Our Exhibits

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents exhibitions of work by artists ranging from historic masters to leading-edge contemporaries. These include major thematic exhibitions, presentations of solo artists and smaller, more focused showcases. In a typical year, 2 to 3 exhibitions are borrowed from other institutions and 10 to 12 exhibitions are developed in-house, drawing on our permanent collection and loans of works from around the world. In addition, the Gallery tours a few of its exhibitions each year.

Past Exhibitions


September 4-7, 2015, 9pm to 3am

Sonny Assu, artist rendering for Façade, 2015
Courtesy of the Artist

FAÇADE 2015 is a projection mapping and outdoor architectural intervention that will transform the façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery with the work of contemporary artists Sonny Assu, Ed Spence and WALLPAPERS. Organized by the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) in collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery, the project will include monumental site-specific projections over three consecutive nights with an encore presentation featuring all of the work from the participating artists.

Each work conveys the artists’ sensibilities in other media while utilizing techniques related to projection mapping within a site-specific architectural context. As a whole the project speaks to the ubiquity of digital forms in contemporary life and contemplates the possibilities that new technologies have in public art. FAÇADE 2015 actively engages the public in a grand intervention in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

FAÇADE 2015 is the inaugural year of an annual festival organized by the Burrard Arts Foundation aimed to provide Vancouver with an innovative approach to place-making and a dynamic visual art experience in the public realm, taking cues from renowned visual arts festivals such as VIVID in Sydney, Australia and Nuit Blanche in Toronto.

Schedule and Participating Artists

Dates and Time: September 4-7, 2015, 9pm to 3am
Location: Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Street façade between Hornby and Howe Streets

Friday, September 4 – WALLPAPERS

WALLPAPERS is a collective founded in 2011 by Sara Ludy (b. 1980), Nicolas Sassoon (b. 1981) and Sylvain Sailly (b. 1983), artists deeply involved with contemporary image-making tools and culture while developing artistic investigations focused on the production of motion, screen and projection based digital artworks. Their artworks are computer-generated, animated patterns that exist at www.w-a-l-l-p-a-p-e-r-s.net. Exhibited online, the work takes form as a catalogue of digital patterns, with each artwork created by an individual artist and displayed full-screen on its own URL. WALLPAPERS refers to the pattern-making in both traditional wallpaper applied to walls as well as digital wallpaper applied to computer desktop backgrounds. Each artist conveys their own approach to the format and employs distinctive modes of production. The artworks exhibited through WALLPAPERS hold ties to traditional methods of pattern-making in addition to art forms adjusted to a contemporary technological context of art production and dissemination. WALLPAPERS is concurrently participating in Beyond the Trees: WALLPAPERS in Dialogue with Emily Carr at the Vancouver Art Gallery through September 7, 2015.

Saturday, September 5 – Sonny Assu?

Sonny Assu (b. 1975) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work takes the form of museum interventions, large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, printmaking and paintings. He merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop art sensibility in an effort to address cultural, political and ideological issues. His work often focuses on Indigenous issues and rights, and the ways in which the past has come to inform contemporary ideas, identities and technologies. There is a clear interest in materiality in Assu’s work. Each material is carefully considered, particularly in relation to Indigenous culture: hand-painted deer/elk hide drums for their performance significance; posters for their mass-distribution qualities; and copper for its cultural importance to Indigenous People of the Northwest Coast. Assu’s projects emphasize the intersections and boundaries of traditional Indigenous art within the larger realm of contemporary art. Living and working in BC, Sonny Assu is Ligwilda'x_w (We Wai Kai) of the Kwakwaka'wakw nations. He graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2002 and the MFA program at Concordia University. He received the BC Creative Achievement Award in First Nations art in 2011 and was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2012 and 2013.

Sunday, September 6 – Ed Spence ?

Ed Spence (b. 1981) is a cross-disciplinary artist who utilizes text, photography and installation in his practice. Currently living and working in Vancouver, BC, much of his work is concerned with the human condition in a world of rapidly progressing technological evolution. Spence’s practice addresses complex issues associated with digital culture including information technology, computer processing and post-humanist ideology while continuing the tradition of a physical studio-based practice. Recent work involves photo-collage that mimics a digital aesthetic by dissecting portions of the image into tiny pixels which are cut and reorganized by hand. Born and raised in Salmon Arm, BC, Spence studied and received his BFA from UBC Okanagan in 2005. He was awarded the President’s Purchase Award for a multi-channel video installation and his work has been exhibited across Canada, United States and Europe. In the spring of 2012 he was awarded a two month research residency in Italy where he developed the video accompaniment to a contemporary dance performance that was later presented in Berlin.

Monday, September 7– Encore (WALLPAPERS, Sonny Assu, Ed Spence)

8:15-9:00pm: Live Mapping Performance produced by Montreal based multimedia company Graphics Emotion, featuring visual artists Julien Abril, Karim Jeday, Frank Dufaux and musical guest pianist Sanaz Sotoudeh. Courtesy of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. Fazioli piano provided in-kind by Showcase Pianos.

9:00pm: Presentation of encore projection begins – all artists will be in attendance.

More info about the Burrard Arts Foundation: burrardarts.org