As the weather becomes more pleasant, a summer stroll through Gastown is a satisfying experience. And for art lovers, the neighbourhood is alive with creative expression on every corner.
In Gastown, one can find the best native art in the city, along with a number of galleries displaying rotating installations as well as limited print and photographic pieces from artists around the world.
The buildings themselves are art in slow-motion. Gastown is an old story that is still told today through its layers, character and spirit.
Take an afternoon or a day and immerse yourself in our little world of colour, brick, paint, wood carving, cobblestone, light, canopy, pastel, watercolour, glass, stone and anything that speaks to you and says: “Here’s a moment of truth”.
Emerging as one of the foremost authentic First Nations art galleries in the West Coast, Coastal Peoples has collected within it’s open, bright space, the finest Canadian Native art available.
Upon entering the gallery, the immense power and spirit of the pieces will captivate, almost immediately. The Gallery’s collection encompasses both the traditional and contemporary, and speaks to the deeply rooted oral traditions of those who handcraft these magnificent creations.
Established in 1996, the Gallery has been curating and supporting local and BC Native artists for over 20 years while has becoming renowned for its museum-quality works.
Latest arrivals include works by Douglas David, Garner Moody, Joseph Campbell, Joanie (Joani) Ragee, Timila Pitsiulak and Wilf J. Sampson.
Standing proud as North America’s largest Northwest Coast Native art gallery, the masks and totem poles at Hill’s are some of the finest examples of Native Northwestern woodcarvings found in Canada. Hill’s features over 1200 Native artists and represents every Tribe and Nation of the Northwest Coast.
The gallery resides on the upper level showcasing limited prints, carvings and original paintings.
For Star Wars fans, Hill’s carries limited prints by Andy Everson featuring various characters that have been ‘indigenized’ by the artist. Darth Vader as a raven, a Stormtrooper as an eagle and also as a Haida totem pole.
Established in Gastown for over 30 years, the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver has set the standard for Native art sales in the neighbourhood. Focusing their collections on masterwork pieces by prominent Inuit and Northwest Coast artists, the gallery also supports emerging and next generation artists by featuring their works alongside that of established artists.
The latest exhibition is of Cape Dorset Prints – including works by Tim Pitsiulak, Cee Pootoogook, Papiara Tukiki and Pitaloosie Saila.
New arrivals have brought animal figures hewn from serpentine by various artists, an Eagle Canoe Tackle Box carved from red cedar by David Boxley, an Abstract Moon carved from red cedar by John Marston and a beautiful piece made from Chlorite and Antler by John Sabourin entitled ‘Controlling the Herd’ (pictured at the top of the article).
Artspeak was founded in 1986 and has become a cultural epicenter for emerging visual artists, writers and critics. This not for profit art-house strives to exhibit contemporary art and to encourage a dialogue between visual art and writing. At Artspeak, there’s always something unique, challenging, though provoking and interesting to discover. Artspeak is one of Gastown’s most vibrant and eclectic galleries.
Now showing at Artspeak is a video installation by Stephanie Comilang titled: “Yesterday, In The Years 1886 and 2017”. Stephanie Comilang is an artist living and working in Toronto and Berlin. She received her BFA from Ontario College of Art & Design. Her documentary based works create narratives that look at how our understandings of mobility, capital and labour on a global scale are shaped through various cultural and social factors.
An all inclusive arthouse that is very much Gastown, Gallery Gachet has been a major part of the DTES creative community for some time now.
The artist run Gallery Gachet lives by the dictum: Art is a means of Survival.
Gachet is a collectively run exhibition and studio space built to empower participants as artists, administrators and curators. The gallery holds up to 12 exhibitions each year, in addition to residencies, workshops, artist talks, symposia, special projects and other events.
Every Monday @ 1.00pm – 3.00pm there’s an opportunity to join the Expressive Arts class with Katherine Somody. Drop-in participants are encouraged to use a variety of mediums to create whatever inspires in this fun, open and inclusive arts class using paint, making collages, using mark-making tools, print-making and/or sculpture. No previous art experience is necessary to participate in the group.The class is Free and open to everyone. Call 604-687-2468 to book.
Choboter Fine Art is owned and run by the artist. Donald Choboter was born in Saskatchewan, in the final years of the Great Depression. He obtained his formal education in the Prairies while spending much of his adult life there. A current resident on Alexander Street, Choboter’s contemporary work suggests a fusion of Degas and Pollock. The gallery serves a dualistic purpose as archive of the artist’s journey within a wide range of work spanning from the 1970’s to present day. To see a metamorphosis from medium to subject to expression while consistently creating new work is the hope, indeed the intended creative trajectory that each growing artist may strive towards.
LUMAS is an unusual gallery concept presenting a unique portfolio of international artists in an equally unique space. Showcasing limited edition art photography, this concept to make art more affordable began in Berlin 12 years ago. The store is referred to as The Art Collector’s Home – an aspirational version of a home that allows guests to relax, spend time with curators and imagine LUMAS artworks in their own home.
Lumas has made artistic accessibility paramount and its inclusive reach extends within the support made not just to established but also emerging artists.
Current featured artists include Bernhard Lang, Rafael Neff and Tommy Clarke.