Exhibitions

The Michael Wright Art Gallery (MWAG), Outlet Gallery, and City Hall Gallery at Leigh Square feature a rotating program of exhibitions by local and regional artists. The exhibitions advance knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the visual arts by integrating art into community life and contributing significantly to the cultural landscape of Port Coquitlam.

 

Exhibition Viewings

Exhibition viewings are now available by appointment only. Please contact arts@portcoquitlam.ca

Imaginings III: A Virtual Collection of Port Coquitlam Student Artwork

The City of Port Coquitlam presents Imaginings III: A Virtual Collection of Port Coquitlam Student Artwork. Ideas and possibilities are the result of imagination. The mental work of the imagination is fundamental to creating, making, and learning. This act elevates thoughts from the mundane to the fantastic. The Imaginings Exhibition highlights the breadth, depth and possibilities of ideas made by local students of Riverside, and CABE Secondary Schools.

Click Here to read TriCity News: 100 pieces of student art in new Port Coquitlam show

The City of Port Coquitlam would like to thank all of the students and teachers who worked so hard to make this exhibition possible including Jacquelyn Collins, Cam Drysdale, Mike Schoenhals, Rhea Rose, and Kyle Smelser.

Thank you again to everyone for joining us in celebrating our local artists.

 

 

Visions from the Subconscious / Vladimir Kolosov

The Michael Wright Art Gallery presents Visions from the Subconscious by Vladimir Kolosov. Words would not suffice in trying to explain the inner workings of the mind – paint on a canvas does a much better job at showcasing emotions and thoughts. In this body of work, Kolosov captures the surreal representation of personal experiences and imaginings of things that could have been.  artofvk.com

VIRTUAL ARTIST TALK

Click here to watch an inspiring virtual artist talk with Vladimir where he walks us through a visual tour of his art practice and exhibition.

Vladimir Kolosov Artist Interview

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your background and how did you begin your professional practice?

I started to draw at the age of 12, I think. My parents supported my drawing exercises. There were many studios in Moscow, Russia, however they decided to send me to the special Fine Arts School for children and youth. There were just two such schools in Moscow: one regular school (Gr. 1 to 10) specialized in fine arts and another one was evening school for secondary students. I went to the second one. I should say a few words about it. This school was founded in 1934. The school provided an initial academic classical art education in drawing, painting, composition, sculpture, and art history, necessary for further admission to the post-secondary art institutions in Russia. It was always on the top of most reputable art schools in the USSR and Russia. It was not so easy to enroll to this school. First,  you submit home artworks, and they should be selected, then you have a personal interview with the director, and only after that you can be allowed to take enrollment exams: drawing, painting, and composition. I failed my first attempt to pass exams and was successful only a year later. Then there were amazing four years when during the day I went to the regular secondary school and in the evening went to the Fine Arts school. Some famous Soviet artists were among my teachers. Every summer we go to the plein air painting. We were taught to feel the nature, to see and understand what we see, to emphasize important, and to feel a colour, and many other things that the true artist must know. During the last year of this school, we often went to museums to draw, to copy. We did live drawing and painting. So, it was solid Russian – Soviet classical realistic academic fine arts’ education.  This school still exists today: http://serov-artschool.ru/ (in Russian)

It was 1970’s – the period of development of not-official, underground art in the USSR. Of course, me and my friends were interested in it. It was difficult to find any information about an “alternative” art. The “word of mouth” was the only way to get needful information about exhibitions (some lasted just one day, even one evening). Nevertheless, I was lucky to meet in person some “underground” artists who became internationally well-known later, such as conceptualists Ilya Kabakov (1933 – …) and Vladimir Yankilevsky (1938-2018). I dedicated large essay to Vladimir Yankilevsky published in 2019 in VOYZX Art (digital copy is enclosed). All this helps to find my own way in arts.

