personal and material geographies

personal and material geographies

in partnership with the Italian Cultural Centre

on view: september 10 – december 11, 2020

monday – friday, 10:00a – 5:00p

the Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 slocan street, vancouver

 Featuring the work of 23 craft artists, the Personal and Material Geographies exhibition investigates contemporary craft production in the region as it is influenced by the artists own experiences and geographical ties.

virtual tour

artist interviews

Craftspeople in British Columbia work in a vast and varied physical geography from which they develop personal geographies that include their different backgrounds and ways of working. Craftspeople honouring traditional ways may adapt processes embedded in the local, or those of another time and place. Some craftspeople come to craft materials and practices for the first time, stepping into the middle of the story, inventing as they go, exploring and collaborating, while others may incorporate new technologies into historical processes. 

Tradition may inform craft in British Columbia, but it does not compromise the evolution of craft practices in the province. Along this range, BC craftspeople contribute to our understanding of place through visual culture in their ongoing search around what materials can do. Using basic or unorthodox tools, artists expand how craft media can be combined and the meanings they carry.

Debra Sloan, Adam and Eve as Dosojins (2019).
Nancy Walker, Life Boat (2020)

The Personal and Material Geographies exhibition features the work of 23 BC craftspeople, 17 juried and 6 invited, who work across a variety of media. The exhibition serves as a benchmark for the breadth and depth of contemporary craft produced in the region at this time. Each of the artists featured in this exhibition brings a work of art which refernces in some way community tradtions and histories. The power of community, from a racial, ethnic, activist, or discipline perspective, is referenced throughout as artists explore and reveal the ways in which their own personal and material geographies have influenced making and understanding. 

Artists include Angelo Cavagnaro, Veronica Danes Waechter, Amy Gogarty, Barbara Heller, Debbie Katz, Marlene Liddle, Lou Lynn, Bettina Matzkuhn, Danielle Morsette, Meghann O’Brien, annie ross, Katherine Russell, Michelle Sirois Silver, Debra Sloan, Debra Sparrow, Charleen Stroud, Melanie Thompson, Catherine Thomson, Monika Urbaniak, Nancy Walker, Ocean Willson, Kari Woo, and Christi York.

Personal Material and Geographies was curated by Mary-Beth Laviolette. Laviolette is an independent curator and art writer based in Canmore, AB. In the last decade, she has contributed to or curated exhibitions featuring craft for Glenbow Museum (Calgary), Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Okotoks Art Gallery, The Esplanade Gallery (Medicine Hat) and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Banff).

Opening event will be live streamed from the Italian Cultural Center on CCBC social media channels on September 10, 2020 from 7pm to 8pm. 

The exhibit will tour the province and beyond from 2020 to 2022.

Meghann O'Brien, Salmon Berry Ancestor Pendant (2016)