Campbell River Art Gallery seeks to showcase art from remote communities in new exhibition – Campbell River Mirror
Last year, the Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG) launched its new Satellite Campus program, a series of barrier-free workshops developed and facilitated by professional Indigenous artists from traditional territories around northern Vancouver Island and of the nearby Discovery Islands.
And now they showcase the works produced at those workshops and celebrate the people and communities who participated in an exhibition called Distant Relatives.
“We wanted to offer people from these communities the possibility of having access to contemporary professional artistic practices”, explains the general director of the CRAG, Sara Lopez Assu. “Many of these communities will often have apprenticeship and mentorship systems that allow people to lean into traditional artistic practices, while contemporary artists typically move to urban centers to practice their art. In fact, many he artists we work with don’t live in the community, they live in urban centers, so it was a great opportunity for them to go and work in the community and allow the contemporary cultural expressions of those communities to come out.
Exhibiting the “artifacts” of these community workshops not only elevates the work produced, but initiates an important dialogue with the greater Campbell River community about the interests, values and concerns of these areas, Assu says.
The exhibition officially opens with a welcome and reception on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m., where the public can come to learn more about the project and meet some of the artists involved. The exhibition will then be in place in the Satellite gallery until November 5th.
“I hope people will see this exhibit and get a better understanding of what these communities think is important right now,” Assu said. “The workshops at Cape Mudge, for example, took place shortly after the discovery of the 215 graves in Kamloops and it weighed heavily on that community. They wanted to make this workshop an act of collective healing, not only for their youth, but also for their elders and survivors. It is something that belongs to them and is precious and we wanted to protect and keep space for them. And now we’re saving space for the Campbell River community to come and see it and better understand how much it’s taken a toll on them and the healing journey they’ve been on so the community at large can come forward as allies and gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of colonization on these remote communities.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
Arts and CultureCampbell River