When 80 artists live and work together in a building that caters to their needs, it is bound to be a hotbed of creativity and innovation. At one such building, the Artist Resource Centre (1701 Powell Street), the fruits of the residents’ labours will be on display this weekend at Uncommon Boundaries, this year’s gallery show and studio crawl.
The show will feature creations and performances by a wide range of artists, from live sculpting by Gideon Hay, an acclaimed sculptor in the entertainment industry, to installations by numerous painters and two short recitals by seasoned classical pianist Sarah Hagen.
“It’s an opportunity for us to invite the public in and see the lives of artists and share what we do,” co-organizer Karen Moe told the Georgia Straight in her studio.
“I want a lot of people to come and see our work, and yeah, we always put up a gorgeous show, so it’s always really exciting. Every year we have a different person curate, so it’s always exciting to see what they come up with.”
This year’s curator is pop artist and newcomer to the building Bobbi Sue Smith. Smith moved in only two months ago, when she came to Vancouver from her home on Vancouver Island, looking for a place where she could connect with other artists. For her, curating the show was a great way to get to know everybody individually.
“It’s been great,” she says, “because I’ve been getting to know each artist in the show and it’s definitely accomplished building a sense of community for me.”
Smith has experience in curation, so it was a natural fit for her to assume that role. However, it was still challenging for her to organize a show with such a diversity of artists.
“You kind of want to have a big picture of what the show is going to look like, and it’s challenging when you have so many different artists to maybe find a common thread or some kind of way where the show begins to make sense.”
All of the exhibitions are loosely tied to the theme of the year, uncommon boundaries. Filmmaker Rina Del Pieve Gobbi didn’t have to alter her work for the theme, since all of her pieces are boundary-pushing.
Del Pieve Gobbi will be showing one film in her studio, and one film down in the basement. The film in the basement is an abstract piece about masturbation, which is composed of shots of light and dark colours and loud sounds. The film is the final installation of a four-part video piece that she created on sexual violence.
“The reason that they’re abstract is that I don’t think we should look at sexual violence as entertainment,” she says. “My films are about the emotions that one feels and are an internal journey, and they’re also supposed to be a healing process.”
In her studio, she will be giving demonstrations on how to cut film negatives, as well as showing her short film about the missing and murdered women of the Downtown Eastside. Del Pieve Gobbi chose to work in film for this piece, because she felt the dying medium was a metaphor for the disappearing women.
The ARC is donating a portion of the proceeds from the event to Studio 101, an art initiative for elementary school students that is put on by the Eastside Culture Crawl. Each year, children get to come visit some of the artists in their studios, learn about different art forms, and make some art themselves.
All of the artists hope that the weekend show will give them an opportunity to share their work with a wider audience, meet some new friends, and generally have a good time.
The event includes two evening parties tonight and Saturday (June 13 and 14) from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Moth Orbit Object Theatre and Dusty Hagerud will perform puppet shows at 9:30 p.m. both nights, and jazz vocalist Veronica Iza will play a set at 10 p.m. on Saturday only.
On Saturday and Sunday (June 14 and 15), the gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classical pianist Sarah Hagen will be performing Saturday from 1 to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 2:30 p.m., and performance artist Karen Moe will be performing her piece entitled Vulnerable on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. For a full listing, check out the Uncommon Boundaries event page.