Art Vancouver: Showcasing an Array of International Contemporary Art

Art Vancouver; Photo: Asli Ferhatoglu

With Vancouver’s vibrant local art scene, the city is the ideal venue for Western Canada’s largest art fair.

From April 11 to 14, 2024, Art Vancouver takes place at the iconic Canada Place (Vancouver Convention Centre East) to celebrate the diversity of international contemporary art. Launched by the non-profit organization Vancouver Visual Art Foundation in 2015, Art Vancouver brings together galleries and artists from around the world in a multi-day fair that encompasses exhibitors, art talks, classes, networking opportunities, and much more. Since its inception the fair continues to grow in both size and profile, attracting over 11,000 attendees last year.

Here are 5 different ways to immerse yourself in contemporary art at Art Vancouver—now in its highly anticipated 8th edition:

Opening Night

Art Vancouver; Photo: Pablo Galiacho

What makes Art Vancouver particularly distinctive from other art fairs is that it’s not just about exhibiting art but also about creating a venue for artists and galleries—as well as art fans—to interact. Opening Night is one such opportunity. On April 11, Art Vancouver is throwing a lavish Opening Night Party, with VIP and media access starting at 6pm, and general admittance happening at 7pm. The party goes until 10pm, and includes a red carpet and plenty of mingling with those in the industry and those with an eye for great art. Also, very popular is the Face of Art Runway Show where artists parade their works on the catwalk so that attendees can connect the art with their creators. Get dressed up in your finest, and get ready to be one of the first people to check out the amazing art at the fair.

Diverse Artists and Galleries

Of course, an art fair would not be a fair without a plethora of artists and gallery exhibitors spotlighting their exciting work. The space will come alive with vibrant colours, brush strokes, and visual representations. Exhibitors are curated to ensure that the best of local and international talent is on display, as well as the diversity of those present. Many artists also engage in live demos during the fair, making a tour through the exhibitors a very interactive experience.

Two galleries to look out for are Art in Dongsan and Perve Galeria. Art in Dongsan launched in Sogong-dong, Seoul, in 2018 with the opening of the Eunha Gallery. Since then, they have begun a residency program and opened the Art in Dongsan Goyang Gallery as well as the Jageun Art Museum, where they hold monthly exhibitions. Meanwhile, Perve Galeria hails from Lisbon, Portugal, exhibiting artists creating a variety of modern and contemporary works. At Art Vancouver, Perve Galeria will be exhibiting the work of João Artur da Silva, who is originally from Portugual but resides in British Columbia. The 95-year-old artist is a member of the prominent Portuguese surrealist group “Os Surrealistas” and has worked in numerous mediums, including drawing, painting, textiles, and sculpture. More recently, he has been creating geometric shapes on paper.

Other galleries in attendance include the PHJ Gallery from Korea, the Gallery UG from Japan, and the Society of Nigerian Artists.

In addition, diverse solo artists will be exhibiting at Art Vancouver, including Hassan Nasrazadan, an artist and silversmith originally from Iran who will be displaying his sculptures at the fair; Dilshat Aripov, an artist from Kazakhstan who produces provocative drawings on the culture and struggles of the Uyghurs; and Shakun Jhanghiani, a mixed media artist originally from India who has exhibited extensively in Vancouver and British Columbia.

Art Talks

Art Vancouver is about facilitating dialogue among fellow art enthusiasts and professionals on topics that are timely and thought-provoking. The fair’s Art Talks invite artists and industry experts to talk on a topic that they are passionate and have insider knowledge about.

This year, Art Vancouver is hosting “Censorship in Indigenous Art: Unveiling Challenges in Public and Media Spaces.” Shifts in technology and social media have made art more accessible than ever but also have led to new challenges for artists. In this talk, taking place April 13 at 2pm, panelists will talk about when and how they have experienced censorship related to their Indigenous art and how they have challenged attempts at suppression of their creative voices. The talk is about building community and connections, inviting attendees to reflect on systemic barriers to Indigenous creative expression, as well the possibilities for resistance, self-identity, and artistic and cultural reclamation.

Art Classes

Art Vancouver; Photo: Pablo Galiacho

Not only do attendees of Art Vancouver get the opportunity to appreciate the works of talented artists from Canada and beyond, but they also get to engage in their own artistic practices. Many different art classes will be held over the course of the fair, encompassing a range of mediums as well as styles/genres. For example, consider signing up for an Alcohol Ink Art Class, which takes places on April 12 (3pm to 5pm, 6pm to 8pm) and 13 (3pm to 5pm). During the two-hour session, artist and certified Art Therapist Taisha Teal will lead participants through the joy and creative fluidity of working with alcohol link, a liquid, intensely pigmented medium based in alcohol. It allows for a lot of play and versatility.

Other art classes are Flowers in a Vase (April 13, 12:30pm to 2:30pm), Bright Blossoms in Abstract (April 14, 11:30am to 1:30pm), and Neurographic Drawing Art (April 14, 2:30pm to 4:30pm). A class ticket includes a day’s admission to Art Vancouver so that you can browse the fair before and/or after your class.

Opus Art Masters

Art Vancouver – Opus Art Masters; Photo: Pablo Galiacho

Get set on April 13 at 6:30pm to witness Opus Art Masters, a painting competition that has eight artists flexing their creative talent in a fun and lively time-pressed situation. After receiving a box of mystery supplies, they will be given a theme and one hour to produce unique works. Once their time is up, the winner will be crowned based on audience votes, with all the artwork up for silent auction. Opus Art Masters is included in an admission ticket for April 13.

All information and tickets for Art Vancouver can be found here.

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