Community Art Space

The Reach preserves and shares the stories of Abbotsford’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and showcases the best in arts from both inside and outside the community.

We have a longstanding commitment to presenting community-based art works at The Reach. We partner with organizations, from within the arts community and from broader fields of interest, who have undertaken visual arts initiatives to create visibility for their efforts. Our Community Art Space is an application-based opportunity for all community groups to exhibit art projects at The Reach. Whether you are an art club or society, a school group, or a social services organization, if you have works of art you’d like to present, we’d like to hear from you! The Reach’s Community Art Space is also used for many of The Reach’s programs. With that comes certain accommodations that need to be observed. When a program is taking place in the studio the community art exhibition will not be accessible to the public. The Reach reserves the right to close the Community Art Space at any time without notice for programming use.

Application Process

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis from community groups or organizations and applications for 2021 year are now open. Community group members are responsible for the delivery and take-down of all artworks. Publicity for the exhibition and opening reception will be a co-effort on the part of the community group and The Reach. Apply Now

FAQ’s

What kind of art will you accept?

Due to the multipurpose nature of the Community Art Space, only 2D artworks will be considered for exhibition. Some relatively flat 3D artworks will be considered if they are compatible with wall hanging.

Who is responsible for transportation of artworks to and from The Reach?

The community group or organization.

Can we store our packaging materials from the artworks at The Reach while the artworks are on display?

Unfortunately, due to the limited storage capacity at The Reach, no packaging materials can be stored on premises during the run of the exhibition.

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How many people are needed from our group/organization for installation of the artworks?

Approximately 3 to 4.

Can we drop off artworks before our installation date?

Unfortunately, due to the limited storage capacity at The Reach, no artworks can be stored on premises leading up to the installation date.

Can we leave artworks at The Reach after our exhibition has ended?

Unfortunately, due to the limited storage capacity at The Reach, no artworks can be stored on premises after the end of the exhibition.

Will we have an opening reception?

All Community Art Shows will have the opportunity to be a part of an opening reception at The Reach.

What will the opening reception be like?

Depending on the schedule of exhibitions your opening reception may coincide with other opening receptions at The Reach and could be as large as 500 people or as small as 30 people. This depends a lot on how many people the community group or organization invites. Light refreshments will be served and beer and wine will be available by donation. Brief speeches by representatives of The Reach, community groups or artists will take place.

Who will speak at the opening reception?

Depending on the exhibitions, various artists, Reach representatives, dignitaries, funders or group leaders may choose to speak.

Who is responsible for promoting the exhibition and opening reception?

The Reach and the Group or Organization will work together to create promotional material. The group or Organization is responsible for promoting their exhibition with these co-created materials.

Current Exhibition

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School: Art Activism Class

May 27-June 11

Teacher: Nikita Griffioen

Artists: Simmi Boparai, Sarah Bourquin, Sean Briones, Tiffany Cruz, Jillian Downey, Faith Dueck, Jennifer Guthrie, Oliver Jolliffe, Niki Kasper, Hanna Kim, C. Luu, Cynthia Pain, Tiffany Reitsma 

What does it look like to be anti-racist and to advocate for being anti-racist? Through an inquiry-based curriculum, the Art Activism students at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School spent over a quarter of the year exploring these concepts. We began the quarter with learning in-depth about the history of racism and its continued involvement in our modern times. Students then participated in a novel study of “All-American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, participating in deep discussion and scrutinizing the characters beyond their stereotyped appearances. Throughout the academic components, students were taking note of themes that resonated with them to inspire ideas for their final painting.

Many common themes emerged from our inquiry, including: the racist history of the music industry, housing struggles due to race, the difficulties faced by LGBTQ+ black, indigenous, and people of colour, and the beauty industry’s impossible standards. A theme that resonated deeply with students was the power disparity between police and BIPOC.

