My name is Whitney Brennan and it is a pleasure to join CAG as the curatorial intern.
Part of what excites me about CAG is its dedication to creating accessible exhibitions and public programming that engages with local and international artists. From the artist residency program at the Burrard Marina Field House, to the off-site exhibition space at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, I anticipate learning a lot during my time here.
I am currently in the second year of my Master’s degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia. My research focuses on media and performance art, with a particular interest in local female media artists and archival practices. After completing my undergraduate degree in Art History at UBC, I knew my hometown would be the best place to continue pursuing my academic interests. While working on my Postgraduate Degree I have had the opportunity to work as a Gallery Assistant at Gam Gallery, co-owned by Tarah Hogue and Julia Kreutz, as well as an independent curator with Decoy Magazine.
I will be working closely with assistant curator Jas Lally and new curator Kimberly Phillips, who I’ve already had the pleasure of working with at Access Gallery, where I volunteer on their fundraising committee. I am excited to begin working on CAG’s upcoming exhibitions, and I hope to see you at our next opening!
Hello, my name is Lanna Lastiwka and I just started an internship as the curatorial assistant at the gallery. I am thrilled to be supporting the CAG team this fall/winter with new and exciting projects including working with artists Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten projects and the upcoming curatorial retreat at the Burrard Marina Field House.
Currently, I am completing a diploma in Art History at UBC, and applying for a Masters program in Art History for next September. Originally from Alberta, I graduated with a BA (Honors) in English Literature and History. After graduation, I moved to London, England where I interned at The Charles Dickens Museum–assisting the manager and leading tours. I began to take art classes where I learned to draw and sculpt, which ignited a curiosity for learning about the history of art.
In order to deepen my knowledge of art, I moved to Stockholm, Sweden. In Stockholm, I interned for the conceptual art gallery Index—The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, which then led to interacting with contemporary art and artists. These interactions broke open a new visual world that I wanted to explore. It was at this time that I decided to apply for formal education in Art History and build a better understanding of the foundation and projected view of art.
Curatorial assistant Lanna Lastiwka reports on her experiences of assisting artists Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten with preparation for the installation of their exhibition White, Steel, Slice, Mask in the CAG window spaces.
Installing White, Steel, Slice, Mask posed a physical challenge due to the narrow space in the CAG windows. Installing was difficult! on reaching up to paint the last white space black in the display window, I tried to turn horizontally, but couldn’t. I was stuck. The only way I could move in eight inches of space was vertically. Shimming along the edge of the small platform, inside the window, I could only look directly at the wall or through the glass onto the street, without turning. I created a variety of poses from bending with one leg up behind me (to keep me balanced) to crouching and reaching, with one foot in front of the other, while juggling a paint brush, measuring tape, nails and art objects. The intimacy of the space caught the attention of many casual observers who not only responded to my struggles, but the cultural and religious pieces being installed in the windows.
The challenge the artists and Kay Slater (the head installer) faced was creatively melding the reality of such a unique space with the artists’ vision through intense construction and artistic planning. Since I could only see a few inches away from my face, it was difficult to gauge if every black paint stroke was dark enough, or if drill holes from previous exhibitions were noticeable to the viewer on the street, or if every bracket and shelf was placed correctly.
We decided to install in parts. First, the brackets and shelves individually, then, placed the art pieces one at a time, allowing us to see the overall artistic effect at the very end. Yet, it only took a couple of religious or cultural objects being placed in the windows for passers-by to take notice.
The East Indian window had only a few shelves and religious objects in it when I had my first interaction. Balancing on one leg and stretching towards the far wall in a ballet-esque pose, I began dusting the shelves in preparation for more objects. Looking up through the glass I noticed an elderly Hindi man. He watched me gently weave through the objects to the far shelf with a cloth. He waited until I was finished and asked me about moving in the enclosed space: if it was difficult? did I like it? why install these objects in such a closed space? was I claustrophobic? and was I afraid to break or smash one of the pieces because of the tight space?
During our conversation about the space, he smiled and began to tell me the significance and history of the religious objects and images in the window. Afterwards, I realized that the nature of the space led to interactions about the objects being installed. It lured people into the intimate space, so that they could connect with what was being displayed.
