Author Archives: Kay Slater

About Kay Slater

Kay Slater is a volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on Sundays at the CAG from Noon - 3PM. Let's have a conversation about the current exhibition, I'd love to chat with you!

New guided visits | Nouvelles visites guidées

Did you know that there is a free guided visit at the CAG almost every week during an exhibition? | Savez-vous qu’il y a une visite guidée chez la galerie d’art contemporain presque chaque semaine au cours d’une exhibition? (lisez ce poste en français).

The CAG team has worked very hard to ensure that guided tours are scheduled regularly throughout the course of our exhibitions, and that dedication has given recently given birth to a new series of tours starting this month: multi-language guided visits. For the first time ever, our guided visits are now offered in Mandarin and Spanish!

I have been proud to present our guided visits in French for the past 3 exhibitions, taking over from artist Patricia Huijnen following her return to Switzerland last year. It’s been a real pleasure for me, as I love the French language and often lament that I do not have the chance to speak it as much as I would like. I also love talking about art, and the opportunity to do so at the Contemporary Art Gallery is both challenging and satisfying. Contemporary art can be difficult to understand at first glance, and bringing context, new ideas, and new ways of thinking to visitors has been, for me, an incredibly rewarding privilege.

When I was in school, it was always a struggle to fully appreciated fine-arts field trips when the exhibitions weren’t being presented in the language in which we were being instructed. My teachers would be diligently providing us with French vocabulary and tools with which to engage with the art, but when it was time to visit a gallery, museum or event, it was often jarring to listen to tours in English. There was something really special about the tours that were offered in French.

When Shaun Dacey, our new Curator of Learning and Public Programs, joined the CAG team in April, I wrote to him to tell him about how much I loved working in French at the CAG. Imagine my delight, when he not only echoed my enthusiasm, but informed me that he was already working to add additional language tours to the schedule.

Tommy Ting hosts CAG guided tours in MandarinI attended the Mandarin tour, hosted by artist Tommy Ting, on Saturday the 18th, and was delighted to see the engagement in our visitor’s faces while they discussed and engaged with the work in their own language. While I was unable to make the following week’s tour, hosted by photographer Avelina Crespo, I have been told it was well attended and equally well received. Both Tommy and Avelina have agreed to join us again later this summer to again present Mandarin and Spanish language tours at our upcoming exhibition.

I am truly proud to be part of the team providing multi-language tours at the CAG. I invite you to join me on June 1st at 3PM for my guided visit, in French, of the Nancy Holt/Erin Shirreff exhibition currently on display at the CAG.

Kay Slater (@kdot) is a Vancouver illustrator, and proud volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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L’équipe à la galerie a beaucoup travaillé pour s’assurer que les visites guidées sont programmées régulièrement tout au long de nos expositions, et ce dévouement a donné récemment naissance à une nouvelle série de visites ce mois-ci: des visites guidées multilingues! Pour la première fois, nos visites guidées sont maintenant offerts en mandarin et en espagnol!

Je suis fière d’avoir organisée nos visites guidées en français pour les dernières 3 expositions, succédant à l’artiste Patricia Huijnen après son retour en Suisse l’année dernière. Cela a été un réel plaisir pour moi, comme je suis amoureuse de la langue française et se plaignent souvent que je n’ai pas la chance de parler (ou d’écrire) en français autant que je le voudrais. J’aime aussi parler de l’art, et l’opportunité de le faire à la galerie d’art contemporain est à la fois stimulante et satisfaisante. L’art contemporain peut être difficile à comprendre au premier vu, et apportant le contexte, des nouvelles idées, et de nouvelles façons de penser à nos visiteurs est, pour moi, un privilège extrêmement enrichissante.

Kay Slater mène une visite guidée en français du travail de Nathan Coley.

Mon français est devenu assez rouiller après avoir pas eu la chance de l’utiliser quotidiennement, mais j’espère que mon passion pour l’art et pour la langue le compense.