2. What subject matter do you work with and why?

Actually, there is no any special subject matter I work with. Everything that surrounds me could be an inspiration – absolutely anything: nature, people, conversations, various information, music, even just a sound, and so on. My thoughts, dreams, including false awakening and lucid dreams which I often experience in one or another way are connected to reality. Observations go through the subconscious and are often “stuck” there until the “right moment” when they trigger intuition and many other things, such as feelings, analogies, and so on. The brain never sleeps. People say: “you have a great imagination”. I never thought about it. What is imagination? It could be just an abstract transformation of reality into one or another form that better reflects this reality, better emphasizes its subject matter. Maybe something else…

3. How does the idea of community relate to your practice?

A human always belongs to the communities from small to large, from unspecified to very particular, from local to global. Family is a sort of community, my neighbourhood forms another community, artist circles form various communities, artist’s lovers too, and so on. I always see myself as a member of a community that can bring something new and positive, sometimes controversial (but this is a source for discussion – we are Homo Sapience). Art is an important part of our life, it plays a significant role in our mental health and our perception. So, having certain abilities I should share my thoughts, my findings through my art to the community, in other words, I want to give to the community.  There is no other way of our being. That’s my opinion.

4. What is your dream project?

In 2017 I started the VOYZX [voiziks] Fine Art Project (https://www.voyzxart.com/).

It is well known that the unique nature and cultural heritage of the West Coast had always attracted surrealists such as Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Wolfgang Paalen, Man Ray, and others. The West Coast was also the birthplace of the West Coast Surrealist Group (WCSG), which was active in Vancouver in 1970’s and 80’s. Some of its former members, including the founder of the WCSG, Robert Davidson, have joined the VOYZX Fine Art Project. My dream is to create a hub dedicated to Contemporary Art rooted in surrealism and some other selected styles, a hub that will attract artists working in certain styles and their collectors to the Great Vancouver Area. Our first international VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism was held in Vancouver in 2019 (https://vimeo.com/353057893)

Thus, step-by-step I’m trying to make my dream come true.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

I think that the best advice I got studying in the fine art school I mentioned above. It is not only about me. We were taught to see nature and objects along with their complexity. Try to see and understand what we see. Understand colors, feel colors, understand the environment, etc… And never re-draw from the photographs. A good photograph is a piece of art itself and it is no way to make it better. Also, there is no way to make a good piece using a bad photograph. An artist must use his own eyes and vision, not others, he must feel the subject matter, understand it…again using his own vision. I remember when I did such re-drawing in school my teacher said: “If I see this one more time I cut your hands…”. It was my first and the last experience using a photograph.

6. Name three artists who’ve inspired you.

First of all I should note that I never put the equal sign between “influence” and “inspiration”. During different periods of my practice, I’ve been influenced by many artists working in a big variety of styles and techniques. I can’t say that I got inspiration from their works, it is better to say that I learned. And this is the normal process. For example, while learning etching techniques I refer to Albrecht Durer, Gustav Dore, Rembrandt. During my school days, I was heavy influenced by Paul Cezanne and Maurice Utrillo. This list could be very large. But all this was not an inspiration. My inspiration comes from life – mine and others, events, observations, findings, contacts, nature. For example, I’m really inspired by the mysterious and enigmatic nature of our province, the philosophy that is behind the Indigenous culture. However, speaking about inspiration, I choose the following three artists:

  • Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851). He was one of the greatest masters of colour. His oil canvases and watercolors are amazing. His works reflect mood, feeling, and atmosphere. Some consider him as a predecessor of impressionism and all related styles. And J.M.W. Turner had a very special sense of humour which I value very much.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519). He was a polymath, a Renaissance man. Since my adolescence when I’ve learned about Leonardo for the first time, to me he has been an example of a man who was successfully able to perform in various areas of knowledge. It had happened that I’ve become also multi-educated: visual arts, music, mathematics and physics, psychology, and business. Was it a result of inspiration? I don’t know, but probably yes.
  • Nikolas Roerich (1874 – 1947) – Russian artist, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, and philosopher. His theosophical works and philosophy of Global Peace are very close to me. His art has deep philosophical background and I found that there are some parallels with the works of Emily Carr.