Hello! This is Edwina Zhao, the new curatorial intern from Singapore!
I am currently pursuing a BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree at University of the Arts London – Chelsea College of Arts. For the fall semester, I travelled to Vancouver as an exchange student through Emily Carr University of Art + Design to take part in the Media Arts Internship Program. The program gave me this great opportunity to join CAG and work alongside Curator Shaun Dacey and Assistant Curators Jas Lally and Holly Schmidt, and the rest of the CAG team.
Back in London, my art practice is multidisciplinary and I work primarily with digital medium. For this reason, I decided to continue my studies with Emily Carr’s Film, Video and Integrated Media program while I am in Hollywood North – Vancouver. Putting my skills and knowledge into practice, I am going to create some exciting video content for CAG working with current Field House artist Keg de Souza. So, stay tuned to CAG’s vimeo channel for more updates.
Hope to see you in the gallery soon,
The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is searching for a Curator
The Contemporary Art Gallery is seeking to appoint a new Curator to take up post as soon as possible in 2017.
Working as part of the team, the Curator initiates, develops and implements gallery exhibitions, off-site projects, residencies and publications in consultation with the Executive Director. The Curator oversees all aspects of program delivery, exhibition coordination and preparation, installation planning, monitors certain budgets and contributes to development and public programming initiatives. The Curator represents CAG in the community to enhance the profile and reputation of the gallery. Evening and weekend work is required.
The successful applicant will be appointed within the salary band $42,000-$50,000/annum subject to qualifications and experience. This is a permanent full-time position (minimum 40 hours per week) that includes extended health and dental benefits after successful completion of a probation period. Successful applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.
The Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is searching for an Operations Administrator (Part time)
The Contemporary Art Gallery is seeking to appoint a new Operations Administrator to take up post in 2017. The position is offered on a 3 days/ 24 hours per week basis.
Reporting to and providing administrative support for the Executive Director, the Operations Administrator is responsible for the efficient management of CAG’s operations in relation to office effectiveness, facilities management, Society administration and IT, to best support the organization’s mission and strategic goals.
This is a permanent part-time position, 3 days/ 24 hours per week. The successful applicant will be appointed pro rata within the salary band $40,000-$45,000/annum subject to qualifications and experience plus be eligible to receive extended health and dental benefits after successful completion of a probation period.MORE
I had the pleasure of attending a workshop CAG artist-in-residence Keg de Souza held for the multi-year Art class students of King George Secondary, a partner High School in the CAG’s education programming. The workshop involved the artists introduction of her current project with the Burrard Marina Field House Residency involving a participatory collage of matter found in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown that reflect the gentrification and displacement of the area manifesting through food culture. Keg encouraged the students to collect any items that will contribute to her project on the historical tour they embarked on shortly after. As I documented this interactive workshop whereby students were able to learn about the gentrification of the area in a historical and tangible way, I found much appreciation in to the different areas of teaching the community about contemporary artists work in diverse forms of accessibility.
As for my personal interest in contemporary art, my first cognitive memory of “contemporary art” was at age 8, when my parents took me to see La La La Human Steps ballet dance. I remember feeling an insurmountable amount of confusion as to understand the meaning of this abstract dance. This initial uncertainty did not drive me away from contemporary art however, rather provided me inspiration in to further inquiring what it means to be a contemporary artist and what we can learn from them. I now find myself in the Visual arts program at UBC, engaging in various artistic mediums, namely video/installation/drawing, and art theory and history. What I have found important within studying art and conceptual theory are the different methods that an institute, artist, or program can conduct to broaden the educative accessibility to the art that is being exhibited or discussed. The partnerships that the CAG conducts with local high schools is an amazing example of enabling a younger demographic a chance to participate in understanding various research that contemporary artists are pursuing.
I am excited to contribute to the CAG’s public programming this fall/winter. Throughout my internship here I will be conducting research on the exciting upcoming artist, Haroon Mirza, to help facilitate writing the teachers guides for Mirza’s exhibition come January. As I reflect on my preliminary experience with La La La Human Steps contemporary ballet group, I look forward to be working with the CAG’s public program to become involved in the process of educating younger demographics in to the contemporary art world. I furthermore look forward to attending Keg De Souza’s open house events, and furthermore her final showcase on November 4th at 6pm, facilitating discussion concerning the artists project and context of the community.
