Archives for category: PHOTOS
Image: I Think I Can, Graham Gilmore, 1991, Acrylic and Ink on Ledger Paper 100 x 120"

Image: I Think I Can, Graham Gilmore, 1991, Acrylic and Ink on Ledger Paper 100 x 120″

After the recent exhibition by talented local artist Babak Golkar, here comes a new exhibition at the West Vancouver Museum, bringing new correspondances to light between the local school district and visual arts. From the West Vancouver Museum:

SD45 One is an exhibition that supports, embraces and showcases the vast range of Visual Arts in School District 45 – West Vancouver, and facilitates a broader vision of how art is experienced in our city. It allows viewers to appreciate the works of young and emerging artists from SD45 alongside established artists who were once educated in West Vancouver public schools. The exhibition facilitates growth and further inquiry into the Visual Arts and will spark both viewers and students’ deeper interest and commitment to the Visual Arts.

The exhibition includes works by current and recently graduated SD45 students, staff and a selected group of internationally acclaimed artists who were once enrolled in the school district, and whose work will provide inspiration to young artists.

Artists included are: Douglas Coupland, Graham Gilmore, Ross Penhall, Ian Wallace, Geoffrey Farmer, Cori Creed, Victor Penner, Xwalacktun, Bobbie Burgers, Ken Wallace, Monique Mees, Tony Pantages and Vincent Massey among others.

The exhibition is organized by art educator Jackie Wong and is curated by Patrik Andersson.

April 10 – May 31, 2014

Opening Reception April 9 6pm to 9pm



These are pictures from the Untitled Film Stills series (1977-80), by the well-known American artist Cindy Sherman. In this series of over 60 black-and-white photographs, the artist poses in different roles and settings, affecting the role of a film star surprised as if by paparazzi, a character in a tense scene of suspense, looking at turns regal, embattled, bewildered, etc. The style of the photos is strongly reminiscent of American film noir of the 40s or 50s.



Sherman has created pictures pregnant with narrative, ‘film stills’ for a film they help you imagine, but that doesn’t exist! In a magazine interview, she claimed “I think people are more apt to believe photographs, especially if it’s something fantastic. They’re willing to be more gullible. Sometimes they want fantasy. Even if they know it’s fake they can believe anything. People are accustomed to being told what to believe in.”


Sherman is a photographer born in 1954, who currently lives in New York. She’s best known for conceptual portraits where she assumes the multiple roles of photographer, model, makeup artist, hairdresser, and stylist. For at least four decades, Sherman has used herself in photos where she masquerades as a variety of different characters. Through the personas and tableaus that she invents, the artist examines the construction of identity, the nature of representation through photography, and the representation of women in popular culture.

View from the back of 818-826 Main Street, c.1968, courtesy City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 203-15

View from the back of 818-826 Main Street, c.1968, courtesy City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 203-15

The Presentation House Gallery will be opening its new exhibition tomorrow night! Titled Synthetic Pictures, the exhibition presents new photographic works by Douglas, many of which relate to overlooked parts of Vancouver’s history – the city as you may have never seen it before.

What about this photographic work? Know what part of Vancouver it relates to? (It’s not the recent hockey riot!)


The work is Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971 by Stan Douglas. You might have seen it at the Woodwards complex in the Downtown Eastside, where it’s been since 2009. Stretching eight by thirteen metres, it’s visible from the Woodwards atrium inside, and the plaza outside it.

Douglas often works to meticulously reconstruct historical scenes, and has paid particular attention to conflictual or overlooked parts of Vancouver’s short history.

To recreate this scene at Abbott and Cordova streets (right by today’s Woodwards complex), from 1971, Douglas dug into public archives and interviewed residents, police and protesters from this time and place. Initially, he planned to shoot on location, but it became so complicated and expensive, Douglas and his hundred-person crew set up shop in a parking lot of the Pacific National Exhibition to stage this elaborate work.

