“Blind Pursuit” by photographer Barbara Cole
How does Barbara Cole achieve her ethereal chromogenic prints? She dons a wetsuit and dives right in. A self-taught photographic artist, Cole creates underwater photos that are full of movement and distinctly otherworldly (“Blind Pursuit,” pictured). The Toronto-based artist has received prestigious awards, including the Grand Prize at Festival Internationale de la Photographie de Mode in Cannes. Find her work at Bau-Xi Gallery, May 16 to Jun. 1.—Jill Von Sprecken
“Famille Frescobaldi, Florence” by Patrick Faigenbaum.
Find artfully composed photographs in Patrick Faigenbaum’s self-titled exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to Jun. 2). The Paris-born artist’s early training as a painter is evident in sculptural snaps that use light, shadow and meticulous framing to achieve his desired effect. Photos of Italian aristocratic families were among the first to bring him acclaim (pictured). Our opinion? Picture perfection.—Jill Von Sprecken
FEBRUARY 8-22 Noted Winnipeg Folk Festival kicks off 40th anniversary festivities with People and Music. Steve Ackerman’s black and white portrait series celebrates the fest’s famed fellowship among diverse spirits at Gurevich Fine Art. 2nd flr, 62 Albert St.
Photo by Tomas Svab of Ian Wallace’s “Lookout,” 1979 (detail), collection of Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund
Get yourself to Vancouver Art Gallery to see the works of a Canadian contemporary master in Ian Wallace: At the Intersection of Painting and Photography (to Feb. 24). Wallace, who lives in Vancouver, was among the first artists to explore large-scale photography in the 1970s. Since colour printing wasn’t yet available for such big pictures, he hand-painted his black-and-white gelatin prints, emphasizing minimalistic details. Wallace’s cinematic panorama “Lookout” (pictured in detail), composed of 12 prints totalling 14.5 m (47.5 ft) in length, is an arresting example of this technique.—Kristina Urquhart
Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces 5, by Melissa Mercier
In fear lies beauty for Vancouver artist Melissa Mercier. The self-labelled claustrophobe decided to combat her anxiety with the soothing monochromatic pigment prints in her Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces series at Firehall Arts Centre Gallery (Dec. 5 to Jan. 13). Mercier took her camera to an overcrowded beach and pointed the lens to the water’s tranquil surface to help calm her nerves, providing a stark contrast to the busy and stressful scene nearby—Kristina Urquhart
Selwyn Pullan: Photographing Mid-Century West Coast Modernism
Heavy timber post-and-beam structures with sleek sculptural lines built on dramatic sites boasting spectacular views of the ocean or forest—these are the hallmarks of West Coast Modernism, which transformed BC architecture in the 1950s and ’60s. Selwyn Pullan captured this innovative style in images that appeared in popular magazines of the era, photographing projects for leading architects such as Arthur Erickson. See Pullan’s critically acclaimed work in the new book Selwyn Pullan: Photographing Mid-Century West Coast Modernism (Douglas & McIntyre; $45), which is being released in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the West Vancouver Museum (to Dec. 15), and you just might fall in love with the West Coast all over again.—Sheri Radford
NOVEMBER 9 to DECEMBER 8 Zsa Zsa West offers Winnipeg artist Perry Thompson’s One Vs. Zero Forever collection. The artist explores the notion of continuos lies revealing unconscious truths in a combination of collage, performance-based drawings and handmade film stills. 211 Pacific Ave, 204-260-0159.
“And the oak tree told the chicken about the day the sky fell” by Ross den Otter
November 16 to 18
Art lovers, lace up your walking shoes for this weekend-long East Vancouver festival that combines aesthetics with exercise. Download a map from the Crawl’s website and embark on a self-guided walking tour to 75 venues, where you’ll meet painters, photographers, jewellers and sculptors in their own workspaces. Support our homegrown talent by purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces, including those by local artist Ross den Otter (pictured). You won’t find a better Vancouver souvenir.—Kristina Urquhart
SEPTEMBER 29 TO DECEMBER 16 Ryerson University has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier nurturers of the “image arts,” with degree programs in film, photography, and even photographic preservation and collections management. It’s fitting, then, that the school’s newest marquee site should be the Ryerson Image Centre. Among other things, the downtown destination houses the nearly 300,000-print-strong Black Star collection of 20th-century photojournalism, as well as a 4,500-square-foot gallery for the display of contemporary visuals. The centre’s debut exhibition, titled Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection, features new works interpreting that famous assemblage of imagery by such leading Canadian artists as David Rokeby, Vera Frenkel and Michael Snow.
Guy Laliberté’s photograph Algérie, au sud de Alger, Sidi Bakhti
AUGUST 2 TO SEPTEMBER 3 See the world from a new perspective this month as Thompson Landry Gallery presents photographs of the earth from far, far above. In September 2009, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté became Canada’s first private space tourist, spending 11 days in the International Space Station. The result of his trip is an indoor-outdoor exhibition, titled Gaia, featuring 90 arresting images of natural and man-made landscapes shot from orbit. Through Laliberté’s wide-angle viewpoint it’s easy to see how climate change has affected the environment, and to envision in particular how the decline in water resources will impact us in the future.
“Vancouver Art Gallery” photo collage by Ross C. Kelly
July 20 to September 14.
Forget the kitschy Vancouver postcards. Instead, check out Ross C. Kelly’s large-scale photo montages during his self-titled exhibition at Art Beatus. The local artist shoots the photos from a single vantage point over a period of days or weeks, then reduces the images and arranges them in a collage. The result? You’ll see subtle to drastic changes in texture, depth, light, weather and urban use. Stand farther away to see a cohesive whole; peer closer to see the tiny fragments that make a city unique. —Kristina Urquhart
Photo of Stephen Brown by Farah Nosh
Whether it’s teaching or recording all the vocabulary they know, several Haida elders are doing everything they can to keep their language alive. See personal portraits (“Stephen Brown,” pictured) and interviews of these discourse defenders in That Which Makes Us Haida—The Haida Language at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art (to Sept. 9).—Kristina Urquhart