Tommy Ting leads a guided tour in Mandarin at the CAG. 18 Mai, 2013Quand j’étais à l’école, c’était toujours difficile d’apprécier des excursions beaux-arts lorsque les expositions n’ont pas été présentées dans la langue dans laquelle nous étions instruits. Nos enseignants seraient diligents en nous fournir le vocabulaire et des outils pour s’engager avec l’art, mais quand il était temps de visiter une galerie, une musée ou un événement, il était souvent choquant à entendre des visites guidées en anglais. Il y avait quelque chose de vraiment spécial dans les visites qui ont été offerts en français; c’était peut-être simplement parce qu’ils étaient si rares, mais peut-être c’était également comment facile c’était à comprendre et à apprécier ces œuvres.

Quand Shaun Dacey, notre nouveau curateur de l’apprentissage et des programmes publiques, a rejoint l’équipe CAG en Avril, je lui ai écrit pour lui dire combien j’adore travailler en français au CAG. Imaginez ma joie, quand il a non seulement fait écho à mon enthousiasme, mais m’a informé qu’il travaillait déjà à ajouter d’autres visites en plusieurs langues à l’horaire.

J’ai participé à la première visite guidée en mandarine, organisée par l’artiste Tommy Ting, et j’ai été ravi de voir l’engagement dans les visages de nos visiteurs pendant qu’ils ont eu la chance de discuter et de s’engager avec le travail dans leur propre langue. Tandis que je n’ai pas pu participer à la visite guidée en espagnol la semaine suivante, organisée par le photographe Avelina Crespo, on m’a dit qu’il a été bien fréquenté et tout aussi bien accueilli. Tommy et Avelina ont accepté de nous rejoindre cet été pour présenter à nouveau des visites en mandarin et en espagnol à propos de notre prochaine exposition.

Je suis vraiment fière de faire partie de l’équipe offrant des visites multilingues à la CAG. Je vous invite à me rejoindre le 1er Juin à 15 heures pour ma visite guidée, en français, de l’exposition Nancy Holt / Erin Shirreff présentement exposée au CAG.

Kay Slater (@ kdot) est une illustratrice de Vancouver, et bénévole à la Galerie d’Art Contemporain. Venez la rendre visite tous les dimanches de midi à 15 heures.

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Filed under Exhibitions, Guided Tours, Vancouver

No adults allowed!

Okay, well, if you have a friend who is 12 and under, they can accompany you, but otherwise, it’s kids only as the CAG hosts a month of Children’s Film screenings!

Continuing his tradition of challenging traditional methods of display, artist Gareth Moore has worked with an impressive set of international artists (including Ulla Von Brandenburg, Keren Cytter, Geoffrey Farmer, Julia Feyrer, Harrell Fletcher, Mike Marshall and Sylvain Sailly)  to produce a series of 2-3 minute short films for children.

Kids know that art museums and galleries are mostly for adults. No touching, no loud talking, no rough-housing. In this series, the exhibition has been taken out of the gallery so that there is no confusion that this is not a program for adults. There’s no shushing (unless the other kids want you to be quiet) and if you should want to laugh or sing-along, then that’s what you do.

It’s a pretty informal set-up all around, except for the gorgeous posters associated with the films (@ Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre)

I’ve been lucky enough to host 2 sessions so far, and I’ve really enjoyed watching the different groups interact with the program. Today’s modern Vancouver kid is not entirely unfamiliar with a 16mm projector, but it’s definitely not something that most of them see regularly. At the Moberly Arts and Culture Centre afternoon showing, the long school day and the novelty of the projector inspired a few of the watchers to project their own shadow puppets over the silhouettes of The Little Hunchback and The Man and the Wild Boar. At Emery Barnes, we spent 2 days outdoors in a tent, inviting kids to check out the film during some of the hotter, last days of summer. Many of the park-goers were under 5, and while we had many in-and-out visitors,  30 minutes of contemporary film was a little much for the toddler crowd.

