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A reflection of Art Vancouver's 8th edition

As another spring season comes to an end in Vancouver, so too does its biggest art event of the year. With the help of over 100 volunteers, another edition of Art Vancouver has come and gone with great success. Those who attended the contemporary art fair took part in art classes, listened to talks from artists and art professionals alike and witnessed artists walk their art down the runway as well as live painting on the main stage.

Art Vancouver Attendee Viewing Art, Photo by Asli Ferhatoglu
Art Vancouver Attendee Viewing Art, Photo by Asli Ferhatoglu

The show kicked off with a full night of speeches, music and events. Coast Salish carver John Spence was the first to give a speech, which he followed with a moving vocal performance. Our very own Sky Lilah took the reins on speaking about the role of the Vancouver Visual Art Foundation (VVAF) as the non-profit and organizer of the show, and thanking the many people involved in making sure this annual event is able to succeed year after year. Opening night speeches were brought to a close by executive director, Lisa Wolfin.

As art lovers mingled and enjoyed a drink or two, the night continued on to the Face of Art runway, an event unique to Art Vancouver that ensures attendees are given a chance to put a face to the art they love so much. MCed by the one and only Maestro, the runway allowed artists the chance to walk their art down the stage as he introduced them to the audience.

As Lisa put it perfectly when she spoke of the event saying, “Opening night ignites the magic of the event, setting the stage for an unforgettable celebration of art.”

Art Vancouver Attendees and Artists Discuss Art, Photo by Asli Ferhatoglu
Art Vancouver Attendees and Artists Discuss Art, Photo by Asli Ferhatoglu

Running on the high of a successful opening night, the event opened to the public on Friday with artists excited to show their work. Aisles of booths boasted work from across the globe and ranging artistic disciplines of all types. Artists from Kazakhstan, Korea, Japan, Scotland, Ireland and Portugal showed all kinds of works including carvings, paintings, contemporary sculptures, photography and more.

As attendees took their time weaving through the convention centre, getting to know artists and their work, artists, curators and gallery owners gave talks about their experience in the world of art. At the same time, Art Ignites held youth-orientated workshops, and artists Lauren Morris, Taisha Teal and Lisa hosted art classes, giving attendees an opportunity to learn while they enjoyed the art show.

The Friday and Saturday evenings then played host to on-stage painting events, with artists getting up on stage on the Friday night to paint live followed by the Art Masters speed painting competition on Saturday evening. Born in Beijing, China, and raised in Vancouver, this year's Art Masters winner Yanzhi (Emma) Zhao is a young artist with a penchant for exploration, often blending mediums and exploring the world of 3D sculpture.

Art Vancouver Attendees Get to Know Artists, Photo by Asli Ferhatoglu
Art Vancouver Attendees Get to Know Artists, Photo by Asli Ferhatoglu

As the sun came out to greet Vancouverites on Sunday, Art Vancouver wrapped up with a slower pace. Artists and art lovers alike enjoyed a more leisurely day of exhibition, taking more time to converse and build new relationships.

“It was evident that the dedication and tireless efforts of our team throughout the year had truly paid off.” Lisa said of the contemporary art fairs’ success this year. “Seeing the results of everyone’s hard work, with a number of art pieces finding new owners, was not only gratifying but a testament to the power of art to unite and inspire.”

As the director reminisced on a year of hard work coming to an end, so too did the team of volunteers who participated. For the team leading the show, the final day was also a more leisurely day with a little more time to enjoy the art and a chance to celebrate a job well done.

While it may be the end of the show for this year, Art Vancouver will be back next year. So, if you feel like you missed out, keep your eyes peeled for next year's edition!

By Annalisse Crosswell


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