Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We've Moved!

Dear Visitor,

We are no longer updating this Blog so please visit us on our website or on Facebook for updated and current information about exhibitions, tours, programs and special events.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Time (Time Again): Late Works by Lionel Thomas + John Vanderpant

January 12 to February 26, 2011
Opening Reception: January 11, 2011 7pm-9pm

Lionel Thomas (1915 - 2005) and John Vanderpant (1884 - 1939) were central figures within the professional art communities of Vancouver. In the final stages of their mature careers, both Thomas and Vanderpant (in their respective fields of painting and photography) were inspired by the prospect of discovering new (modernist) approaches to traditional (conventional) conceptions of portraiture. Their late works record complex / modest subjects (flowers, plants and vegetables) from an unconventional point of view: their innovation was to keep both objectivity and observation in a state of constant flux.

Guest Curators: CAUSA (Collective for Advanced and Unified Studies in the Visual Arts)

Top: Lionel Thomas, White Iris, Egg tempera on board, 1985Private Collection
Bottom: John Vanderpant, Untitled (Pine Cone), 1936, silver gelatin print, 25.2x 19.5 cm, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver ArtGallery Acquisition Fund, VAG 90.68.67

Friday, November 05, 2010

Takao Tanabe

Takao Tanabe’s career as a visual artist has spanned over sixty years, a period throughout which his artistic production has undergone numerous stylistic and formal changes. Moving freely between what we often consider contradictory realms - abstraction and high realism - Tanabe has painted in constant pursuit of new formal possibilities, experimenting with diverse methods and approaches to visual representation. From the 1950s to the early 1970s, Tanabe focused on the non-objective paintings before his work evolved into depictions of prairie, plateau, coastal land and seascapes. This exhibition profiles a series of new watercolour works on paper alongside a selection of earlier abstract paintings from the artist's own collection and runs until December 23, 2010.
Takao Tanabe, Rocky Mountains Winter, 2/09, watercolour on paper, 2009

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

West Vancouver's Neighbourhoods - Our First Century

West Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods-Our First Century

September 14 to October 16, 2010

Organized by the West Vancouver Historical Society, this exhibition features a preview of the Centennial book on the history of West Vancouver’s neighbourhoods, people and events that have shaped our community. West Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods – Our First Century is scheduled to be published in September 2011.
Photo: West Vancouver Archives. William James Turnbull fonds. Ambleside, West Vancouver, [191-?].

Fragmented History: Objects and Meaning

Fragmented History: Objects and Meaning features a selection of artworks and historical artifacts from the museum’s own collection, and presents in a series of thought-provoking displays that explore critical themes pertaining to collecting institutions. The act of collecting is rooted in a desire to endow value and meaning to our lives through the gathering and ordering of the material world around us. Motives that drive this accumulation of ‘things’ are complex and varied, ranging from the psychological desire to possess, the emotional need to preserve and remember, to the political and economic drive for power, status, knowledge, and validation. The history of the Museum as an institution is inextricably linked to this practice, and the collections that it houses embody the assumptions about knowledge and value of the societies and culture that create them.

Fragmented History explores the acquisition, organization, and display of objects, addressing some key topics in collecting discourse -authenticity, fragmentation, classification, possession, and the imbuing of value. This exhibition includes artworks by well-known B.C. artists including Emily Carr and Jack Shadbolt, as well as personal possessions from the estates of B.C. Binning and architect Hugh Hodgson in juxtaposition with other historical items from the Museum’s diverse collections. The exhibition re-evaluates the relationships between institutions, visitors, objects and collections.

Image: Photograph of Scott Paper Towel Display designed by Winston Elliott, c. 1965

Summer Architecture Camps 2010

The popular Architecture Camps returned this summer for four weeks. 9-12 year olds attending the camps visited the B.C. Binning house and went on a tour of interesting buildings in downtown Vancouver.

In awe of the Guinness Tower

Having fun in front of the recycled wood wall at the Vancouver Convention Center

By the end of camp, each participant designed floor/elevation plans and constructed their dream house.

a mountain side residencial model created by a participant

Finished model houses at the end of the week

Our final camp participants (13 to16yrs) had the privilege of learning from North Shore artist and trained architect Alfonso Tejada. Below pictures show places they toured in Vancouver and West Vancouver to explore architecturally significant buildings.