Sunday, July 23, 3pm
Join local artist Guadalupe Martinez for a tour of the current exhibitions in Spanish.
Guided visits are open to the public, providing free opportunities to engage with exhibitions and develop new skills for interpreting contemporary art. We also encourage visits from primary and secondary schools, ESL groups, university and college students and community groups. For more information or to book a guided visit for your group, contact [email protected] or telephone 604 681 2700.
I’m used to the routine of exhibitions. I choose my path around the gallery and take my time approaching, examining, engaging each artwork. I’m always careful to maintain a specific breadth, and to never lean over pieces or on walls.
However, observing the process of unpacking the 16 works for Isabel Nolan’s exhibition, “The weakened eye of day,” was a wholly new experience of encountering art. While the critical process of reading and looking is something that I’ve become comfortable enacting, the practical matter of condition reporting was unfamiliar territory. I watched as each work was handled and turned in the light so as to spot any tears, rippling, lifting or indentations. Gloved white hands smoothed out surfaces, gently brushing away lint and other specks of dust.
It’s a task that takes extreme attention to detail and a methodical manner of analysis. Unpacking the six large crates in the gallery took two days. The bubble wrap, foam peanuts, plastic sheets and polyurethane was gathered, folded, labelled and kept in order, so that re-packing would be more efficient.
While several of Nolan’s works in the exhibition are built of sturdy steel, ceramic or wool, a few pieces are of a more delicate nature. In particular, Here (anchored in oblivion) was a work that took the most careful consideration to unpack. Placed on top of a styrofoam block and cushioned with gallons of peanuts, the work had to carefully be lifted upward out the crate. Though the sculpture has a core of metal mesh and armature wire, the exterior is made with fragile jesmonite and plaster bandage.
The asymmetric form is reminiscent of nascent organisms born following Nolan’s origin story of the universe (a poetic fiction which can be read in Rock Founded Place). The work rests on the concrete floor of the gallery, just balanced enough to maintain its upright stance. The fleshy, pale pink colour seems raw and vulnerable in the open space.
Seeing Here (anchored in oblivion) unpacked and being prepared for display was a sharp reminder of the ultimately fragile nature of objects. The gallery setting so often feeds into the mythos of the art world, an image of things that are glossy, revered, protected. Observing from behind the scenes created a fissure in the folly. Objects, indeed art, can be damaged or broken.
Isabel Nolan, ‘The weakened eye of day’ is on view until October 2, 2016.
Hi there. My name is Ines Min and I just began a summer internship as curatorial assistant. I’m excited to be working alongside Curator Shaun Dacey, Assistant Curator Jas Lally, and the rest of the CAG team.
I am entering my second year in the Critical and Curatorial Studies master’s program at UBC, as well my second year in Canada. Originally from the States, I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of journalism. Less than a month after receiving my degree, I moved to Seoul for what was supposed to be a few months. Instead, a part-time position as an intern reporter turned into a career that led to positions at several newspapers and magazines.
Eventually I moved to freelancing, which then led to specializing in contemporary Korean art. Artist interviews and exhibition reviews quickly led to translating catalog texts, and then finally PR work. I helped manage international media relations for the 10th Gwangju Biennale, and from there became a member of staff for the Gwangju-based International Biennial Association. It was at that point I decided to return to school—to study more closely what my work had come to encompass.
Although I was aware of CAG’s leading reputation even before landing in Vancouver, I became engaged on a more personal level after seeing a talk by Korean artist Kim Beom. The gallery holds a unique position not only locally but internationally, and I was drawn to its ability to collapse distances between seemingly disparate worlds. This subtle skill highlights what makes the gallery singular.
Over these next few months, I’ll continue weaving together my writing with art, while also incorporating new knowledge of gallery operations and curatorial production. Check back here on the blog for interviews with artists in residence Dylan Miner and Isabel Nolan, and sneak peeks at what’s to come at the CAG.
And, most of all, hope to see you sometime in the gallery.
P.S. If you’re interested in reading some of my past work, visit www.inesmin.comMORE