Image: Installation view of Screenshots of Home (detail), Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2021. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
The Art Gallery at Evergreen‘s Outdoor Exhibitions offer a safe way for Lake Lafarge visitors to engage with local artists.
The Art Gallery at Evergreen (AGE) has curated a series of public-facing artworks on the exterior windows of the Evergreen Cultural Centre. These Outdoor Exhibitions are presented in conjunction with our exhibition programming to increase accessibility to contemporary art.
Prompted by COVID-19 preventative measures, the AGE had to close to the public for three months starting mid-March 2020. To increase art access during a time of substantial stress, we reached our community by using the exterior building windows as a presentation space for artworks. Sponsorship funding from the City of Coquitlam has enabled us to continue our series of outdoor public-facing artworks throughout 2021.
This Outdoor Exhibition series presents several exciting opportunities: to provide the community access to contemporary artwork in a highly used public space in the City of Coquitlam; to contribute meaningful artistic content to the AGE’s participation in community life outside the gallery walls; and to raise public awareness of the art gallery and the artists it exhibits.
These exterior artworks create opportunities for park visitors to engage with art in a low-barrier, safe public setting with limited health concerns and offer respite for park visitors and passersby.
Image: Manuel Axel Strain, Smudging the English Dictionary, 2021. Courtesy of the Artist.
Smudging the English Dictionary
Manuel Axel Strain
June 14 – August 29, 2021
Manuel Axel Strain is a non-binary 2-Spirit artist of xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Simpcw and Inkumupulux ancestry who currently lives on the stolen, sacred and ancestral homelands and waters of the sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie) and Kwantlen peoples.
Strain uses their art practice to confront and undermine the imposed realities of colonialism, proposing a new space beyond oppressive systems of power. The photographic work Smudging the English Dictionary (2021) bears witness to the ongoing intergenerational trauma associated with the attempted erasure of Indigenous bodies, languages, ceremonies and medicines at the hands of settler colonialists in so-called Canada. Smudging is a sacred ceremony that many Indigenous peoples practice. This often involves the burning of plants like sage, sweetgrass, cedar and tobacco to cleanse and purify people and places. In this work Strain is smudging with sage picked by their mother in their Secwepemcúl’ecw (Secwépemc) homelands. By reclaiming ancestral ceremony and cleansing a politically charged lexicon, Strain honours the resiliency of Indigenous people and makes space for healing and resistance.
May – October 2021
Seedling (cedar) (2021), by artist Hyung-min Yoon, is a location-based augmented reality (AR) sculpture situated on Lafarge Lake, adjacent to the Evergreen Cultural Centre. The sculpture takes the form of a reconstructed and enlarged micro-CT scan of a germinating western red cedar, which is accessed through smart devices, allowing audiences to experience this site-specific artwork during their park walk. Seedling (cedar) is a new work in the artist’s ongoing series of sculptural installations that are positioned on bodies of water. Each work addresses the artist’s interest in the history of language.
This new work, in existing virtually on Lafarge Lake—a human-made lake that was once a quarry and donated to the City of Coquitlam by Lafarge Cement Company in the 1970s—addresses the relationship between nature and culture and the impact of settler colonialism on the land. This digital experience offers an opportunity for viewers to reflect on the area’s natural history, as well as the ancient characters, languages and metaphors that have shaped humankind’s relationship to trees for millennia.
Hyung-min Yoon is a visual artist working between Vancouver and Seoul. Her work uses a variety of media and forms, with an interest in language, translation and the elemental roots of meaning. Yoon received her BFA from the Korean National University of the Arts, Seoul, and her MFA from Chelsea College of Arts, London. Her work has been exhibited at local and international venues.
Seedling (cedar) is presented by the Art Gallery at Evergreen, developed by Hammer & Tong, and generously supported by the BC Arts Council and the Province of British Columbia. Curated by Katherine Dennis and coordinated by Kate Henderson.
Teiakwanahstahsontéhrha | We Extend the Rafters
Mohawk artist Skawennati’s exhibition, designed specifically for children aged 5-11, invites visitors of all ages to explore virtual environments that address history, the future and change from an Indigenous perspective.
Visit the Art Gallery (indoors) Thursdays & Fridays from 12 – 6pm and Saturdays & Sundays from 12 – 5pm.
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Open: Thurs & Fri 12-6 pm | Sat & Sun 12-5 pm
Situated on the shores of Lafarge Lake in Town Centre Park, Evergreen Cultural Centre exists on the unceded, traditional and ancestral core territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation). Thanks to backlit panels behind the artwork designed by our amazing tech team, this exhibition is available to view all day long on our exterior lobby windows.