There are colleagues you work with that just make your work environment that much better and this month’s staff feature is one of those people. Sadly her contract is up at the end of the month and we will miss her. Meet our Curatorial Assistant – Chantelle!

What is the best show you’ve seen at the Evergreen?

While it’s hard to narrow in on the best show the Evergreen has ever put on; there are too many to choose from. This past summer’s Kids on Stage comes to mind. My favorite part about watching these performances was seeing the children’s creativity. Creative expression develops our unique identity and voice. These shows have a strong sense of community, resulting from the student imagination, parent support, and the excellence of the staff at the Evergreen, more specifically the Education Co-ordinator’s. Dance, drama, music, and visual arts are each unique languages for creating and communicating and that’s why these are some of the best shows I’ve seen at the Evergreen!

Why did you choose to be involved in the Arts?

I believe the arts are fundamental to the development of individual potential, social responsibility, and cultural awareness. I chose to be involved in the arts because this profession is not only influenced by aesthetic choices but by various intellectual, social and physical influences in the world. Throughout my undergrad I explored visual art as a public statement not confined by the issues culture, media and government create. I strongly believe that the arts contain the potential to transform our understandings and experiences of urban spaces and cultural value, providing individuals with a deepened awareness of themselves and their place in their environment and community.

What is your favorite show / exhibition / program you’ve seen at the Evergreen?

I may be a bit biased, but my favorite exhibition I’ve seen at the Evergreen was Colour Burst. I say biased because I had the opportunity to curate this exhibition! This exhibition also included some of my favorite artworks and artists of the 19th and 20th century; movements known as Modernism and Pop Art.

Colour Burst presented an exuberantly colourful display of local, national and international works assembled from artists and from collecting institutions in British Columbia. Colour Burst featured work in a variety of media from paintings to prints from such artists as Andy Warhol, Kenneth Noland, Joan Balzar, Michael Morris, B.C. Binning, Ellsworth Kelly, Alan Wood, Jack Shadbolt, Robert Davidson, David Ostrem, Gary Lee-Nova, Chila Kumari Burman, Josef Albers, Greg Curnoe, Roy Kiyooka, Anne Kesler Sheilds and Frank Stella.

What show / exhibition / program are you MOST looking forward to this season?

The exhibition I am most looking forward to this season is do it. This traveling exhibition was conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. do it is composed of written instructions by artists, as a point of departure, each of which could be interpreted anew every time they are enacted. This exhibition allows patron’s to not only touch the art in the gallery but be the ones to create it! do it will generate the opportunity for community and institution engagement, I can’t wait to participate in all the eccentric instructions.

What do you do in your extra time… do you have a creative side gig?

In my time away from being part of the curatorial team at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, I teach Family Art Classes. I aspire to create an environment where families can join me in learning new techniques, and experiment with materials that wouldn’t be found at their house.

While a lot of my time is spent with art, I enjoy taking a break and spending time outdoors. Some activities I enjoy to par-take in are hiking, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. This Summer I’m also going to be completing my fifth half-marathon.

Favorite musical, play, artist or author/playwright? Why?

My favourite musical is Mamma Mia! How can you go wrong with any ABBA song? My favorite songs in the musical is Honey, Honey and I Have a Dream. The setting is in Greece, somewhere I’ve always wanted to travel too so this element of the musical has always resonated with me. I saw the musical last time it was in Vancouver and it’s hard not to sing along to every song.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given is too always work your hardest and always put your best effort forward with anything you do, because nothing will ever be handed to you on a silver platter. Especially in the art world, this advice has held true. It’s a tough industry to get into but with perseverance and a strong work ethic I think there are a lot of goals one can accomplish. Never cut yourself short, because with a lot of hard work everything will work out how it’s supposed to.

Favourite place to go, place to eat, activity to do, hidden gem in the Tri-Cities?

Currently one of my favourite places to go and eat is Andina in Vancouver. The atmosphere is always positive and the company has shown a passion for supporting the arts, whether it be music, or visual art. They serve arepas, empanadas, and ceviche, all my favorite things.

A hidden gem in the tri-cities is the Henderson Place Mall food court. Recently, one of our exhibiting artists asked to go here for lunch, and I’m so glad I didn’t find out about this place until the end of my contract or I would have spent more days there. Its walking distance from the Evergreen and they have amazing Chinese, Korean, and Asian cuisine. I recommend trying the Kimchi soup with tofu.

Favorite place you’ve travelled and why?

A few years ago, I travelled to Paris. While the city lived up to the hype of being a center for art, fashion, and culture, my favourite part about travelling here was my accommodations. I wanted to do something different and unique in the city, so my friend who I was travelling with discovered we could stay in a treehouse. The best part was the treehouse was located in Maisons-Laffitte, a northwestern suburb of Paris and was only about a 45-minute train ride to the Champs-Élysées. So, we got to experience all the tourist attractions in the city while also experiencing the local culture in the suburbs.

Anything else you are dying to tell us… here’s your chance?

While I’ve enjoyed every moment and new experience I’ve had at the Evergreen, my contract is sadly coming to an end. However, I’m excited to embark on my next adventure! I will be travelling to Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia this Spring where I’m looking forward to discovering new cultures and immersing myself in these cities critically acclaimed street art. The beaches are a bonus too.

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