Getting lessons from Alfonso Tejada

Inside the B.C. Binning house

Downtown Architecture Tour

Sketches by a camp participant

A dream house model created by a camp participant

Summer Art Camps 2010

Another round of Art Camps has come and gone! We held three weeks of art camps, two weeks for 6-8 year olds and one week for 9-12 year olds. The children experimented with different artistic mediums such as painting, block printing and sculpture making. Many were inspired by the paintings by Lionel Thomas, which was on display at the West Vancouver Museum gallery.

6-8 year olds admiring Lionel Thomas's Summer Farms

The participants had the opportunity to look at iconic photographs from the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition, from the National Gallery of Canada.

The camp attendants toured the Vancouver Biennale outdoor exhibition 2009-2011. They enjoyed sketching the sculptures, and had fun interacting with them as well!

A drawing of Aerodynamics in Space, a sculpture by Rodney Graham

A camper's sculpture by the Vancouver Biennale exhibition.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Master of the Instant

Cartier-Bresson Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada
June 8 - August 28, 2010

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alicante, Spain, 1933, printed before 1947, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alicante, Espagne, 1933, tiré avant 1947, Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa

Born in 1908 in Chanteloupen-Brie, Henri Cartier-Bresson stood to inherit his family’s prosperous textile manufacture, but instead took up drawing and painting. He travelled to Africa in 1931, where he worked and stalked game before falling ill with malaria. It was when he returned to France to convalesce in Marseilles that he began taking candid photographs with his new lightweight, hand-held Leica. Throughout the next decade and beyond, Cartier-Bresson travelled to Spain and Italy, to Mexico and the United States, photographing ordinary and extraordinary people, capturing their spontaneous gestures and revealing the subtleties of the human condition.

This exhibition will show twenty-five of Cartier-Bresson’s gelatin silver prints from the National Gallery’s permanent collection, all dating from the 1930s and 1940s. Some of his most memorable images are included in the show: Behind Gare St. Lazare (1932), with its early-morning puddle-jumper; Valencia, Spain (1933), showing a boy rubbing against a peeling wall; Jean-Paul Sartre, Paris (1945), in which the philosopher’s pipe and furrowed brow reveal his weighty intellect; and At the Coronation Parade of George VI, Trafalgar Square, London (1938), in which the artist focuses his lens on the droll spectators.

The legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is widely regarded as the founding father of photojournalism and one of the most important figures in early twentieth century art. With his famous Leica, Cartier-Bresson was able to capture life in motion with visual wit and a keen eye for geometrical composition. In coining the term “the decisive moment,” he summed up his approach to photography as the interaction of mind, body and instinct.

Lionel Thomas

Abstractions 1949-1990
June 8 - August 28, 2010

Lionel Thomas Summer Farms, oil on canvas, c. 1952

Lionel Thomas (1915-2005), a pioneer of West Coast abstraction and proponent of the modern movement, helped transform the region though his art and practice. Thomas’s extant public artworks include Symbols of the Cuneiforms (c. 1960), an illuminated sculpture on the façade of the former Vancouver Public Library. This exhibition profiles Thomas’s rarely seen non-objective paintings inspired by nature. Thomas lived in West Vancouver and taught at the University of British Columbia from 1950 until 1981.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

last chance to see monster

Beau Dick
Untitled (pugwis, the sea creature), 2009
Red cedar, horse hair, acrylic, feathers, 46 x 56 x 25 cm
Courtesy Blanket Contemporary Art Gallery

Participating artists: Shuvinai Ashoona, Shary Boyle, Lutz Braun, Beau Dick, Marcel Dzama, Alexandra Flood, Sandra Meigs, Nick Sikkuark, Corin Sworn, Joseph Tisiga, Howie Tsui and Nicola Tyson.

monster is on view at the West Vancouver Museum until May 8, 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Artist Talk - Sandra Meigs

