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Exchange: Youth Workshop
Open Call for youth 14 – 19 yrs old
Program Dates: July 22 to 31, 2015, 10 -5pm daily except July 26.
Free

Exchange is a unique summer workshop connecting youth with two local arts institutions Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) and the CAG, introducing future artists to Vancouver’s arts community. Designed and facilitated by educator/designer Lisa Novak, this free 10 day program pairs participants with acclaimed artists Keg de Souza and Walter Scott. Hosted in classrooms at ECUAD, and split into two groups, each will work with one artist to collaboratively develop an installation considering the unique site and context of Granville Island. Both groups will develop instructional written guides of their process and once completed will trade instructions and attempt to create what the other group has just made. The concept is to recreate the other group’s initial work “blindly”, with only written, abstract instructions and occasional hints regarding the use of materials. The Exchange will culminate in a public presentation of the works developed on July 31 and a subsequent publication will be produced by Novak after the project documenting the exchange, including interviews with participants.

This project presents teens an opportunity to participate in a free program exploring ideas of co-authorship and participatory practice in art and design with one-on-one mentorship from professional practitioners, engaged in a cultural discourse around the idea of home and identity. Offering an alternative experience of creation, pedagogy and knowledge Exchange welcomes young people into the galaxy of a temporary artist studio where learning is valued in a different way.

To apply: Please submit digital images of three pieces of your best original work and/or a one page letter of interest /artist statement to learning@contemporaryartgallery.ca by Thursday July 9, 5pm

Letter of Interest/Artist Statement: Describe your interest in the program and your commitment to actively participate for the duration of the program. Include a brief statement about your work and current artistic practice.

Keg de Souza
In 2013, de Souza developed projects for the 5th Auckland Triennial, 15th Jakarta Biennale and the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. More recently, at the Delfina Foundation, London, she hosted a series of picnics held inside an inflatable tent installation designed to fit within the gallery space. Notionally “traditional” English food such as cucumber sandwiches, Cornish pasties and Ploughman’s Lunches were made linking to specific cultural histories as a way to discuss class, privilege, space and colonialism. As picnickers ate and spoke, de Souza mapped the discussion on the floor creating a giant cartography of the conversation. Also in 2014 she completed a residency with KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working closely with community organizers and residents of Kampung Ratmakan to create an inflatable ghost house and a film featuring drawings by local children made during a ghost story workshop. Their local government had announced a major development plan affecting the Ratmakan area and the people living there started to be displaced. The area is built on a graveyard so ghosts are constantly appearing to the residents, ongoing exorcisms by the local ghost expert, paralleling their own evictions in the living world.

Walter Scott
Scott is an artist from Kahnawake who currently lives and works between Toronto and Montréal. His work is based in writing and illustration. His ongoing comic book series, Wendy, follows the fictional narrative of a young woman living in an urban centre, whose dreams of contemporary art stardom are perpetually derailed by her own fears and desires. For the Images Festival 2015, Scott produced Wendy Live! where a cast of English, Japanese and Mohawk-speaking performers enacted the newest Wendy book before its 2016 North American English-language release. Alongside his comic work, Scott produces work involving printmaking and sculpture and is represented by Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Vancouver. He recently completed a residency at the Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan.

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Exchange: Youth Workshop | Deadline extended to July 9!


What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?

I’ve always had an interest working in an art gallery, and I discovered the CAG last summer while exploring. I began chatting with Jocelyn at the front desk, picking her brain regarding her journey on how she got to work there, and she recommended I submit my resume to volunteer. I believe that volunteering at a place you are passionate about alters the perspective you have on yourself as well as how you are spending your time. It is not only a great experience, but you single-handedly place yourself in a position where opportunities that pertain to your interests or career path are presented to you. I wanted to work and learn from curators, artists and other fellow volunteers, as this was my first time working in a gallery. Now, being at the CAG since May, I’ve made new friends and have learned a great deal about the art world and all its facets!

What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

Currently I help at the front desk, and being able to answer any questions that visitors may have I find really rewarding, as it aids in their exploration of artwork that the CAG exhibits. Opening nights are always great as well, since I get to check out the new exhibitions the day of, and mingle with like-minded individuals as well as the artist(s).

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

Some of the first Contemporary artworks I experienced were probably back when I was living in Amsterdam as a teen.

