Coquitlam Collects featured a diverse selection of works drawn from private collections in Coquitlam and the Tri-Cities. With significant works by local, regional, national and international artists, the exhibition presented a portrait of the artistic interests of people in Coquitlam through the public sharing of cultural riches that have pride of place in private homes. The exhibition also served as a catalyst for conversations about how art becomes part the everyday lives of the people in the communities that the Evergreen Cultural Centre serves. It revealed the wide diversity of reasons why people chose the work they hang on their walls. In more than one instance, a collector said the artwork chose them rather than that they chose the artwork. Artists will often trade work with other artists, and sometimes a work of art is a gift from a generous friend or passed down in a family. An artwork might also be found in an unlikely place, such as at a garage sale, in a thrift store or hanging in a gallery washroom, but the true value is measured not in dollars but in the intellectual, emotional or downright visual pleasure it brings to the person upon whose wall it hangs day in and day out.

Artists: Chen Aikang, Danny Antonucci, Maxwell Bates, Alistair Bell, Kwi Am Choi, Leanne Christie, Reza Doust, Cydney Eva, Gathie Falk, Brian Jones, Ellsworth Kelly, Marv Newland, Ng Ting Chat, Joseph Plaskett, Marianna Schmidt, Pamela Scott, Jack Shadbolt, Frances Seba Smith, Gordon Smith, Iver Stump, Anselmo Swan, Maggie White, Gu Xiong, Robert Young.

All images: Installation view of Coquitlam Collects, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2016. Photography: Blaine Campbell.

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