MELANIE MINTY: Art talk at Surrey gallery among cool indoor events

MELANIE MINTY: Art talk at Surrey gallery among cool indoor events

SURREY — I am burnt out. Literally.

The past few months have been demanding on my time and energies, so I took a day off. It was a nice sunny morning so I took time off from reading emails, writing, running a business, taking dance classes, going to theatre events and making costumes.

And I got burnt. Yes, I know better. Use sunscreen and stay out of the sun. But dang, it felt good, and there are lots of indoor summer activities to keep me out of the sun for a week or so.

Surrey Art Gallery has a permanent collection, held in public trust for the citizens of Surrey and is exclusively contemporary art. No Van Gogh or Rembrandt. From time to time, our excellent gallery adds to the permanent collection. Want to know what the gallery is all about and what kind artworks they collect?

Join local artists Elizabeth Hollick (White Rock), Davida Kidd (Langley) and Helma Sawatzky (Surrey) in conversation with the gallery’s assistant curator, Brian Foreman, next Thursday, July 17 at the gallery, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The artists will discuss their work in the new exhibition Seen From Here: Recent Acquisitions, and will consider the meaning and importance of museum art collections to them as practicing artists. The program includes time to meet and speak with the artists over refreshments. Admission is free.

The featured works recently acquired for the gallery’s permanent collection are by artists who have called the South Fraser region home. Artists include Walter Dexter, Enn Erisalu, Robert Genn, Elizabeth Hollick, Brian Howell, Davida Kidd, Don Li-Leger, Robert Michener, Arnold Mikelson, Ann Nelson, Fred Owen and Helma Sawatzky. I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Genn many years ago when his twins were taking music lessons at Carillon Music along with my son. He was an interesting person, was a great benefactor to the arts in the

Semiahmoo Peninsula, and is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. I was sorry to hear he had passed away a few weeks ago. We are thankful for his legacy, and thank you, Surrey Art Gallery, for including Genn in the permanent collection. The exhibition continues to Aug. 30. Admission is by donation.

I think by Aug. 28 I will have recovered from my burnout. That is the day of the Party on the Pier. Semiahmoo Arts (the arts council of South Surrey/White Rock) is hosting this party/fundraiser celebrating the 100th anniversary of the White Rock pier. It is (they say) literally the "Party of the Century." The pier is turning 100 years old and the arts council is celebrating its 40th year. For a "century" ($100, with $40 of that as a donation to the arts council), you can enjoy food, fun and fireworks with music from Powder Blues Band and special guest Mostly Marley. Your ticket includes a complimentary commemorative glass, appetizers and one adult beverage. There will be a silent auction, artists painting onsite, actors in period costumes and dancing. Tickets are available online at, by phone (604-536-8333) or in-person at the South Surrey Recreation Arts Centre office, 14601 20th Ave., Surrey. That’s Thursday, Aug. 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. I wonder if parking is included in the ticket price.

OK, so that is at the end of the summer.

You have to do something in the intervening weeks. Imagine That! Productions has some spots left in its summer drama camps for kids aged eight to 16 years old. This is a wonderful experience for kids. They still need a few more "campers" aged 9 to 14 for camp from Aug. 18 to 22. Check out the Imagine That! website for more details.

Or, you can register kids for Surrey Museum’s Summer Day Camps. Themes include Greek mythology, technology, space and world celebrations. Visit Surrey. ca/heritage or call 604-592-6956 for info and to register. I liked the "Ice Cream Afternoon," a la pioneer style, "Treasure Pouches," "Kids Can Knit" and the Friday drop-ins. There’s also an "Amazing Race" and "Discovery Saturday: Families Celebrate."

Most of these activities take place at the Historic Stewart Farm, at 13723 Crescent Rd., South Surrey. More info at 604-592-6956, or It never hurts to learn a bit about our local heritage. Take a tour of this restored 1894 farmhouse, pole barn and gardens. Try old-fashioned crafts, sign up for some of these programs. Not a bad idea to discover how to live without electricity, internet or movies. I wonder if our early pioneers ever suffered from sunburn – or burnout. Well, live and learn.