What other creative activities do you do?

I have been sketching since childhood, and have just begun teaching myself how to paint this year! I’m very much enjoying the process. I have also been drumming since I was a teen, and I also edit films on the side, as it is part of my job in the film/TV industry.

Check out Michelle on Instagram, her painting here and a sample of video editing here.

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Volunteer Profiles: Michelle Doherty


What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?

I finished my BFA degree from Lahore, Pakistan, six years ago and have been painting and showing ever since. When I moved to Vancouver at the beginning of this year, I wanted to figure out how the art world functions here. I did a lot of gallery hopping through the summer, I was still thinking about where to volunteer when I came across the design fiction workshop being held at the Contemporary Art Gallery in September. The workshop was very interesting and the people at the gallery were welcoming and friendly. It felt like the right place for exposure to contemporary art, not only in Canada but also around the world. I am glad I started volunteering at CAG because the past few months have confirmed that it most certainly is a hotbed for the exchange of new ideas and information, holding immense potential for growth, and innovation.

What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

I love the flexibility of being a front desker- thats not a word- being at the front desk? You can check out books available at the lovely shop, even read, if it is a quieter day. If there’s a lot of people coming in, you might have a chat with someone about the ongoing exhibition; sometimes you find they have a completely different take on it. If help is needed for an upcoming show or project you might be asked to do that. I like that I come every week, I am in touch with everything that is going on at the gallery and I get to do different things.

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

I can’t remember when I experienced my first contemporary art work, it was probably at the Alhamra Arts Complex, Lahore. I do remember when I first fell in love with a contemporary art work, it was “The Painter” by Marlene Dumas.

What other creative activities do you do?

I enjoy photography. I love illustration; I do it for my blog and freelance for childrens books and magazines. Refurbishing and painting old furniture is a lot of fun. Travelling. Walking around, discovering new cities.

Check out Sara’s website here and her blog here.

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Volunteer Profiles: Sara Khan


What brought you to volunteer at the CAG? 

I am a student studying art history and was looking to gain experience in the field of art. I chose to volunteer with the CAG because it provides an intimate platform where people have the chance to meet and interact with artists and others in the art scene.

What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

Meeting people and hearing their opinion on the artworks being exhibited.

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

I have always paid attention to public art around the city, but my first really great experience of interactive contemporary art was at the one night festival Nuit Blanche in Toronto in 2013.

What other creative activities do you do?

Painting, photography and creative writing.

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Volunteer Profiles: Jennifer Tuan


Hello all! My name is Jas Lally and for the next 10 months I will be working as the Programs Assistant. I am excited to work with Shaun Dacey, Curator of Learning and Public Programs, the staff and volunteers at the CAG. I have been working and volunteering in the arts for the past few years and some of you may have seen me at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Access. I worked a the Vancouver Art Gallery for 5 years in Visitor Services and Administration where  I was able to meet local and international artists. At Access, where I first met  and worked  with Shaun, I was able to work  one-on-one with the Director/Curator and artists. I really enjoyed this more intimate level of work.

My experiences at both galleries solidified my choice in pursing my Masters in the History of Art which I recently completed  at the University of Birmingham, UK. I studied at the Barber Institute of Fine Art  where I co-curated an exhibition on portraiture with the Barber and the National Portrait Gallery. I also completed my dissertation on exhibition practices where I examined why textiles change meaning when exhibited. I was able to use  Lady Barber’s lace collection as my case study. My time at the Barber gave me perspective  and hands on experiences into the multidisciplinary world of curatorial.

My first introduction to the CAG came only three days after starting when I helped set up and greet guests at the CAG’s annual Art Auction. The auction went really well and it was such an exciting way to start a new job! My new role will allow me to help coordinate some interesting learning programs. For example, we recently launched the Telus Garden project, The City in Motion, where 11 young emerging artists are creating an original film to be permanently installed at the new Telus building. Look out for my blog on this project where you can follow along on the progress. I have also started to work with the artist in residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. The CAG recently hosted Fluid Frames: Filmmakers Series with Ben Russell. We hosted a film social at the Field House.

Look back to the CAG’s Blog for exciting updates about what I’m getting up to!

PS: if you haven’t already seen When Sky was Sea by Shimabuku drop by and say hello and sign up to attend one of the talks on the exhibition!