7. How has COVID-19 impacted your professional practice?

COVID seriously impacts everything, and the art world is not an exclusion. Moreover, it is one of the most vulnerable areas. I canceled a European art tour scheduled for Summer 2020 and participation in two art fairs. Our second VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism was rescheduled to August 2021. On the other side, there is nothing bad without good: my presence online expanded. I consider two of the most reputable among art professionals and collectors platforms: Artsy.net and Artsper.com. Our VOYZX project became a partner of both and now we have global coverage. Exhibitions and fairs temporarily switched to virtual. But, at the same time, it opens new opportunities to artists. I’m sure that when the pandemic will be over the various combinations of live + virtual exhibitions, artist talks, etc. will get high demand. Also, according to the statistics published by Art Basel, the percentage of global online sales jumped from 10% in January 2020 to 40% in July 2020. So, I hope that after some time of turbulence the art world will stabilize on the next level. I’m quite optimistic. “I wish it need not have happened in my time … So do all who live to see such times … All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us…” J.R.R. Tolkien (“The Lord of the Rings”).

David Carey Artist Interview

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your background and how did you begin your professional practice?

I grew up in Winnipeg and came to Port Moody 7 years ago. I started taking photographs around 10 years of age and I am still going strong. I worked in the IT field and then as a teacher in IT.  I took pictures whenever I had a chance and as an instructor, I had summers off to do my photography and take workshops.

I took photography courses at Red River College, the Banff Centre, and obtained my Master of Fine Arts from Bard College in New York state. I was lucky that photography didn’t have to support me financially so I concentrated on exhibiting my work in galleries.

2. What subject matter do you work with and why?

My recent focus is on children and childhood related themes and on miniature things. Child-related projects include bookworms, those shy, tiny creatures that live in children’s books, read the story and build contraptions to help the characters in the book, documenting the life of the gnomes of Port Moody, and my current display on the Wonder Book of Aircraft.

My love of miniature things is represented by my show “Old Shacks – New Context” where I miniaturized the cabins at Finn Slough and placed them around my condo.

I really enjoy working with Photoshop which gives me the opportunity to use my imagination and create fanciful worlds. I like blending images from different sources together to create interesting effects or tell a story.

3. How does the idea of community relate to your practice?

I have a specific connection to the community in my upcoming show, The Gnomes of Port Moody, which documents how gnomes have embraced all the fun activities of Port Moody and who are giving back by doing volunteer work in the community.

4. What is your dream project?

Doing a fanciful photography show that delights my grandchildren.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

Pursue what interests you no matter what other people think of the project.

6. Name three artists who’ve inspired you.

Alex Colville for his mathematically perfect compositions and heightened reality images.

Manitoba art school teacher, David MacMillan, for opening my eyes to really seeing a photograph. I dismissed his common street scenes until I woke up to the absolute beauty of his composition and colors.

Lee Friedlander for his new way of seeing the world.

7. How has COVID-19 impacted your professional practice?

Not too much. Many of my current projects use my condo as a backdrop so working at home is fairly normal. However, it has affected my ability to apply and get shows as so many galleries are closed and aren’t accepting submissions.

 

A Boy’s Dream / David Carey

The Outlet Gallery presents A Boy’s Dream by David Carey. In these photographs Carey recreates his childhood imaginings of flying machines and cartoon characters coming to life. Carey uses the original captions from “The Wonder Book of Aircraft” by Harry Golding as his inspiration to add humour to his original photographs. davidcareyimages.com

VIRTUAL ARTIST TALK

Click Here to watch an inspiring virtual artist talk with David where he walks us through a visual tour of his art practice and exhibition.

Exhibition Viewings by Appointment

Exhibition viewings are now available by appointment. Contact tracing and COVID-19 screening are required prior to entry. Facial coverings are encouraged. For general inquiries please contact arts@portcoquitlam.ca

Contact

Lesley Perrie 
Public Art & Engagement Specialist
Tel 604.927.8442
Email perriel@portcoquitlam.ca