Abby Senior acknowledges the positive impact that the APD has had on our community. We recognize we are fortunate that our school has a close relationship with them. However, we also acknowledge that there are countless lived experiences by marginalized folks both locally and globally that counter this positive outlook

It’s our hope that these paintings will elicit an emotional and thoughtful response from viewers as we present some realities of racism and cultivate thoughts and impressions of being anti-racist.

Image credit: Sarah Bourquin, See Me, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

Upcoming Exhibition

Robert Bateman Secondary School, Art Activism Class

June 15-June 30

Teacher: Claire Apostolopoulos

Artists: Rebeca Aguirre, Tahira Anderson, Makena Baldwin, Emily Cornwall, Lanae Davenport, Olivia DeWit, Tessa HollandGroom, Annika Holness, Jocelyn Learn, Linda Mensah, Jenna Meschke, Isabella O’Donnel-Golt, Gabby Waddell, Chevy Wishart

The objective of this course is to empower students through knowledge to create an art exhibition that represents an important social issue, in this case, the issue of racism. Students explore the depth of the problem and learn how to be empowered to work towards solutions in a creative environment, responding both academically and artistically.

For this project, students looked at individual case studies, heard from guest speakers who are experts in the field, and completed a novel study of the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Art has power to raise awareness, and our goal is that students will leave as empowered citizens who understand the concept and consequences of racism. Students will understand the importance of being actively anti-racist and will see themselves as co-conspirators in disrupting white supremacy. The culmination of this awareness and learning about racism are the works of art in this exhibition.

Past Exhibitions

Darkroom Pursuits

The Darkroom Group

Exhibition: January 28 – March 20, 2021.

The Darkroom Group presents Darkroom Pursuits, a collection of photographic prints made in physical isolation. The Darkroom Group is an Abbotsford-based collective with a membership extending to the greater Vancouver region. The group meets virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Darkroom Pursuits

The Darkroom Group

Exhibition: January 28 – March 20, 2021.

The Darkroom Group presents Darkroom Pursuits, a collection of photographic prints made in physical isolation. The Darkroom Group is an Abbotsford-based collective with a membership extending to the greater Vancouver region. The group meets virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 


 

UFV Community Practices Class

Exhibition:  March 25 – May 8, 2021.

The Community Arts Practices cohort at the University of the Fraser Valley is developing innovative concepts of ‘place’ and ‘community.’ As artist-citizens, the group presents creative work that challenges historical narratives and negotiates meaningful, ethical, and cultural contexts. Students will conduct site-responsive creative research and use socially engaged art practices for their collaborative exhibition in The Reach’s Community Art Space.

 


 

Happiness

Exhibition: November 5, 2020-January 9, 2021.

This creative collaboration between community groups Communitas Supportive Care Society and Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association presents a collection of artistic work created by people living with acquired brain injury. Works included in the Community Art Space project Happiness are a reflection of the journey with brain injury in the midst of a pandemic, inviting viewers to consider the many sources of happiness.

 


 

Masks We Wear / Positive Resistance Quilt.

Exhibition: September 10-October 28, 2020

Virtual Film Discussion of FLOOD: The Overdose Epidemic in Canada: September 18, 2020 at 6:30pm.

COVID 19 has impacted another health emergency – the Opioid Crisis. This season, the Community Art Space will feature Masks We Wear and Positive Resistance Quilt – two projects that look at different aspects of this crisis.

Masks We Wear is an art project exploring the faces we present to the world and how we perceive those of others. Beneath the mask shines our collective humanity in a range of artworks, words, music, and memes created by Mission residents including those who have been personally impacted by the crisis. This project is coordinated by the Mission Overdose Community Action Team, with funding provided by the Community Action Initiative.

The Positive Resistance Quilt is a multi-generational community artwork facilitated by artist/activist Kat Wahamaa that seeks to foster understanding and build community resilience in the face of the overdose epidemic. People of all ages have painted quilt squares for this project, sparking positive action, commemorating loved ones, increasing harm reduction awareness, and expressing hope for the future.

 


 

Climate Change Art in the Virtual Community Art Space: A Project by Art Activism High School Students.

