South Granville, Part III: Vancouver’s Gallery Row

South Granville's Gallery Row. Photo © Dana Lynch

Love to spend the day looking at art and want to do it for free? You can on South Granville’s Gallery Row.

As you may know, I’ve been paying homage to my (now) old neighbourhood, South Granville (Granville St. from the Bridge to W 16th Ave.) in a series of posts on the things that make that district so unique. First, I wrote about the restaurants, then about the shopping. Today, I’ll write about the art.

In South Granville, Part II: 3 Reasons to Shop South Granville, I made shopping—or browsing—for art along Gallery Row #3. But, really, South Granville’s Gallery Row deserves it’s own post; strolling Gallery Row is, after all, one of the “most interesting things you can do…in Vancouver” according to The Vancouver Sun. (I agree with the Sun.)

South Granville has one of the largest concentrations of commercial art galleries in the city, hence the moniker “Gallery Row.” These galleries exhibit a huge range of art, from Asian and First Nations sculpture to contemporary photography and B.C. impressionism, and they’re free to visit, even if you’re not in the market to buy.

All of the galleries are worth a look, but there are a few stand-outs. Both the Ian Tan Gallery and the Kurbatoff Art Gallery promote contemporary Canadian artists; Ian Tan is particularly worth a visit as it focuses on B.C. and local artists, like this month’s featured artist Tim Fraser, who regularly visits Stanley Park to capture new vistas of the famous Seawall.

Tim Fraser's Meandering Seawall, 2010, oil on canvas, at Ian Tan Gallery

Another must-visit to see contemporary Canadian artists is the Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver’s oldest contemporary art gallery. (It was founded in 1965.) Bau-Xi represents about 50 Canadian artists, including big names in Canadian art history as well as emerging talent.

Inside the Bau-Xi Gallery, South Granville

Fine art isn’t all you’ll find at South Granville’s galleries. There are loads of antique galleries, too, with everything from rare Asian pieces to Canadiana.

When I used to live in South Granville, one of my favourite ways to spend the day was to stroll along Gallery Row on my way to the Granville Island Public Market. Granville Island is just a few blocks north of South Granville, making it easy to combine a trip to both destinations.

You can find a current list of South Granville Art Exhibitions here and can download a .pdf map of Gallery Row here.

A look at South Granville’s Gallery Row from the South Granville BIA:

Also in this series:
South Granville, Part I: Top 5 Restaurants on South Granville
South Granville, Part II: 3 Reasons to Shop South Granville

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