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From consumer society to queer culture to metric measurement, art has something important to say

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Surrey Art Gallery

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On Air

Until March 22

An exhibition of works that respond to consumer society and pop culture, On Air is centered on an installation by the late media artist Nancy Paterson (1957-2018). To engage with Garden in the Machine, visitors pull a lever on a slot-machine-styled device that manipulates images displayed on a series of nearby monitors. Each monitor cycles through a series of television clips pulled from news programs, cartoons, game shows, religious programs, advertisements and more. Developed in 1993, the installation presages the internet with its endless stream of content. Elsewhere in the exhibition are key selections from the gallery’s collection, most of which, like Paterson’s artwork, have never been exhibited before. These include a two-sided print by 1970s video and media artist Michael de Courcy, photographs of the West Edmonton Mall by Vikky Alexander, and a silkscreen print by Robert Davidson.

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13750 88th Avenue, Surrey, 604-501-5566, surrey.ca/artgallery

The 1968 acrylic-on-canvas work Columbia Vista Vision features among the retrospective of Gary Lee-Nova's works at Burnaby Art Gallery.
The 1968 acrylic-on-canvas work Columbia Vista Vision features among the retrospective of Gary Lee-Nova’s works at Burnaby Art Gallery. Photo by Supplied /PNG

Burnaby Art Gallery

Gary Lee-Nova: Oblique Trajectories

Until April 18

An important figure in the West Coast scene of the 1960s and early 1970s, Gary Lee-Nova is known for creating single projects that often take years to execute. The exhibition presents works from over 50 years, including large-scale paintings, sculptures, collages, silkscreens and digital compositions. Pieces include Out to Metric, a sculpture made from more than 1,400 wooden yardsticks and built as Canada switched from the imperial to the metric system. Motifs of measurement recur through other works, including recent digital works on paper. Oblique Trajectories also features Lee-Nova’s explorations of the comic character Nancy and large, multi-coloured canvases.

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6344 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, 604-297-4422, burnaby.ca

Dempsey Bob's Northern Eagles Transformation Mask, 2011, is among his evocative artworks showing at the Audain Art Museum.
Dempsey Bob’s Northern Eagles Transformation Mask, 2011, is among his evocative artworks showing at the Audain Art Museum. Photo by Trevor Mills Photography /PNG

Audain Art Museum

Wolves: The Art of Dempsey Bob

April 2 to August 14

Dempsey Bob’s work from the 1970s to the present is rooted in the visual as well as oral traditions of his Tahltan and Tlingit ancestors. The artist transforms wood, such as alder and cedar, into sharply featured human, animal and mythological characters that evoke a knowledge of how all beings are interconnected. The carver’s oeuvre includes masks, helmets, spoons, rattles, panels and wall sculptures alongside a variety of other media such as bronze casting, goldsmithing, printmaking and robe design. In 2021, Bob received a Governor General’s Award for his outstanding career achievements as an artist and teacher. Wolves is the first-ever retrospective exhibition of this noted BC artist.

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4350 Blackcomb Way, Whistler 604-962-0413 ext. 103, audainartmuseum.com

James Wiens' oil painting Peony Explosion is part of his floral exhibition at Kurbatoff Art Gallery.
James Wiens’ oil painting Peony Explosion is part of his floral exhibition at Kurbatoff Art Gallery. PNG

Kurbatoff Gallery

James Wiens: Consider a Flower

Until March 14

An avid lifelong outdoorsman, James Wiens brings his love of nature to his work. Wiens paints primarily in oils, using the texture of wood or canvas as the base of paintings. Wiens says that he has applied the work ethic he gained on his family farm to his career as a professional artist. “Consider a flower, it does not work or worry,” Wiens says in an artist statement. “It blooms and enjoys the sun for a couple of weeks and then quickly wilts and dies, then comes again! It exists to look beautiful and to bring you to anyone who cares to take it in. Who has hours to study its beauty, its incredible intricacy? We are busy, distracted people. Take a minute and meditate on one flower. Do it! Call yourself. Life is good—we are going to be OK!”

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2435 Granville Street 604-736-5444, kurbatoffgallery.com

At UBC's Belkin Art Gallery, works by the artist Laiwan include The Blind Heart: a book fan, 1984.
At UBC’s Belkin Art Gallery, works by the artist Laiwan include The Blind Heart: a book fan, 1984. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography /PNG

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Laiwan: Traces, Erasures, Resists

Until April 10

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1961, Laiwan came to Canada with her family in 1977, leaving the war in Rhodesia, and graduated from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1983. Since the early 1980s, the artist has contributed to Vancouver culture through her engagement with artist-run centers and her participation with queer, feminist, multicultural and visual art print publications. Traces, Erasures, Resists highlights Laiwan’s attention to the material and symbolic vocabularies of print and lens-based media between 1980 and 2000. In addition to audio-visual works, Traces, Erasures interventions, Resists presents Laiwan’s archive of public writing and community.

1825 Main Mall, UBC 604-822-2759, belkin.ubc.ca

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