Some of my highlights so far have been singing along with Tina Fenomena, by Keren Cytter (♫meow, meow-meow-meow♫) and watching the reactions to (my personal favourite) The Drawer, by Geoffrey Farmer, as he draws on top of a picture of David. While the initial flash of the famous genitals can cause a bit of a stir, it’s more the fact that the Drawer draws inside an art book which causes confusion and delight in the crowd.

My next date with the Children’s Films is our screening at the Strathcona Community Centre from 9AM-12:45PM. Tell your friends under 12 to make a date. If they can’t make it on a school day, I’ll also be hosting 2 weekend screenings at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre from 11-4PM on Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th. See you then!

Kay Slater (@kdot) is a volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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Filed under events, Off site Projects, Vancouver

Vancouver Draw Down: the Map Room.

Last Saturday was Vancouver Draw Down. The event took place in multiple locations all over town and it was great day. I hope you had a chance to get out and participate in some of the stations set up around the city. I managed to take in 6 of the 18 locations and one of my stops was naturally the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Nigel Prince, CAG Director, introduces the event & Landon Mackenzie.

Artist and Educator, Landon Mackenzie, transformed the gallery’s street front, foyer & hallways into a “Map Room.” Based on her work, Landon invited everyone to explore the “many potentials of drawing and mapping as an act and state of being.”

The place was packed when I arrived. Every table was covered with works in progress as visitors created collages from pieces of topographical print-outs.


When visitors were done they were invited to sketch the Monahan pieces in the BC Binning Gallery, examing form and mark making.


This was the 3rd year for Vancouver Draw Down and I can’t wait for the next. The event celebrated drawing and invited everyone to participate by simply making a mark. As the Vancouver Draw Down site says “If you can write your name, you can draw!”

I saw another great quote posted by Opus Art Supplies encouraging people to dispell their preconceptions: “If you hear a voice within you say – you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” van Gogh

The same goes with drawing!

Kay Slater (@kdot) is a volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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Artist editions for sale!

“Hello & welcome to the Contemporary Art Gallery!”

Have you been by in the last few months? There are 3 great exhibits showing right now, and you should make time to come visit! When you’re by & chatting with the friendly front desk volunteer, you might spy a few Artist Edition prints behind them. Don’t forget to look behind you as well, because there is another print hanging to the left of the BC Binning Gallery entrance. Let me tell you about these pieces that we have displayed in the entrance foyer. For even more information, visit the publication page at www.contemporaryartgallery.ca

Thomas Bewick, Limited Edition Print, Apr 2009
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, Edition of 75.
$150, unframed

A limited edition printed on a hand press by Iain Bain from the original wood-blocks. Of the 3 subjects, the Bulldog was engraved for the 1790 edition of the Quadrupeds; the Lesser Redpole, and the tail-piece of the man relieving himself beside a fragment of ruined wall were made for the first 1797 volume of the British Birds. What is amazing about Thomas Bewick’s work is both the delicate and intricate marks he was able to make with the tools of the time, and the witty narrative that Bewick injected into his work. To quote the exhibition notes:

Intended as illustrations of ‘some truth or point of some moral’ they provide an invaluable insight into social history while also demonstrating the artist’s imagination and wit. As such these narrative works will provide an interesting counterpoint to the work of many internationally established artists in Vancouver, engaging in image making which critically examines and reflects on the city and conditions which surround them.

Robert Orchardson, Study for Endless Façade ,Limited Edition Giclée print, Nov 17, 2011
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver / Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, Edition of 50.
$150, unframed

This limited edition print, 13″ x 18.5″, was produced to coincide with the exhibition Robert Orchardson Endless façade which ran from November 2011 until January 2012. The show transformed half of the gallery into another world as visitors walked through a giant triangular entrance way into a science-fiction-like set featuring Robert’s work. I quite liked the following quote from the exhibit notes:

He also sees this sense of possibility inherent in stage sets, where a narrative exists between the material character of the set itself, and the ‘other’ identity it adopts within the context of a play.