The kind of reconstruction you have here, which projects us into a specific place and time, might seem like a complex trip down memory lane, but it also shows us how images can be elaborately staged and constructed, just like our impressions of history. 


Why’s the police there? What’s going on? Well, in the early 70s, the Vancouver neighbourhood of Gastown was undergoing an interesting social transformation.

Hippies from Kitsilano moved across the bridge into Gastown, settling into areas once occupied by factories. Following weeks of drug arrests, the new residents staged a “smoke-in” with thousands of participants, a foot-and-a-half long joint and free popcorn. Police arrived in riot gear and a violent confrontation ensued. This event, known as the Gastown Riot or the Battle of Maple Tree Square, is what’s at the centre of this artwork. But the depiction of this city intersection also represents a historical juncture, because after the riot, local zoning was changed  from residential to purely commercial, which drastically altered how people experience the area and the sense of community.

lake_judgments_905This is Judgments by Rosea Lake, an illustration and design student at Capilano University in North Vancouver.

Lake created this picture in May 2012 for an Advanced Placement project in high school. But it’s only when she posted it on her Tumblr page in January 2013, that became a phenomenon. It’s been reblogged more than half a million times, and magazines and news outlets across the world took notice. She did interviews with Dutch television, Global TV,  CTV, CBC … and it even ended up in the well-known local magazine Adbusters and in the British newspaper Daily Mail

Judgments addresses well-entrenched stereotypes and complex forms of prejudice in a straightforward and very graphic way. For a Vancouver Observer article, Lake explained her creative process: ‘The idea for that photo in particular came from a graduated cylinder – I was trying to compare the way we impersonally measure liquid in vials to the way we judge and measure a woman’s worth by what she’s wearing.

Today, it’s easy for photos to circulate around the world, in contexts wildly different from where they originated, resonating with the daily and local problems of people across continents. You can find this with jpeg and GIF files, passed around between social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Stereotypes, general impressions and prejudices of a culture can also make the rounds and be passed on, without anyone knowing how anchored in the truth they actually are. But to what extent can images reveal their context and the ‘bigger picture’? Judgments is one of those rare examples of photos that distill a set of complex and widespread stereotypes into a single image, giving us a bigger picture encompassing the cultural associations that we take for granted.

The deadline to take part in Our Image, Your Image, the Seventh Chester Fields Photo Contest, will be FRIDAY 25 APRIL.

The exhibition will take place at the Presentation House Gallery between Friday 30 May and Sunday 1 June 2014.  


There will be prizes! The grand prize winner will receive $500 and there will be two other prizes of $250. 

Following the jury’s decision, youth not accepted for the exhibition may be included in the Chester Fields catalogue publication, as honorary mentions. Furthermore, any eligible youth who send in work have the opportunity of winning a number of participation prizes (to be confirmed).

Still hesitating about spending your precious time and energy on this marvellous opportunity? Check out our new page, Benefits from Contributing. Make sure you are eligible and know how to submit work.



Do you see these works by Elad Lassry as nothing but photography?

In fact, these works use photographic images but don’t stop there. They have a sculptural quality – notice the colours of their frames and how they echo the general hues of the pictures. Also, Lassry’s framed pictures are usually no larger than a magazine page, and this is one of many ways that his works reference mass media and the way photography is used today.

Elad Lassry is an artist born in Israel in 1977, now living and working in Los Angeles. He’s influenced by the ‘Pictures Generation,’ a group of (mainly American) artists using appropriation and references to mass media, such as Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger.

His photographs often evoke generic images, the food photography or slick portraiture you might see in a glossy magazine, on a billboard, or a space trying to sell you something. As with the pop icons that Andy Warhol multiplied in his screenprints, Lassry’s images make us question what is real, alive and well beyond his carefully crafted, highly manipulated and artificial images.

Lassry has been known to experiment widely with photography, and his final compositions may at first sight seem strangely ‘off,’ but not especially experimental. However, his compositions are often the result of complex layering and superimpositions not immediately apparent, but which lead the viewer to reconsider how artificial and misleading his depictions are, and how much we can be seduced by the fake in images.

