Downtown art exhibit of meticulous Chinese art offers a tranquil escape from city life

Ren Zhong: Twin Wings to the Glory is an exhibition of 38 new paintings by the Chinese artist. Zhong is a practitioner of GongBi, or “meticulous tradition.” The work in the show delves into the connection between humans and nature and is featured at Sunzen Gallery (420 Howe St.) until Feb. 21. Find out more below.

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Downtown art exhibit of meticulous Chinese art offers a tranquil escape from city life

Where to go Before or After the Eastside Culture Crawl

Photo credit: Odd Society Spirits

Photo credit: Odd Society Spirits

This year’s Eastside Culture Crawl will be an event to behold. The studio tour stretches east of Main Street and north of East 1st Ave and west of Victoria Drive.

Vancouver art fans have three days to check out 419 artists located in 83 buildings. In order to take in that much art over the weekend you need to remember to keep dry, fed, hydrated and entertained.

While my fellow Inside Vancouver blogger Carrie Leslie is offering a sneak peak at this year’s crawl, I’m offering some pre/post crawl eating, drinking and entertaining options. Below the jump you’ll find my recommendations on where to go before or after your Eastside Culture Crawl experience.
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Where to go Before or After the Eastside Culture Crawl

Zimsculpt Returns to VanDusen Botanical Garden

Witness Bonjisi's "Witness", made from opal stone. One of the Zimbabwean sculptures on display at Zimsculpt at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Photo: Dana Lynch

Zimsculpt—the exhibition and sale of Zimbabwean shona (stone) sculpture—is back at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Though it was a huge hit in 2009 and 2010, this is the last year to catch Zimsculpt at VanDusen; it won’t be back in 2012. So if you haven’t yet seen this art exhibit, which poetically situates the powerful Zimbabwean sculptures throughout VanDusen’s gorgeous gardens and pathways, don’t miss this final opportunity!

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Zimsculpt Returns to VanDusen Botanical Garden

BC Cultural Crawl – August 1 – 31, 2011

It’s a big year for Vancouver. Not only is 2011 the City of Vancouver’s 125th birthday and Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary, it’s also the 10th birthday for the BC Cultural Crawl. Launched as a B.C. Day celebration in 2001, today’s BC Culture Crawl is a huge arts festival that spans the province and the entire month of August.

The BC Cultural Crawl is a collection of arts and cultural events at 70 cities and towns throughout British Columbia, including outdoor theatre, art walks, annual festivals, and special events that demonstrate the unique “footprints” of the various B.C. communities.

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BC Cultural Crawl – August 1 – 31, 2011

Vancouver Draw Down July 23 & Vancouver DRAWN Festival

Did you know that Vancouver hosts Canada’s only annual city-wide festival of drawing?

The Vancouver DRAWN Festival—where Vancouver-area galleries and museums host a special series of exhibitions devoted to the medium of drawing—has been going on since July 16 (and runs through August 6, 2011). The festival features a range of drawing exhibitions—from contemporary to historical works—at 14 different galleries, including UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA), the Burnaby Art Gallery, and the Bau-Xi Gallery on Gallery Row in South Granville.

The festival also coincides with the Vancouver Draw Down, a series of community drawing projects designed to get people of all ages to draw creatively. The Vancouver Draw Down Finale is this Saturday, July 23, a day-long celebration of drawing that invites everyone to join drawing projects at Vancouver landmarks, community centres and parks.

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Vancouver Draw Down July 23 & Vancouver DRAWN Festival

Bill Reid & The Haida Canoe – A New Exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery

Lootaas in Paris P20, 1989. Photo © Philip Hersee Photography. On display at the Bill Reid Gallery.

Western art starts with the figure—West Coast Indian art starts with the canoe.
– Bill Reid

Born in Victoria, B.C., to a Swiss-German father and a Haida mother, Bill Reid (1920 – 1998) became, over the course of his lifetime, one of Canada’s most important and well-known artists. His work in traditional Haida materials—as a goldsmith, carver, sculptor and canoe maker—brought unprecedented world-wide attention to West Coast First Nations art. Many of Bill Reid’s most famous pieces reside here in Vancouver, including Raven and The First Men at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (an image of which can be seen on the back of every $20 Canadian bill) and the bronze Killer Whale – Cheif of the Undersea World at the Vancouver Aquarium.

A new exhibition at Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art presents a never-before-seen look at one of Bill Reid’s greatest endeavors: the creation of the Lootass (Wave Eater), a 51-foot-long Haida canoe that traveled both 950 km along the B.C. coast to Haida Gwaii and up the Seine River in Paris in 1989.

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Bill Reid & The Haida Canoe – A New Exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery

Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art at the VAG

Jan Steen<br> <em>Woman at Her Toilet</em>, c. 1659–60<br> oil on panel<br> © Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Jan SteenWoman at Her Toilet, c. 1659–60 oil on panel© Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

At FUSE Friday I had a chance to see the Vancouver Art Gallery’s (VAG) current headlining exhibit, Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art: Masterpieces from The Rijksmuseum.

The exhibit, organized in collaboration with Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum (the opening was attended by Netherlands royalty–Princess Marilène and Prince Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven), showcases 17th-century Dutch master works, demonstrating the Golden Age of Dutch art.

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Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art at the VAG