As someone who was born in the early 90’s and grew up as a teenager in the 2000’s, at times I forget what it was like before the age of the computer. While going through the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Auction archives dating back to 1989, it is fascinating to examine all the hand written documents, check lists and auction data transcribed on paper, instead of entered into Excel, Microsoft Word, or Raiser’s Edge.
It is amazing and a privilege to see how much the CAG and the Gala & Auction event has progressed over 25 years. I feel as if I am witnessing and contributing to its overall history and cultural significance – all the artists that have shaped the Vancouver arts scene, who have generously donated work to support a non-profit organization; an institution that strives to give back to the local, national, and international community, both arts and non-arts related.
It is intriguing to think of the initial Gala and Auction at Sophie’s Cosmic Café featuring works of artists who were both emerging and established at that time, and who have continued to significantly contribute to the art world in their own way. There were quite a few names that resurfaced over the 25 year span, as well as iconic names that represent historical transitions in the art world – such as artists of the 60s and 70s, like Mary Kelly and Nam June Paik who both donated work to the CAG’s Auction in 1993.
Nam June Paik was very influential in the art world during the 60s and is arguably considered the founder of video art. Paik and his wife Shigeko Kubota were involved in performance art during the Fluxus/Happening movement in the 60s – a key transition in the art world out of modernism into a postmodern mindset. Mary Kelly’s work is studied for its contribution to the Feminist dialogue that took form in the 70s – her piece, Post-Partum Document (1973-79), challenges the stereotype of pregnancy and what it means to be a mother.
Artists who donated work multiple times that are familiar in the Vancouver context are Landon Mackenzie, Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Marian Penner Bancroft, Ken Lum, and others.
The rich history located in the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Auction archives gives a precursor of what will be presented at the Gala & Auction this year, yet another chapter will unfold adding to the constantly evolving dialogue of the art world.
– Olivia de Fleuriot, Development AssistantMORE
That’s me with a little bit of a smirk bidding last year at the annual Contemporary Art Gallery auction.
I’m pretty sure that smirk was a paddle-lifting induced buzz. It’s a natural high — nerve wracking, exhilarating, nauseating, and exciting, all at once, especially when there’s something that really speaks to you. Auctions are fun, and hopefully you’ll join us November 8th for our next one.
If you follow the CAG on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see there’s all kinds of ways – most of them free! – you can come experience the exhilaration of art. Hanging out with art is a gift, and I’m proud to be able to be a service to the CAG and in some small way help ensure this institution can continue to provide that opportunity to everyone.
It’s meant a lot to my life. Contemporary art has so much to tell us about the world, about our experiences, and how we relate to each other. The wonders of the world and the magic of our complicated relationships to each other and to the current moment.
I can see or experience something that gives me that “a ha” feeling. Where the artist is able to evoke something that maybe has crossed my often too busy brain, but that I was unable to express or quantify. An elegant representation of a feeling or a sense that I wasn’t sure I had. I’ve caught myself at times in galleries silently nodding as this thing that was on the tip of my tongue is represented to me, and there’s a kind of feeling of relief that goes with that. It’s magical to me in those moments.
Almost, dare I say, a place where I experience spirituality – my connection to the bigger we.
Sometimes it might take me to a place of sadness. Social anxiety; human suffering; the loss of love; the struggle with sorrow. Sometimes it’s joyous, or funny. Outrageously ridiculous, or ridiculously outrageous….those moments are the best! I’ve even at times been disgusted by pieces of contemporary art where I’ve walked in and turned around moments later.
But it’s all good as the saying goes…it all matters, it all sticks and swirls around inside and makes some sense of the sometimes chaotic world we live in and that lives in us. It is all worth it for the sense it provides that we are not alone in the universe. That the infinite uniqueness of our experiences can be represented and shared and we have places like the CAG where we can gather to experience, discuss, and celebrate them.
It’s pretty great.
Please keep in touch, and I hope to see you soon at a CAG event.
Marcella Munro became President of the Board of the Contemporary Art Gallery on June 19, 2014.MORE
As the new Development Assistant for the Contemporary Art Gallery’s 26th Annual Gala & Auction, I am so excited to be a part of the CAG’s team and to connect with the CAG’s surrounding community.
My name is Olivia de Fleuriot de la Coliniere – I usually shorten my last name to de Fleuriot to avoid confusion or bewilderment. I was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Toronto with my family when I was five years old. I grew up amongst creativity and colour, which encourages me to pursue my passion to create and study fine art. I recently completed my Bachelor of Art degree, majoring in Art + Design, at Trinity Western University and will be continuing this upcoming academic year as an Honours student. I aspire to pursue a career in a gallery setting and educational environment, as well as my own artistic practice.
The team here, at the CAG, has been welcoming and supportive. I work directly with Sue Lavitt, Head of Development and Communication, and also other staff and volunteers at the Contemporary Art Gallery.
It has been an exciting adventure corresponding, researching, and writing about the various artists being presented at the gala fundraiser this year. I can’t wait for you to experience the fantastic night and participate by supporting both the artists and the CAG in their role locally, nationally, and internationally. It is very tempting to blurt out the broad display of talent being presented this year, but I shall keep you in suspense a bit longer!
I am quite happy to say that my experience here at the Contemporary Art Gallery does not end this August. Before my current position, I volunteered and assisted Shaun Dacey, the Curator of Learning and Public Programs, with research and educational practices. From this experience I will be co leading the Family Day events that take place the last Saturday of every month. It would be great to see you at a Family Day event or at the Annual Gala & Auction this fall!
There will be more blogs coming up to give you a taste of this year’s Gala & Auction in retrospective of a 25 year history.
– Olivia de FleuriotMORE
Feelings, a limited edition porcelain sculpture made by Elisabeth Zvonar, was published by the Contemporary Art Gallery for It`s What You Do With It That Counts , the 22nd Gala Dinner and Art Auction held on November 6, 2010.MORE
This printed vinyl wall transfer decal by Neil Campbell was published by the Contemporary Art Gallery for Rapt, the 19th Annual Gala Dinner and Art Auction, 2007. In 2004 the Contemporary Art Gallery also published the catalouge Supernatural: Neil Campbell & Baeu Dick that accompanied the exhibition with the same name, curated by Roy Arden and held at the Contemporary Art Gallery from March 12 to April 25, 2004.MORE