A list of unique, must-visit exhibits for the summer break
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
Vancouver comes alive in the summer. Parks open up, conventions start rolling, and public events pop up left and right. It can be a bit overwhelming, so here’s a list that focuses specifically on museums and galleries across the city, and the special exhibitions these venues are hosting over the next couple of months.
The Museum of Anthropology (MoA) is hosting “Arts of Resistance: Politics and Past of Latin America” (May 17 to October 8), a powerful exhibition showcasing art made during and after social upheaval and violence across Latin American countries, portraying the experiences of survivors and their descendants through a multitude of mediums. The MoA is also showing “Culture at the Center: Honouring Indigenous Culture, History, and Language” (March 18 to October 8), an exhibit that provides detail on six communities across British Columbia: Squamish, Lil’wat, Nisga’a, Heiltsuk, Haida, and Musqueam. Their last showcase will be “In a Different Light: Reflecting on Northwest Coast Art” (June 22 to Spring 2019). It will seek to use historic First Nations artwork to relate back to the living cultures across the province, blending recorded oral traditions, artifacts, and stories to paint a more vivid picture of the peoples behind them.
As usual, summer at the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) is packed with excellent galleries and exhibits. Emily Carr is a British Columbian staple, and Japanese architect Shigeru Ban will be showcased with his temporary relief shelters made for victims of earthquakes. “BOMBHEAD” (March 3 to June 17) examines the art of the nuclear age and the impact it’s had on modern culture. “Cabin Fever” (June 9 to September 30) will look at the art and cultural importance of the North American cabin, a little-examined piece of our shared history. The VAG will also have many other smaller exhibits opening throughout the summer.
Unsurprisingly, the Museum of Vancouver focuses the most on the history of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. “c̓əsnaʔəm, the City before the City,” which is open until January 25 2020, is featured as one of the museum’s centerpieces and focuses on c̓əsnaʔəm, otherwise known as the Marpole Midden, and its importance to the Musqueam people and how the City of Vancouver relates to First Nations communities within its borders. “Neon Vancouver, Ugly Vancouver,” takes an unusual look at the neon signs that appeared throughout Vancouver over the past several decades and traces their changes with the changes Vancouver experienced at the time. The excellent “Haida Now: A Visual Feast of Innovation and Tradition” (March 16 2018 to June 15, 2019) remains an incredibly impressive presentation of Haida artistic history and legacy, with detailed explanations and associated stories directly from members of the Haida community.