His installation partially revisited stage sets designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1955 for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear.

Rodney Graham Jacob Grimm’s Study in Berlin/Wilhelm Grimm’s Study in Berlin (1960), Etchings, 1992
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2 prints unframed.
$2,000 (pair), unframed

Perhaps you’re stopping by the gallery after having spent some time checking out Rodney Graham’s new exhibition over at the Vancouver Art Gallery? Remember, the CAG is only 5 blocks away from the VAG so you can continue your gallery-viewing excursion all afternoon!

We are showcasing a set of etchings by Graham that was published by the Contemporary Art Gallery in 1992, and was conceived in relation to Five Interior Proposals for the Grimm Brother’s Studies in Berlin (1992), the project Graham exhibited at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. The images are variations on the studies occupied by the Brothers Grimm in the 1860s in Berlin, based on period watercolours.

Scott Massey, Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) – Limited Edition Print, Feb 2012
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Archival inkjet print, edition of 15, unframed.
$150, unframed

There is still time to see Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station (Canada-Line), co-presented Contemporary Art Gallery and Translink for the Canada Line Public Art Program.To coincide with the exhibition, Massey has produced a limited edition, Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) (2012), an archival inkjet print, edition of 15, 20 x 20 inches.

In Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake), Massey combined 170+ photographs of the night sky on the same strip of film. I like that I can walk down to Davie street and not only see the night sky in the middle of the city, but I also get to see it during the day time. For more information about this exhibition, please see: http://www.thecanadaline.com/

Interested in buying one of these editions? Come down to the Contemporary Art Gallery Tuesday – Sunday, Noon-6PM and speak to someone at the front desk, or email info@contemporaryartgallery.ca.

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Filed under Behind the Scenes, From the Archives

Window Spaces Fade to Black

If you were walking down Nelson Street in the evening between February 3rd and May 16th, you hopefully spied the work Aurorae by Scott Massey in the CAG street front window spaces. During the day, the window spaces appeared to be coated in some kind of nondescript blue paint and visitors would come into the gallery either unaware that there was something on display or perplexed as to what it represented. When on my volunteer shift at the gallery, I would welcome visitors to make a date to come back to the gallery after dark so that they could enjoy the light-show piece, but as the gallery was closed most evenings after 6 pm, I never really saw if anyone came back to satisfy their curiosity.

I was  lucky enough to have a friend live in the building across the street and we made a special tea & art viewing date together, specifically so that we could spend an evening with Aurorae.

But even if you didn’t have a friend living across the street from the gallery, or if you didn’t find the time after dark to see Massey’s light display piece in the window spaces, you’re able to see it here thanks to his time lapse video below.

Scott Massey’s Aurorae fades to black as we prepare our Window Spaces for Josephine Meckseper’s American Leg.

As the night sky lightens on Massey’s celestial light-show phenomenon, the light takes on a more earthly halogen with Josephine Meckseper’s discussion on consumer culture and the world of advertising. The exhibition American Leg by Josephine Meckseper opens on Thursday, May 24th (7-10 PM).  Currently based in New York, this will be Meckseper’s first exhibition in Canada.  Additionally Josephine Meckseper will talk on her work on Wednesday May 23 at 7 pm at SFU Woodwards, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, this talk is free and all are welcome.

Scott Massey’s Off-site project Via Lactea (above Glacier Lake) will remain on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until July 1st. This piece, also dealing with the night sky, can be seen in the day time (or night time). Find out more about this piece in the CAG’s 2012 summer exhibition PDF.

Kay Slater (@kdot) is a volunteer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Come visit her on shift every Sunday from Noon-3PM.

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Filed under Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions, Off site Projects, Vancouver, Video