River Arts


Typically, at this time of year, the Kootenay Gallery exhibits art from secondary students in a show titled Young Visions. Last year, the Gallery was approached by faculty at Emily Carr University of Art and Design to participate in a project on art about the Columbia River. During that meeting, it was decided to ask the Secondary Schools who to join and make art about our river. Not only did the students and staff enthusiastically agree, a few teachers from elementary schools heard about the project and asked to participate, as well as a Creative Writing class.

As part of the process, ECUAD professor, Nick Conberre and local researcher and author Eileen Delahanty Perkes conducted workshops with students at JL Crowe and Stanley Humphries on the history of the Columbia and creating theme-based artwork. In the spring, Genevieve Robertson, who has worked with the River Arts project and is a recent MFA graduate from ECUAD, and Kootenay Gallery Curator, Maggie Shirley conducted more workshops with the secondary schools as well as at the Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre in Castlegar.

The resulting exhibition is an expressive show of passion and thought about the Columbia. With the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty beginning this year, it is a salient time for this themed project and to think about the past, present and future of this river at the heart of our local communities.

The Kootenay Gallery is grateful to Emily Carr UAD, Nick Conberre and colleagues and the funding provided through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for this unique event. We are grateful, as always to the staff and students at SD 20, particularly Charlene Barnes, art teacher and Michelle Reddick, student teacher at Stanley Humphries Secondary School, Joost Winckers at JL Crowe Secondary School, and Shelley Painter at Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre.  Thank you to Columbia Power Corporation for financial sponsorship.

Everyone is welcome to attend the opening on April 19 at 7:00 pm. The exhibition runs until May 26 at the Kootenay Gallery