"The 12th Annual Oppenheimer Park Community Art Show | The World As We Create It
September 13, 2019 - October 26, 2019
Gallery Gachet 9 West Hastings Street
“Comm-you-nity” is the thematic prompt and point of entry that frames the visual explorations on the natural world by over thirty artists from the Oppenheimer Park community. The annual show features a variety of artworks including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, mosaic and installation. The exhibition serves as a reminder of the important place that Oppenheimer Park holds in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.
Oppenheimer Park continues to represent a significant site of recreation, activism and resistance within the broader community. The diversity of artistic expression in the exhibition "The World As We Create It" celebrates Oppenheimer Park as a place of healing and belonging that transpires through the arts. The Park hosts many programs, festivals and arts based events that support the overall health and wellness of the community through art, education and recreation.
The artworks in this collective exhibition offer a level of artistic vulnerability and authenticity of expression that inspires and challenges the viewer to engage in a more complex process of self- reflection. Mike McNeeley’s small clay figurine entitled Donald reminds us that close observation of facial expressions may reveal inner states of experience that shape our personal interactions. Teresa Ng’s acrylic painting called The Table and the Window is a meditative composition of lines and shapes that evokes thoughtfully considered pathways within fragmented architectural spaces. Small rectilinear shapes of bright yellow open up a vibrant perspective on the challenges and joys of taking care of self in the context of a sometimes onerous modern day existence.
Priscillia Mays’ mixed media work called Blue Heron and Una McMillan’s work on paper called Canoe Journey both consider the important role of the natural surroundings in grounding our lived experiences and interactions. Una McMillan is a Homalco Nation Coast Salish Drummer and chosen elder of the Downtown Eastside. Priscillia Mays is a self-described devoted gitxsan and witsuwit’en mother, artist and community activist. Blue Heron is a work that combines both personal photographic imagery with traditional Indigenous materials such as wool and buttons. The work which is mounted on a wood frame evokes the healing and comforting attributes of the blanket as subject matter in a two dimensional presentation.
The Gallery Gachet is a unique artist - run centre in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Through artistic means, the gallery aims to demystify and challenge issues related to mental health and social marginalization in order to educate the public and promote social and economic justice. The gallery’s primary focus is supporting the wellness and artistic development of people marginalized by their mental health, trauma and/or abuse experiences.
The guiding principle of the gallery recognizes the critical role of self-expression and culture in the creation of a healthier society.