The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford strides into spring with captivating exhibitions by a Nova Scotia artist and three BC artists. The public is invited to meet the artists, connect with our arts community and enjoy appies at the Spring/Summer Opening Reception on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 7pm.
The Reach’s 2017 exhibitions, including this suite of programs, acknowledge Canada’s 150th year of confederation while addressing our shared colonial history, considering the legacy of its impacts, and exploring the possibility of (re)conciliation for present and future generations.
Ready Player Two is a new, collaborative body of work created by BC artists Sonny Assu and Brendan Tang. The artists combine elements from science fiction, comic book, and gaming cultures to consider how these forms alternately reinforce and transcend racial boundaries in youth culture. Their work acknowledges and gives shape to concealed and erased Immigrant-Settler (i.e. non-European) and Indigenous histories in BC through what they have collectively referred to as “consumer geek culture.” Informed by their mixed-race backgrounds and experiences of Canadian life in the 1980s and 1990s, the artists bring together found objects, selections from previous bodies of work, and new collaborative pieces to create immersive spaces that evoke the adolescent sanctuaries of their time: the basement, the arcade, and the comic book store.
The Great Experiment presents an impressive selection of large-scale multi-coloured lithographs by accomplished printmaker Ericka Walker. This American born artist, who is now based in Nova Scotia, explores the relationship between war-era propaganda and continued notions of patriotism, industrialization, and capitalism in North America. Her exhibition’s title refers to an essay, penned by American John O’Sullivan in 1845, which popularized the notion of manifest destiny. Images of industry, agriculture, and warfare mix with fragments of text drawn from a variety historical sources. In Walker’s work, these calls to action are both familiar and obscure leaving us to wonder about the value of their supposed moral authority. While in Abbotsford, and connecting to her Great Experiment exhibition, Ericka Walker will paint two public outdoor mural projects; one on the Aerie 2726 Fraternal Order of Eagles downtown building, and the other to be confirmed.
The third exhibition opening in May is the second half of a two-part retrospective for White Rock artist Jim Adams. This exhibition, titled The Irretrievable Moment, brings together over 100 works spanning nearly 50 years by this prolific senior artist. The retrospective takes place at two venues. Surrey Art Gallery (April 8 – June 11) hosted the first part of the exhibition with a wide selection of works that explore Adams’ earlier art production including his book works and graphic arts, suburban streetscapes, metaphysical landscapes, portraits and aviation abstractions. The second part of the exhibition, opening at The Reach, focuses on Adams’ last two decades of artmaking, and includes a selection of paintings and objects that combine imagery inspired by Classical and African myth and the visual language of science fiction.
Following the free opening reception on May 25th, the three exhibitions will be featured at The Reach until September 3, 2017. Additional public programs developed and offered in conjunction with the exhibitions include: Brunch with the Artists, a ticketed event on May 27 at 10:30am, a free Artist Talk with Jim Adams on Saturday, June 17 at 1pm at The Reach, and an Ericka Walker Artist Talk & Public Mural Unveiling/Reception in early summer at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall.
These Reach programs are made possible by Canada Council for the Arts, the Surrey Art Gallery, Arts Nova Scotia, our sponsors and you. For more details drop by The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way, or visit thereach.ca or phone: 604 864 8087 (dial “O”).