In 2022 Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG) visitors heard pebbles rolling on the beach, jingling dresses, stories about growing up as an immigrant, and experiences from the members of the BIPOC community in Canada.
The gallery hosted four exhibitions in the main gallery and three in the satellite gallery, welcoming more than 7,000 visitors to our shows and programs.
This year exhibitions asked viewers:
● to consider their connection with the land
● to hold space for Black Canadians
● to reflect on familial relationships and the impacts of culture, politics and territory
on those dynamics
● to empathize with people who are impacted by the toxic drug poisoning crisis
● to witness and support Indigenous art, in the spirit of reconciliation and
CRAG celebrated our 40th Annual Members’ Show , in partnership with the Campbell River Arts Council, with 50 local artists showcasing their work.
In February they welcomed JoAnn Restoule and the Women’s Circle Dancers’, who presented their healing project Noojim Owin in the Satellite Gallery.
Jenni Schine and Sylvie Ringer, with Giorgio Magnanensi, took over the gallery in March, with an installation that combined both sound and visual arts. Ask the Mountains encouraged viewers to be present and to begin a conversation with the natural world.
In June Black-Canadian artists Ojo Agi, Syrus Marcus Ware, Charles Campbell, Jan Wade, Chantal Gibson, Karin Jones, Dana Inkster, Christina Battle, shared their perspectives. The varied viewpoints spoke to activist positions: seeking a balance between carrying the weight of difficult histories and finding joy, the beauty of Blackness, cultivating boundaries through a resistance to the gaze, thinking through the creative process with curiosity, love of experimentation, and the pursuit of knowledge.
Meanwhile, art created through the Satellite Campus program was displayed in the Satellite Gallery in the show Distant Relatives. The barrier-free workshops, developed and delivered by professional, Indigenous artists hailing from traditional territories, saw art created around Northern Vancouver Island and the nearby Discovery Islands.
The final show of the year will also be traveling to other galleries. میں اپنی ماں کی بیٹی ہوں | I am my mother’s daughter, by Farheen HaQ, featured video and sculptural installations that celebrated the resilience and knowledge systems of HaQ’s mother as she settled in the Niagara region, Haudenosaunee territory, in the 1970s. The exhibition wove together inter-generational relationships, connecting the experience of the artist’s mother who arrived in Canada to meet her partner in an arranged marriage with HaQ’s experience as a child of that union. Subsequently, its impact on HaQ’s own experience as a mother, as well as her relationship with her own daughter.
This year CRAG launched the Art Hive. A supportive space for art but also a place of connection for the unhoused community here in Campbell River, facilitated by Nadine Bariteau. Once a week the gallery’s studio is open, with a focus on art-making workshops for people with experience of mental health and substance use and people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. Art created by The Art Hive is available for purchase at the gallery shop, with proceeds supporting the artists.
Satellite campus programs included a workshop for youth to learn silk screening by Gord Hill, as well as the painting of the sea can mural in downtown Campbell River by Bracken Hanuse Corlett.
Artists in the community also had the opportunity to participate in a series of professional development workshops, facilitated by Dazed & Confucius.
The doors to the studio were regularly open to families and artists, in a variety of art activities and workshops.
Launched in 2022, CRAG’s bi-annual fundraising gala brought in almost $100,000 for the gallery, local artists, and the launch of the Mulidzas – Curtis Wilson Award.
“Last year’s success would not have been possible without the CRAG’s dedicated volunteers, talented artists, committed staff and generous funders.”