New spring exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery features portraits, landscapes by 30+ artists

SURREY — The second of three exhibits celebrating Surrey Art Gallery‘s 40th anniversary opens Saturday (April 11).

The springtime showcase, called "Views from the Southbank II: Moments, Reflections, Intervals," features portraiture and landscape works by more than 30 artists.

The artists "create representations or impressions of people and places, some working in traditional portraiture style and others using more experimental and collaborative methods," according to an exhibit advisory.

"Their work is situated in context to the rapidly growing ‘South of Fraser’ region of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland…. In capturing the character(s) of a place that is constantly changing, the artists offer a brief interval in time-the present moment animated by the presence of individuals and places."

The exhibit runs until June 14 at the gallery, located at Bear Creek Park. Admission is by donation.

The artists featured in "Views from the Southbank II" are Matilda Aslisadeh, Richard Bond, Randy Bradley, Claude Breeze, Edward Burtynsky, Lisa Chen, Jennifer Clark, Barbara Cole, Gregory W. Dawe, Brandon Gabriel, Gabor Gasztonyi, Alex Grewal, Elizabeth Hollick, Evan Lee, Ken Lum, Scott Massey, Paulo Majano, Michael Markowsky, Sean Mills, Jef Morlan, Ann Nelson, James Nizam, Zoë Pawlak, Barbara Pratezina, Helma Sawatzky, Ikbal Singh, Jeannette Sirios, Ken Wallace, Stella Weinert and Kira Wu.

Also opening Saturday is Stephen Foster’s exhibit "Remediating Curtis: Imagining Indigeneity," with a talk by the artist set for 6:30 p.m. In the showcase, Foster explores the legacy of the film and photographic work of ethnographer Edward Curtis, famous for his depictions of First Nations in the early 1900s, and his influence on popular images of "Indianness" in contemporary culture.

One part of the exhibit "works like a video mash-up where scenes from Curtis’s 1914 silent film ‘In the Land of the Head Hunters’ are combined with selections of recent and past Hollywood films," gallery operators say. "The central image in the video is an animated reconstruction of the original set and characters in the Curtis film."

Meanwhile, until Aug. 22, the work of John Wynne, a Canadian sound artist currently living in London, is featured in an Open Sound installation called "Anspayaxw," which showcases six audiovisual portraits of members of the Gitxsan community speaking one of the numerous endangered aboriginal languages in B.C.

Also on Saturday (April 11), the second phase of the gallery’s "Re:Source" exhibit will be unveiled, as part of its 40th anniversary. Five local artists – Jim Adams, Polly Gibbons, Cora Li-Leger, Haruko Okano and Mandeep Wirk – are plunging into the depths of the gallery’s archives "to chart its innovative, colourful and sometimes humorous history." Included are stories, behind-the-scenes photographs, commentaries and critiques.

On April 22, a tour of "Views from the Southbank II: Moments, Reflections, Intervals" and "John Wynne: Anspayaxw" will be led by Jordan Strom, the gallery’s curator of exhibitions and collections.

For details, visit Surrey.ca/arts or call 604-501-5566.

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