Representing a rich array of styles and subject matter, Kids Take Over showcases artworks from the Gallery’s collection alongside texts and drawings by local students, ages five to eighteen. Students respond to a varied selection of paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures—from Guud San Glans Robert Davidson’s monumental painting Octopus (2014) and Gathie Falk’s playful ceramic fruit stacks, to Chantal Gibson’s radical modifications of historical books and Annie Pootoogook’s touching family portrait Listening to the Radio (2005-06).
To prepare for this exhibition, Susan Rome, the Gallery’s Program Coordinator for Schools and Youth, made weekly visits to three classrooms across Greater Vancouver in November and December 2021. Presenting them with photographs of the artworks, Rome asked students to observe the works’ formal attributes, reflect on the themes evoked and imagine the intentions of the artists. She then invited students to write down or verbalize their responses, create their own drawings and collectively move their bodies, using the artworks as inspiration. Two of the exhibition’s artists, Evan Lee and Brendan Lee Satish Tang, also visited the classrooms to discuss their art practices and engage directly with the students. This exhibition is the result of that vibrant process. Highlighting young voices—and a future generation of art lovers—Kids Take Over foregrounds the spirited, curious, thoughtful, whimsical, funny and often unexpected responses of students to artworks by local, national and international artists. Photographs of the students taken by photographer Anita Bonnarens show some of the activities leading up to the exhibition.
Kids Take Over features a range of welcoming, interactive elements for young families including a play area in one of the alcoves, in addition to a touch wall, an activities booklet and a drawing/colouring space in the rotunda. It is also accompanied by a mobile guide that invites children to explore the exhibition and learn about some of the featured artworks through a series of playful and informative prompts. Scan the QR code on the exhibition’s title wall to begin!
Featured artists include Pitseolak Ashoona, Eric Cameron, Guud San Glans Robert Davidson, Audrey Capel Doray, Gathie Falk, Chantal Gibson, Thomas Kakinuma, Kimsooja, Devon Knowles, Evan Lee, Ken Lum, John MacGregor, Michael Morris, Annie Pootoogook, Lucy Qinnuayuak, Robert Rauschenberg, Simon Ripoll-Hurier, Evelyn Roth, Laurie Simmons and Allan McCollum, Koki Tanaka, Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Claude Tousignant, Joyce Wieland, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and Zhang O.
This exhibition is affiliated with the international Takeover Day initiative, organized by Kids in Museums, whose mission is to make museums more accessible to children, youth and families.
Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Zoë Chan, Assistant Curator; Mandy Ginson, Assistant Curator; and Julie Martin, Curatorial Assistant, in collaboration with Susan Rome, Program Coordinator: Schools and Youth, and Christina Jones, Family Programs Coordinator