Virtual Launch: June 26, 2020

Climate Change Art is a virtual Community Art Space exhibition created by students of Robert Bateman Secondary School’s Art Activism Class, and presented in partnership with The Reach Gallery Museum.

The virtual exhibition features images of the acrylic paintings resulting from the class’ research on the effects of climate change crisis at both the local and global scale. As part of their research, students interviewed BC’s Minister of Environment and a representative from BC’s oldest environmental organization, Sierra Club BC. Students also drew from their own individual concerns about the climate change crisis.

The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the virtual presentation of this project, but some of the paintings from the exhibition can be seen in person in the Community Art Space at The Reach from June 26 – August 16, 2020. 

To view the virtual exhibition in its entirety, click here.

 


 

Quiet Spaces: A Virtual Community Art Space Project by UFV Students.

Ongoing.

Virtual Launch: May 22, 2020 at 7pm.

Quiet Spaces is an e-zine and virtual Community Art Space program created by students of the University of the Fraser Valley’s Community Practices Class, and presented in partnership with The Reach Gallery Museum. Responding to rapidly changing social conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class collaborated on an e-zine or digital publication where each student reflected the questions: What is a quiet place? Why do we search for these places? How does the meaning of these places shift in a time of self-isolation and constant news-feed updates?

To view this project, click here.

 


 

Linda Klippenstein: Newcomers to Canada Project. March 12-April 26, 2020.

Opening Reception: March 12, 2020 at 6:30pm.

This season, The Reach will partner with local artist Linda Klippenstein to present a collaborative cut-paper mural with a group of newcomer women taking part in a series of informal workshops at The Reach. This project is a recipient of the CFUW Creative Arts Award 2019. The Community Art Space is an application-based opportunity for all community groups to exhibit art projects at The Reach.

 


 

The Darkroom Group. January 23-March 5, 2020.

Opening Reception: January 23, 2020 at 7pm.

The Darkroom Group is an Abbotsford-based collective with a membership extending to the greater Vancouver region. This exhibition of darkroom-developed photographs highlights techniques such as the traditional gelatin silver process and alternative techniques such as
carbon printing and use of digital negatives for darkroom processing.

 


 

Visions of Abbotsford. Fraser Valley Watermedia Society, with contributions from Abbotsford Adult and Teen Challenge. Exhibition: November 8, 2019-January 5, 2020.

Opening Reception: November 7, 2019 at 6:30pm.

Perry Haddock “Making Acrylics Pop” workshop: November 8, 2019.

The Fraser Valley Watermedia Society (FVWS) and The Reach Gallery Museum seek to support relationships within our community, pursue art with social purpose, and build awareness for the value of art in our daily lives. This exhibition of works from FVWS members responds to the theme “Visions of Abbotsford.”

 


 

Purple Lights Art Contest. Purple Lights Nights.

Exhibition: October 3-November 3, 2019.

Opening Reception: October 9, 2019 at 6pm.

Selected by the Purple Lights committee, the artworks on display at The Reach Gallery Museum are entries made by high school students, university students, and community members to the Purple Lights Art Contest. Each artwork shows the artist’s ideas and creativity in remembering,
supporting, and giving hope to those affected by domestic violence. Purple Lights committee has selected semi-finalist pieces which will be displayed at the Lighting Ceremony at The Reach and the final selection of a winner in each category will be announced on October 9. The semi-finalist and winners will be on display at The Reach for the month of October 2019.

 


 

 

See and Hear: Art and Poetry for Mental Health. Communitas Supportive Care Society.

Exhibition: May 23-June 28, 2019.

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7pm.

Twelve artists paired with twelve poets create a unique and important exhibit that gives expression to the challenges of living with mental illness. By sharing their gifts, these poets and artists hope to remove the stigma and shed light on their experiences. Come. See and
Hear.

 


 

Abbotsford Photo Arts Club.

Exhibition: November 15, 2018-January 7, 2019.

Opening Reception: November 15, 2018 at 6:30pm.

