Salmon Arm Art Gallery curator Tracy Kutschker provides feedback to artist Marg Robertson on her contribution to the In Dialogue with the Collection exhibition, which were influenced by the works of Bern Smith whose career included painting more than 900 Harlequin Romance covers. The exhibition runs until Jan. 23. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap artists dialogue with paintings from community collection

Art gallery exhibition features 12 artists who give new perspective on work of deceased artists

What does an item of art represent? What thoughts or emotions does it raise? Can it be represented with a new perspective.

These are just some of the questions a number of today’s artists have attempted to answer in the Salmon Arm Art Gallery‘s current exhibition, In Dialogue with the Collection: an exhibition that pairs local contemporary artists with works from the permanent collection.

“And how does artwork from the past get reflected in today’s society? What can we learn about today’s issues by looking at art work from the past,” adds gallery curator Tracey Kutschker. “We can learn a lot; there have been great changes even in the last 40 years. How we view our landscape is different, how we view social issues is different.”

Kutschker says even the way we view the sky has changed – how the recent climate catastrophes have changed the way artists perceive the sky and the landscape.

How to portray some of these changes in a gallery exhibition came to Kutschker in 2017 when she visited the Canadian Museums Association in Ottawa in March 2017.

Related:Salmon Arm Art Gallery hosts climate-focused exhibit

“I was very excited to learn that museums were being told to activate their collections by partnering with, or learning from, contemporary art galleries,” she says. “From my perspective I can do both; we are both a museum and a contemporary gallery. I decided it could be an awesome opportunity to show some of the works from our permanent collection over the year.”

Kutschker discussed the possibilities with then-gallery assistant Diana Pratt-Johnson about how artists have worked “in dialogue” with deceased artists’ works.

That led to choosing 13 works from the Shuswap District Arts Council Community Art Collection and marrying the work of now-deceased artists with working contemporary artists.

“For this exhibition, we asked contemporary Shuswap artists to re-ignite the story through dialogue,” she says. “When a working artist views works from the past, their response is influenced by their own artistic experiences. The new work is a lens through which the viewer might see an entirely different picture.”

Pairing the work with current artists was accomplished by issuing a call for interest.

Related:Salmon Arm Art Gallery displays Herald Nix’s ‘Scenery’ exhibit

In some cases Kutschker asked artists if they would be interested in a particular artwork, while other artists approached her and expressed a connection to the selected artwork.

Twelve artists plus one 20-member artist collective were paired with individual works from the arts council’s community art collection.

Artists involved in this curated exhibition took their partially completed work to the gallery for discussion on how effective the dialogue was and could it be improved to provide an even better experience for the visitor.

“At that stage, where there’s still room for work. It’s about the process by which quite a number of people have a say on how it evolves,” she says pointing out that she, Kate Fagervik, an installation artist and new new manager of visitor experience at the gallery, along with four or five artists in a small group would have a discussion, after which Fagervik and Kutschker provided direction. “We were speaking on behalf of the collection, working to say how is this dialogue playing out?”

The exhibition runs until Thursday, Feb. 23, the day on which both Coffee Break and the Artist’s Talk take place. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Family Saturdays take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap cabin owner hopes to improve B.C.-Alberta relations

Alberta resident redrafts response to CSRD request to stay home

Single-lane traffic on Highway 1 in Salmon Arm due to aging watermain

City says goodbye to cast-iron main while moving it off highway, into park

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

Okanagan film society screening for scholarships

North Okanagan students pursuing creative arts can apply for $2,000 bursaries

Douglas fir trees in Salmon Arm face attack from bark beetle

Online pamphlet can help residents learn how to protect their trees

Enderby’s drive-in not safe from top doc’s 50-car limit

Starlight Drive-In opened with reduced capacity, COVID-19 safety measures in place

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Most Read