Updated: Sep 15
Summer is finally here, and what better way to make the most of the sunny days in Vancouver than immersing yourself in the city's vibrant art scene? From contemporary galleries to upcoming art shows, Vancouver offers plenty of opportunity to engage with art and culture. In this blog post we’ll explore where to visit and upcoming exhibitions. There’s something for everyone.
Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a cultural landmark in the heart of the city, known for its diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions and is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. This summer, the Vancouver Art Gallery has an impressive lineup of shows that cater to various artistic tastes.
Parviz Tanavoli is an Iranian-born, Vancouver-based sculptor with his first major Canadian exhibition: Poets, Locks, Cages. Showing July through November, it showcases over 100 pieces representing his six-decade career. It spans the full breadth of his practice from sculpture and painting to printmaking and mixed-media assemblages. His work is heavily influenced by Iran’s history, culture and traditions.
Other exhibitions over the summer include internationally acclaimed Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, Canadian visual artist and performer Shary Boyle and Abenaki filmmaker and activist Alanis Obomsawin.
Tickets typically cost $29 for those over 18’s, but don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget, Vancouver Art Gallery offers free admission on the first Friday evening of every month.
Museum of Vancouver
The Museum of Vancouver offers a fascinating insight into Vancouver’s rich history and culture. Located in Vanier Park, the Museum of Vancouver is known for its engaging exhibitions and is a great place to learn more about Vancouver's arts and culture.
This summer, make sure to visit the new exhibition; Reclaim + Repair: The Mahogany Project, which celebrates the creativity and craft of Vancouver’s design community, while engaging in discussions of sustainability and environmental justice.
Currently showing are several exhibitions including Dressed for History: Why Costume Collections Matter, All We Want Is More: The Tobias Wong Project, Unity Indigenous Plant Garden, and many, many more.
Tickets cost $20. Discounts are available for youth, students, seniors and the Indigenous community. But again, if concerned with the budget they offer ‘Pay What You Can Sundays’. It applies to the first Sunday of each month and the admission is by donation.
Ian Tan Gallery
Nestled in the heart of the South Granville art district, Ian Tan Gallery is a must-visit destination for contemporary art lovers. Established in 1999, it represents important emerging and established artists in contemporary Canadian Art.
Exhibits and artists showcasing change frequently but the great news is they are free to view. It's a great way to check out and support local artists
Another free-to-enter gallery located in the vibrant South Granville neighbourhood is the Bau-xi Gallery. It has been showcasing Canadian contemporary art for over 50 years and is the oldest commercial gallery in Vancouver. It was established in 1965 by Bau-Xi Huang to showcase the many Canadian artists in need of gallery representation on the West Coast.
The Bau-Xi group has expanded to several galleries across Canada and the US which represents emerging and established visual artists across a variety of media and genres.
For those interested in exploring modern and contemporary art, Equinox Gallery is a true gem in Vancouver's art scene. Located close to Trout Lake and another gallery that offers free entry. Up to July 15th, the gallery presents Kim Dorland.
Vancouver Mural Festival
The Vancouver Mural Festival takes place from the 4th to the 13th of August. It is an annual outdoor celebration of public art promoting new murals and art projects. It includes a street party in Mount Pleasant, with markets, live art, beer gardens and more. Download the VMF app to explore over 300 murals currently on display throughout the streets of Vancouver.
Art Downtown is an outdoor summer art festival which takes place from June 21st to September 15th from 11 am to 5 pm. New and established artists create and sell their work in a beautiful open setting. Allowing anyone to access high-quality art for free, just show up and enjoy the artwork on display.
It's a fantastic opportunity to see artists at work, creating new pieces from scratch, and watching live demonstrations. Go ahead and mingle, interact and ask questions to the artists. It's a fantastic festival to be inspired, connect with art lovers, and support local artists and businesses.
Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver this event includes live music. Artists will be presenting their work and painting techniques at Lot 19, 855 West Hastings. For more information visit the website here.
Vancouver's art scene is brimming with excitement this summer, offering a diverse range of exhibitions and experiences for art enthusiasts. So, embrace the sunshine, immerse yourself in creativity, and let Vancouver's art scene inspire and ignite your imagination.
Dates and details may vary, so don’t forget to check out their websites with the latest offerings.
By: Wendy Cooper