You can see more of Lassry’s work in the exhibition Dream Location, open until March 16th at the Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver.



More information about these and other works by Elad Lassry can be found on the David Kordansky Gallery site.

This spring, Presentation House Gallery is holding its seventh photo contest to inspire and encourage Metro Vancouver youth in their creativity. We’re asking youth to respond to the culture around them with their own photographic images, for our new contest: Our Image, Your Image.

Last year, you offered us extremely varied interpretations of what “home” means to you through the lens of cultural identity. This year, we invite you to think of the relations between photography and the notion of “image” taken in its more abstract sense: as a general impression or idea. Is there a cultural image that you feel strongly about, a first impression or stereotype that you would like to address? Perhaps it’s an image of prejudice, a misrepresentation, or an image that you would like to shape more truthfully?

So much in our culture, locally and across the world, is based on first impressions: images we have of people or things that help us understand them. These impressions can come from photographic images: whether they be old black and white photos, phone pics taken on the fly, or jpegs shared on social media. When we see these photos out of context, how much can we really know where they’re coming from? To what extent do the photos we see reveal their context and the reality of a culture? 

To take part in Our Image, Your Image, you are invited to find a cultural image (understood as a representation, general idea or impression) that you find interesting and would like to address. Then, the project entails that you respond to this cultural image with a photographic image. Eligible participants are invited to use photo-editing software or a series of photographic works (up to 3) to show us how your image of a culture is different.

Our jury will select a group of youth to be part of an exhibition and related publication displaying a diverse selection of the contest’s most creative work. Selected participants will receive equal prizing and have an opportunity to show their photographs in a public gallery setting and the Chester Fields print publication. Presentation House Gallery, located at 333 Chesterfield Avenue in North Vancouver, is the largest non-profit photographic gallery in Western Canada. We have offered a variety of contemporary and historical photographic and media exhibitions since 1981.

Please feel free to e-mail the Education Coordinator at Presentation House Gallery, Sydney Hart, with any questions or comments at

crime-pictures872-828x1024Join us on Sunday, September 29th at 2pm, and discover the art of collage with this fun workshop. Working from themes for the current exhibition ‘Collected Shadows’ participants will build their own images with provided materials, sourced from the North Vancouver Archives. More info here.

clown-lion971-1024x785There will also be an exhibition tour of ‘Collected Shadows’ on September 28th at 3pm! More info here.


Hope to see you then!


Focusing on the promotion of youth creativity, The Art Box will run quarterly exhibitions of local youth artwork. Unique in its interactive nature, The Art Box provides the audience with the opportunity to “erase” a black and white image, revealing the colourful artwork or film underneath. This interactivity allows for audience participation and is truly individual in its nature. Run by youth artists, for youth artists, The Art Box welcomes submissions from youth age 13 to 25 on the North Shore.

You can submit your artwork here!

Here’s a shot of the beautiful new fence created by the Studio in the City 6 team, with help from the North Vancouver Museum – under the wrapped whiteness of the Flamsborough Head.


It’s encouraging to see familiar names for this artist team, including To Here from Home artist Azi Ebrahimi! Congrats on the exciting projects!


The Chester Fields program, works by talented artists from our contest and yours truly are featured in this post by the Canada-wide campaign Culture Days:   

Photography as a Method of Identity Formation

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 1.25.28 PM

Now in its fourth year, Culture Days was inspired by the success and impact of Quebec’s Journées de la culture weekend. Culture Days represents the largest-ever public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in this country.

This year, Culture Days will take place September 27-29, and will feature free hands-on activities inviting you to participate in the “behind-the-scenes” world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, designers at work.


Wondering if there’s something there tailored to your interests?

You can find a good place to start your search here.  In for a drum circle on the North Shore? How about a bike tour along the Spirit Trail? Or a walking tour of Jewish Strathcona and Gastown?