Campbell River Art Gallery staff and board saddened to learn of a woman’s experience – Campbell River Mirror
The staff and board of the Campbell River Art Gallery are saddened to hear about the experience Sherron Soo had when she visited us over Thanksgiving weekend.
She came to the gallery expecting a warm welcome and left feeling like she was not respected as a person. For this we must apologize; his feelings were hurt and that was not our intention.
His experience at the gallery is particularly serious for us due to the difficulty with which we have actively and intentionally strived not only to be non-racist, but rather to be actively anti-racist.
As a public institution, we take our role in changing the narratives and actions around racism very seriously. Last year, we held exhibitions featuring works by circumpolar artists examining the history of colonialism in the North and celebrating Inuit cultural heritage, an exhibition examining the experience of Arab and Iranian peoples in Canada and the transfer of traditional indigenous knowledge from generation to generation and its importance. in our world. We have organized extensive programming alongside all of these exhibitions to facilitate and encourage discussion on these topics.
This year, we exhibited our permanent collection and used it to examine the historic lack of inclusion of under-represented cultures and groups in the art world. We hosted an exhibit examining the experience of Asian Canadians, the history of anti-Asian racism in North America, and celebrating the advocacy and resistance of contemporary Chinese communities here. We led a research project to document the experience of Asian Canadians in our own community. We have hosted a series of online film screenings featuring stories told by filmmakers from the Asian Diaspora. We ran a program in conjunction with the Immigrant Welcome Center that asked people to paint the word “Hope” on rocks in many languages and disseminate it to the local business community to recognize and celebrate the diversity of the community. Our current exhibition features works by Indigenous artists expressing their thoughts on colonialism and reconciliation.
We have many more exhibitions and programs planned for the future that will continue this work, as we remain committed to our mandate and mission of social justice.
You are welcome to the Campbell River Art Gallery no matter who you are, where you are from or why you are coming to us, and we hope Sherron Soo will give us another chance if she ever returns to our community.
Sara Lopez Assu, Executive Director, and Darren Larose, Chairman of the Board, on behalf of the staff and board of the Campbell River Art Gallery