SFU Audain Gallery at Woodward's

Two installations at the Audain Gallery’s Exhibition, First Nations/Second Nature: (l) You Are on Indian Land Show Some Respect, 2008 by Sam Durant and sister, 2010 by Rebecca Belmore.

New Audain Gallery opens at SFU Woodward’s

March 11, 2010

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Opening directly onto Hastings Street, the new Audain Gallery is a cornerstone of the SFU Woodward’s contemporary arts complex, welcoming the neighbourhood into a venue where artistic expression and social and political commentary meet.

"It’s important for us to be visible in the community and engaged with it," says Sabine Bitter, gallery curator and a contemporary arts faculty member. "That’s why we have a storefront—so our exhibitions, events and collaborative programs can be accessible to all residents of Vancouver and the SFU community."

The gallery will serve as a vital aspect of SFU Contemporary Arts’ visual arts program when the school’s new home opens in September 2010. "The exhibitions will be tied to the type of visual art that we teach," adds Bitter.

The inaugural exhibition, First Nations/Second Nature, looks at First Nations ideas of place and nationhood. It runs until March 20, Tuesday to Saturday from 2–8 pm as part of the SFU Woodward’s Inaugural Program and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

"We wanted the first exhibition to be something that starts here and then crosses borders," explains Bitter. "We wanted it to be local and locally accessible but also relevant in a larger, global sense."

The exhibition curator is Candice Hopkins, the Sobey Curatorial Resident of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada.

The gallery will close March 20 and re-open in the fall with an artist-in-residence. Bittern can’t yet announce who the artist will be but says it will be someone with an international reputation. There will be two artists-in-residence each year.

With a mandate to advance the production and presentation of contemporary visual art in Vancouver and internationally, the gallery will present student shows, annual projects and exhibitions with artists-in-residence, and collaborations with local and international art institutions as well as other universities.

The Gallery is named for Michael Audain, philanthropist and chair of Polygon Homes Ltd., whose Audain foundation made a major donation to SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.

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