Vancouver's Pride in Art Society to open gallery dedicated to queer art in Chinatown

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      Vancouver will soon have gallery space devoted to presenting queer art and supporting LGBT artists.

      While the Vancouver-based Pride in Art Society holds the annual Queer Arts Festival, the organization is planning to open an approximately 700-square-foot gallery that will provide yearlong multidisciplinary arts programming, including exhibitions, performances, workshops, and other events.

      “Year after year everyone from volunteers, artists, attendees, and our partners tell me that they want to see us doing more activities throughout the year, outside the festival season,” Pride in Art artistic director SD Holman stated in a news release. “But we haven’t had the venue to do so until now. Having a gallery opens up so many opportunities to show incredible art to the public and support more artists.”

      The gallery will be located on the fourth floor of the B.C. Artscape Sun Wah building at 268 Keefer Street in Chinatown. The three-floor centre, currently in development, will become a hub for artists, cultural producers, community groups, and small businesses.

      B.C. Artscape Sun Wah will be located inside the Sun Wah building (exterior view from Keefer Street).
      B.C. Artscape

      Pride in Art's forthcoming gallery will be adjacent to and have a doorway connecting to On Main Gallery, thereby allowing for partnerships with Paul Wong Projects/On Main Gallery. As the Pride in Art office will be located in a shared flex workspace in the building with other festivals, such as the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, the Queer Arts Festival will be able to collaborate with these festivals as well.  

      The gallery is slated to open in 2018, during the Queer Arts Festival's 10th anniversary and Pride in Art's 20th anniversary.

      While the Queer Arts Festival will continue to be held at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, the new space will be used in conjunction with and outside the festival season.

      Pride in Art, which was founded by two-spirit artist Robbie Hong in 1998, launched a crowdfunding campaign on November 1 that will run until the Day Without Art, the international day of action on and awareness of AIDS, on December 1.

      Although the majority of the costs will be supported by government grants and B.C. Artspace, the fundraising campaign goal is to raise $10,000 for final renovations and preparations of the gallery. These funds will cover expenses for automatic doors, lighting, and audiovisual equipment, such as a projector, an integrated sound system, media players, and other specialized equipment like 3D-capable monitors.

      "As we present innovative contemporary artwork, we need equipment that is adaptable and flexible, to accommodate as many conceivable configurations artworks may require as possible," Pride in Art administrative manager Kimberly Sayson informed the Georgia Straight. "A lot of contemporary artwork is very technology-driven, on the edge of current technological capabilities, so we will install equipment that best showcases this."

      Funds raised during the campaign will be matched by the McGrane-Pearson Endowment Fund (at the Vancouver Foundation) and Ken Gracie and Philip Waddell. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on FacebookYou can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.