PSS: Did you  hear about our exciting new project in partnership with Ballet BC? and in association with the Art|Basel Crowdfunding Initiative and commissioning artists John Wood and Paul Harrison? to find out more click here: http://bit.ly/cagXbbc

See you at the CAG soon! – Jas Lally

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Hello from Jas Lally – New Programs Assistant at the CAG


As our contribution to Vancouver Design Week, the CAG worked with James Langdon, recipient of the 2012 Inform Award for Conceptual Design, presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany. Langdon presented a short course and workshop in reading objects, environments and messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design. Langdon conducted a three day workshop on September 16–18 exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.

CAG volunteer Sara Khan writes about her experiences taking part in the three day workshop:

 

As an artist who enjoys telling stories through two dimensional media, the School for Design fiction workshop caught my attention; I was curious about what fiction through design could entail. On our first day we were asked to bring in three objects, organic or designed. People brought along things ranging from eggshells and apples to metal birds, buttons, bottles, and moth traps.

Before we started working on the activity set for the day James Langdon had us watch a short film. It replayed the same event but with slight variations with each iteration. A human figure used different objects in unconventional ways, from dumping food on a laptop to sitting on a book instead of reading it. At a glance the human figure came across a sort of a machine that had malfunctioned. Mulling over the film afterward made me wonder about why objects around us are operated the way they are and have a specific function or name, how come we almost use them like robots not really questioning their history, form or task.

Once we started talking about the objects we’d brought along and the workshop progressed; I realised more and more that in the everyday structure and organization of things and lives, we had forgotten to ponder the existence of what surrounds us. It reminded me of Sartre’s Antoine in “Nausea” and how he wonders about the bark of a tree and why it is considered to be black.

As we arranged and rearranged the items with each other, we saw how meaning was added to or subtracted from them. One of the last exercises led some of us to completely deconstruct the objects we were working with; which resulted in a lot of them either being completely stripped off their meaning or not changing at all, which was interesting to see.

By the end of the workshop though, I think, perhaps we were reading too much into everything, as humans often do; put anything before us and we’ll make up a story. At this point we watched a documentary about the Piltdown man. The film reminded me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

It is amazing how if you put forth a thought with enough conviction and confidence most people will believe it as the truth. It makes me wonder what falsehoods lurk in our histories.

So, as we wonder in awe at the totality of this existence, it is important to question the things we experience.

- Sara Khan

Check out a selection of books by James Langdon in the CAG book shop, on a specially dedicated shelf.

School for design fiction workbook

More Books by James Langdon.

James Langdon
A School for Design Fiction – workshop
16-18 September 2014, 6pm-9pm

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Sara Khan – The School for Design Fiction – A workshop with James Langdon


This summer I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to intern at the Contemporary Art Gallery as the Communications Assistant. This was my first internship in the industry, so I did not really know what to expect, but it ended up being an incredibly insightful and motivating experience for me.

If you are familiar with the CAG blog, you have likely seen my “From the Archives” series, in which I discussed past exhibitions at the gallery and their relationships to themes of current exhibitions or other current issues in contemporary art. This gave me the chance to research and learn more about emerging and established artists, and was a great chance to use my academic knowledge in a real-world situation. It was pretty awesome to be able to write about an artist who’s work I had seen a few months ago while on exchange in Scotland (Nathan Coley!) on a gallery’s website in Vancouver.

I was excited to use my marketing and communications knowledge to assist with research into the marketing of art institutions and how non-profit galleries can reach a wider audience, especially in Vancouver. It was also eye-opening to be given the chance to attend Brendan Fernandes‘ interim performance and help with the gallery’s Family Day events; seeing and being a part of the processes of the gallery’s programs allowed me to experience what a career in the arts really entails.

I am now back in Montréal to complete my final year as an undergraduate Art History student at McGill University. After my internship this summer, I am looking forward to undertaking independent research concerning issues in contemporary art, something I had never studied heavily before this experience.

I want to thank the staff at the CAG for encouraging my creativity during this internship and giving me an authentic experience at the gallery. I hope to continue to contribute to the gallery in the future and am now even more thrilled to pursue a career in the arts industry!

- Kelli Sturkenboom

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Communicating Creativity: My CAG Experience


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