Formed in 1975, the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club grew from the desire of a handful of people to continue to share their experiences and improve their photography. Besides fulfilling a social function, the club’s main objective has always been to help amateur photographers to develop
and improve their proficiency. Many people find that a photography club fills a gap between the knowledge they acquire from a course in basic photography and the experience they need to operate independently as fulfilled amateur photographers. APAC is fortunate to have members whose proficiency is unquestioned, and who stay with the club to help others achieve a higher standard.

 


 

Purple Lights Nights Art Show.

Exhibition: October 9, 2018-November 12, 2018.

Opening Reception: October 11, 2018. Trauma Informed

Yoga: October 18, 2018 at 6pm.

Purple Light Nights started in Covington, Washington in 2007 to raise awareness about what healthy relationships look like, and to prevent intimate partner violence with education. The purple lights are a way to remember those victims who lost their lives from domestic violence, support those who have survived it, and provide hope to those still living with abuse. The Fraser Valley Purple Light Nights Domestic Violence Society sought out more community involvement and reached out with an art contest. Children, students and community members were asked to create a piece of art that displayed their ideas and creativity in remembering, supporting, and giving hope to those affected by domestic violence. The committee was presented with a wide variety of talent and interpretations, creating a beautiful collection to show our community’s involvement in shining a light on domestic violence.

 


Paintings by Syrian Artist, Kevork Donigian.

Exhibition: September 27-October 8, 2018.

Opening Reception: October 27, 2018.

Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1999, Kevork Donigian enjoyed a stable and normal childhood, attending school in Aleppo until grade seven. At that point, the Syrian Civil War erupted, and Kevork’s life and the lives of his friends and family were changed forever. Kevork’s parents made the difficult decision to relocate the family to Lebanon, where they lived for the next six years. They registered as refugees with the United Nations Charter, and were eventually granted permission to immigrate to Canada. They arrived in Abbotsford in early 2018 and are working hard to settle into their new home and community. Kevork is happy to be in Canada and to be attending
school. He is hopeful about his future and hopes one day to be an architect. Though he has had no formal art lessons, he has nevertheless found peace through painting, and tries to paint pictures about hope.

 


Lex̱éywa. Robert Bateman Secondary School’s Art Activism Class.

Exhibition: July 10-September 9, 2018.

Opening Reception: July 8, 2018.

Lex̱éywa – “Torch” – was created by students participating in Robert Bateman Secondary School’s Art Activism class created by teacher Alexandra Blair. This project calls us to consider the history and impact of residential schools on a national level, as well as on a local scale, as viewers move through the circular exhibition. This art project visually narrates the life story of Bea Silver; a prominent Elder, educator, leader and residential school survivor. Twenty large-scale paintings are paired with audio recordings that relayed Bea Silver’s story chronologically, uncovering an individual experience that speaks to the lasting impact of residential schools, as well as universal truths, struggles and ultimately, the resilience of one exceptionally strong
survivor of this history we all share.

 


Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association.

Exhibition: May 25-July 6, 2018.

Opening Reception: May 24, 2018.

Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association (FVBIA) is a charitable organization that has been offering support and services to people with acquired brain injuries (ABI) and their families since 1997. Since 2007, FVBIA has been offering the ArtWorks program throughout Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Hope. This program was developed for survivors of acquired brain injuries to
create artwork within their communities alongside fellow ABI survivors.

 


Communitas Supportive Care Society.

Exhibition: March 5-May 6, 2018.

Opening Reception: March 15, 2018 at 6:30pm.

Poetry Reading/Artist Talk: Thursday May 3, 2018 at 7pm.

Fourteen poets paired with fourteen artists create a unique and important exhibit that gives expression to the challenges of living with mental illness. By sharing their gifts, these poets and artists hope to remove the stigma and shed light on their experiences. Come. Hear and See.

Abbotsford Hospice Society – Exhibition: February 5-21, 2018. Opening Reception: February 21, 2018.

Abbotsford Photo Arts Club – Exhibition: January 19-February 4, 2018. Opening Reception: January 18,
2018.