Thousands of people descended onto the Vancouver Convention Centre for Art Vancouver’s sixth exhibition, held for four days between May 5 and May 8. Over 110 galleries and artists showcased their work in the largest space the fair has occupied yet.
When you walk through the doors into the flurry of activity that is Art Vancouver, it takes you a moment to decide where to start.
Exhibitors from the United States, Argentina, Nigeria, Kenya, Spain and more chose to display their art, and from all across Canada.
It is easy to get lost in the mass of art that is on display. But it is in a good way. You can meander through the aisles slowly, taking as much time as you want to be struck or captivated.
And it also carries the great opportunity to speak with the exhibitors. Artists are on hand to discuss their work, talk about why they do what they do and how they do it. Gallery representatives are experts in speaking about their artist clients and possess a range of knowledge that often goes beyond the art in their displays.
For me, it is through those conversations where the art begins to take meaning. I may be interested in one piece above all others, but it is in the learning of what the artist was thinking when that piece was created that gives it a story.
Exhibitors are rich in these stories. I found myself stopping at every booth to look and talk. Not one booth was bypassed.
But Art Vancouver is more than an exhibition; it is an opportunity to participate in the art experience. The exhibition offers many ways in which to do exactly this.
You can watch a competition, where artists get an hour to paint based on a theme and a mystery supply of tools. You can listen to a panel talk. You can take part in an art demonstration or class and get your hands dirty.
There’s something to do for just about everyone.
If you missed Art Vancouver, do not worry. There will be another fair next year, May 4th - 7th 2023.
By Nathan Durec