Array of artwork emerges at Vernon gallery

From teens to established artists, creativity from all corners fills the Vernon Public Art Gallery (VPAG).

Four new exhibitions are on display at the downtown gallery from May 23 to July 17, featuring recent Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduating Students from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, Robert Fee, members of the VPAG Crit Club, and members of the Teen Junction.

The community is invited to an opening reception Thursday, May 23, from 6 to 8 p.m, where the exhibiting artists who will be in attendance will give a short talk about their work. Light bites and drinks will be served and entry is by donation.

The exhibition, Emergence, features works of artists who have completed their studies at UBC Okanagan’s BFA program in 2024.

This exhibition showcases a range of hands-on approaches in research and studio practice, including digital technologies used in contemporary artistic production.

The majority of works in the exhibition were hand-made, highlighting the materiality of the work, while exploring conceptual ideas of human experience, existence, and physical and psychological spaces.

The works in this exhibit mark the end and the beginning of the young artists’ journeys into the realm of individual creativity, critical thinking, and an active studio practice.

“This exhibition was developed by selecting pieces from the students’ final projects prior to graduation and highlights some of the top work coming out of our neighboring university,” said Dauna Kennedy, VPAG executive director.

Accidentals, by Fee, refers to the musical term indicating a temporary shift in a musical composition.

At first this temporary change may be a mystery, but there is an underlying meaning: what might have seemed a random change always has a purposeful intention.

These dynamics are explored in Fee’s work through juxtaposed and shifting images, composed of overlapping abstract forms, creating tension within each piece. Fee draws on a range of influences including surrealism, pop art, and current

post-modern paradigms in his work. Though predominantly surreal in appearance, Fee’s works provide opportunities for the viewer to make meaning and compose their own narratives.

Members of the Crit Club are excited to present An Eclectic Collection, on view in the Up-Front Gallery space.

Crit Club was developed by VPAG learning and community engagement curator, Sierra Bronkhorst, who saw a need for a critique program within the community for aspiring young artists.

Every month, the students gather to share their artwork for a group critique session, and partake in a workshop and presentation by an established guest artist.

This collection will feature art pieces that have been workshopped through these sessions, now on display for the public to enjoy.

Through Our Eyes is a unique community-based project by the youth at the Teen Junction Youth Centre.

Teen Junction is an after-school drop-in program that offers a safe space for youth to relax, connect, and learn.

They partner with community organizations to connect youth with additional resources, such as support from the VPAG for emerging artists working outside of mainstream production.

The focus of this exhibition is to give voice to youth and make statements about their lives and experiences in Vernon.

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Home, by Makayla Calendar, is one of the artworks on display at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

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