Strange Loop - New Work
March 20, 1:30-3pm

Sandra Meigs describes a model wherein the "I" -what we understand as "self"- is not separate from the world. All experience is an ever spiraling outward complexity of patterns that merge within the microcosm of our cellular structure and macrocosm of the universe. Meigs will discuss how she sees art as a model for this system. The gap between the viewer and the canvas can be traversed in the imaginative realm. The canvas itself poses as a self and the viewer as a self. The two merge this worldly gap and become the imaginative realm.

photo by, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Thurs, March 18, 7: 00 pm
Welsh Hall, West Vancouver Memorial Library
1950 Marine Drive,
West Vancouver

Sasquatch, Ogopogo, Hiaschuckaluck and the black salamander have been the subject of fascination for more than a century. Presented by the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, Hidden Monsters -The Unidentified Creatures of BC promises to be a fascinating talk on the history, habitats and lives of B.C.’s hidden animals. Find out how these creatures continue to survive today and what we can do to preserve them for posterity.

This event is FREE and open to all.

Images above: Copyright, John Kirk and British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Presented with the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad with the support of the Audain Foundation
Opening Reception February 4, 7:00 pm
Exhibition runs from February 5 to May 8, 2010

Monsters have appeared throughout the ages and in most cultures. Fear, paranoia and the triumph of good over evil manifests itself in horror, polarized societies, and intolerance giving rise to monsters rooted in folklore, mythology, legend, literature, art and popular culture. This contemporary art exhibition features innovative works by leading Canadian and international artists Shuvinai Ashoona, Shary Boyle, Lutz Braun, Beau Dick, Marcel Dzama, Alexandra Flood, Sandra Meigs, Nick Sikkuark, Corin Sworn, Joseph Tisiga, Howie Tsui and Nicola Tyson who explore monstrous sensibilities in their practice.

Image: Shary Boyle, Beast (Highland series), 2007
Oil on panel, 15.75” x 13.8”
Courtesy the artist and Jessica Bradley Art + Projects

B.C. Binning

Works from the Collection
November 10 to December 23, 2009
Opening reception November 9, 7:00 pm
Bertram Charles Binning (1909-1976), considered to be one of British Columbia’s most prominent artists and modernists, was inspired by the coastal landscape he encountered in and around West Vancouver. In 2008, the West Vancouver Museum acquired a collection of artwork from the Estate of Jessie Binning including drawings and paintings. This is the first time these works are being exhibited.
B.C. Binning, A Summer Seascape for Christmas Time, 1951
14x21.6cm, Serigraph, Gift of the Estate of Jessie Binning
West Vancouver Museum Collection

Greetings from Friends

Mid-Century Art Cards 1945 - 1975
November 10 to December 23, 2009
Opening reception November 9, 7:00 pm
Greetings from Friends showcases a collection of greeting cards, paintings, drawings and prints designed by prominent artists and architects, including B.C. Binning, Gordon Smith, Alistair Bell, Don Jarvis, Jack Shadbolt, Arthur Erickson and others. The cards reveal an interconnected social network among artists and architects who were the vanguard of the region's art and design scene.

Alistair Bell, Greetings, two colour wood engraving, c. 1970, 11.2 x 7.5 cm,
Courtesy of Elizabeth and Alan Bell

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Art Camps 2009

Another successful season of Art and Architecture Camps has come to an end at the West Vancouver Museum. During the month of July, the Museum's Education Coordinator ran three art camps where students dabbled in a variety of media including printmaking, sculpture and painting and were introduced to some local art history including the work of B.C. Binning and Gordon Smith.

Participants used a variety of materials to create sculptures like this camera here

A painting inspired the work of Jane Billaux

Architecture Camps 2009

Sketching Arthur Erickson's Law Courts from Robson Square

The end of July and August proved to be a busy months for our architecture camps. Due to popular demand and an overflow in registration the museum ran four sessions of the program this summer. The participants visited the B.C. Binning House in West Vancouver and studied a variety of buildings downtown Vancouver including the Marine Building, the Vancouver Convention Center, and Arthur Erickson’s Robson Square and Law Courts while creating floor plans and architectural models to scale of their dream homes. The participants had a chance to develop public speaking skills while they presented the finished model to their peers.

