaqawilth (Jolleen Dick), who will speak on cultural appropriation and appreciation on Wednesday, May 18. The talk takes place at 7 p.m. at the Echo Centre. Admission is free.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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Artart exhibitPort Alberni