Dream house presentations

This summer we saw many talented and creative designers and each dream home possessed unique features. For example here is an excerpt from a camp participant's presentation:

“This is The Water House!!! You might be asking why it is called The Water House. It is not that it is made out of water, but when I was designing my house, I mainly concentrated on water. Like on the roof, see this little ramp here? There is a hole in the middle of the ramp where rain water goes in and gets filtered and goes to the toilets. The rest goes to the gardens.”

- Summer Architecture Camp participant

Group project: City Planning

Coming down the stairs in Robson Square

Admiring the details on the Marine Building including.

Drawing inside B.C. Binnings house

Friday, August 28, 2009

Joan Balzar 1960+

Joan Balzar 1960+
Opening reception September 8, 2009, 7pm
Exhibition runs to October 31, 2009
Artist Talk on September 19 at 1:30pm

Since the 1960’s Joan Balzar has experimented with neon light and vibrant colours testing the limits of the canvas in her large-scale abstract works. Balzar, a long-term resident of West Vancouver, is recognised as an important figure in the development of abstract painting on the West Coast. Produced during a period of enthusiasm and innovation 1960-1972, the majority of the works in Joan Balzar 1960+ will be on display for the first time. This includes Electra (1967-2009), a piece with neon tubing created by the artist for this exhibition.

Balzar formulated her own response to the complex artistic requirements of the new space age through her exploration of the rhythm of colour and its relation to scale and perception. Her use of pulsating, modulated shapes and bold scale activate a powerful sensory and experiential relationship between the artwork and its viewer. Titles, such as Electra, Spinner I and Fusion, attest to Balzar’s desire to create a space that is active with the energy of the urban cosmos. Similarly, Sonic Core and Perimeter II signal a move beyond the visual towards the multiplicity of human sensoria which include the optical and aural.

Photo: Joan Balzar and Herbert Gilbert at the artist’s studio.
c. 1969, photographer unknown.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Caulfeild Walk-Cultural History

July 25, 10am-11:30am
Course Code 667967, $ 7,
Guide: E. Bradbury

Discover edible plants and speculate on Caulfeild Park's rich history. Find remnants of the old pilot house and trace the story of Burrard Inlet's first pilotage. Learn about the steamships that visited the wharf and Francis Caulfeild's dreams to build an ideal village.

ELSPETH BRADBURY is a retired architect and landscape architect who has lived in Caulfeild for twenty years. As a board member of the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society, she heads up their restoration efforts and organizes a group to propagate native plants. She is the author of West Vancouver: A View Through The Trees.

This Caulfeild walk is guided by members of the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society Board and will start and finish at the Village Green in front of Saint Francis-in-the-Wood church (4773 Piccadilly South).

Monday, June 22, 2009

West Coast Modern Home Tour

Harbour House, 2008

Saturday July 11, 2009 from 12 pm to 4pm
Home Tour Reception from 4pm to 6pm
Check-in for the tour is at the West Vancouver Museum from 11 am to 12 pm
Buses depart at 12 pm
Call 604-925-7270 or click here to Register!
Course Code: 630467$ 100 includes tour bus, tickets for door prizes and reception

Do not miss the chance to visit five architect designed and award winning private homes in West Vancouver!

The West Vancouver Museum’s annual West Coast Modern Home Tour takes place Saturday July 11 from 12pm to 4pm followed by a reception held in a spectacular home designed by Battersby Howat in 2005 that received Western Living’s Best in the West Award.

Bonetti House, 2005

Arthur Erickson’s 1989 Eppich Residence II is constructed using custom-made structural steel and is a special highlight of the tour. Other houses include the 1958 Gerson Residence by Wolfgang Gerson built on a steep treed slope on the west side of Sentinel Hill and the 1960 Houg Residence. Although the original architect of the Houg Residence is unknown and the house fell into disrepair over the years, the current owner has taken on an extensive renovation to restore it. The most recently built home on the tour is located on a south-facing slope of an almost inaccessible granite cliff: The 2008 Harbour House by Blue Sky Architecture builds on the traditions of West Coast Modernism blending nature with carefully designed architecture in a rugged coastal setting.

A complete information package, with details of the tour homes, will be made available to tour participants when they check-in. Please register in advance by visiting the Museum’s website or calling 604-925-7270 with the program code 630467. The fee for this tour, $ 100 per participant, includes a guided bus tour of five homes and a wine reception with fine appetisers and a chance to win one of several unique door prizes. Registration is limited- -so register early to ensure a spot on the tour!
For more information, please call 604-925-7179 or visit the Museum’s website.

Harbour House, West Vancouver, B.C.Helliwell + Smith, Blue Sky Architecture, 2008
Photograph taken by Gillean Proctor, photo courtesy of Blue Sky Architecture

Bonetti House, West Vancouver, B.C., Battersby Howat Inc, 2005

Simon Scott-The Architecture of Photography

Simon Scott
Architecture of Photography

Opening reception June 23, 7:00 pm
Exhibition runs from June 24 to August 22, 2009

Photo: Simon Scott, University of Lethbridge 1972
Arthur Erickson Architect 1972

Sea to Sky Geology Tour-Back by Popular Demand

Join us for a guided geology tour along the Sea to Sky highway, which will be led by an experienced geologist, David Cook, on Saturday June 27, 2009.

This one day geology bus tour will take you along the east side of North America's most southerly fjord (Howe Sound) where you will see such geological features as debris flows and the engineering that has been used to tame them, ice sculptures rock surfaces, beehive hills raised deltas, a hanging valley, glacial erratic boulders, glaciers, and ice fields, a volcano and basalt that flowed beneath a glacier. All these features sit upon 400 million year old metamorphosed volcanic rocks and 100 million year old granitic rocks that form the backbone of our North Shore mountain.

Do not miss this one day tour, filled with interesting information!
To register, please visit:
The code for this program is 630117. $ 40 per person.
The bus is scheduled to leave the West Vancouver Museum at 9 am and return to the Museum by 5 pm.

A group of people standing in front of a lava flow, which flowed from the Garibaldi volcanic centre about 10000 years ago. Note the jointing, which formed as the lava cooled. In the Sea to Sky geology tour, we will make a stop here and see this feature.

Photo by David Cook, 2005

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another chance to see Selwyn Pullan exhibition

Selwyn Pullan
Positioning the New

On View at Charles H. Scott Gallery from June 3 – July 19, 2009

Emily Carr University, Granville Island
1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver BC V6H 3R9
Monday to Friday 12pm to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm
Tel 604 844 3809

Positioning the New presents a comprehensive survey of the work of Canadian photographer Selwyn Pullan, who studied photography at the Los Angeles Art Center (now the Art Center College of Design), graduating in 1950. Architectural photography, then a relatively new profession, had emerged in parallel to modernism and advances in architecture in North America during the late 1930s, and Pullan found his niche in this genre. Pullan’s photographs promoted the new style to a populace eager to embrace a modern way of living. His images were frequently included in photo essays in major design and architecture periodicals nation-wide. This retrospective demonstrates the photographer’s intimate connection to the development of modernism on the West Coast of Canada and highlights the social, economic, and cultural forces that changed the face of Vancouver and the region during the post-war boom.

The West Vancouver Museum gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Hughes Condon Marler: Architects and British Columbia Arts Council.
Image: Selwyn Pullan, Frederic Wood Theatre, 1963, Vancouver; Thompson, Berwick & Pratt Architects, Roy Jessiman partner-in-charge, Barry Downs project designer, 1963

Selwyn Pullan: Positioning the New is organized by the West Vancouver Museum.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Artist Talk - Lyle Wilson

North Star: The Art of Lyle Wilson
Saturday, April 18, 1:30pm-3pm

Special Guest: Lyle Wilson

Please join us for a talk with acclaimed artist Lyle Wilson, who will present an overview of his art, focusing largely on his work in the North Star exhibition. Wilson emerged on the NWC art scene after graduating from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1986. Since then, Wilson has produced art for private, public and corporate collectors as well as for his home community in Kitamaat. Wilson explores Haisla tradition and his western urban experiences through his work and will share the creative inspiration and the process behind his meticulously detailed artwork.