Kelowna Collects

Selected works of art from private collections in Kelowna

January 16 to March 7, 2010

As our contribution to helping Kelowna put its best face forward for visitors here in conjunction with the Vancouver Olympics, The Kelowna Art Gallery set out to organize a local collections show. The exhibition is naturally eclectic in nature, with no themes or notions of approach to tie it together in any way. It is something of a wild romp through styles, periods, regions, and art methods and media. But it does provide a particular lens through which to view community, a somewhat unusual lens certainly, but one that nevertheless provides a peek into an aspect of Kelowna not normally considered.

Several local artists are represented in the exhibition, not at all surprisingly, as several Kelowna collectors have supported local artists over the years by purchasing their work. These artists include Bryan Ryley, Jim Tanner, John Hall, Ann Kipling, Mary Bull, and the late Percival Ritchie. But the majority of works in this exhibition are by artists who lived and worked in other locations, both in Canada and abroad. As one might expect, these include the members of the Group of Seven, who actually numbered a total of ten artists from the time of their inception in 1920, until they disbanded to expand into the new Canadian Group of Painters in 1932. The glow of the cultural half life emitted by paintings by the likes of FH Varley and JEH MacDonald (both included in this show) burns less brightly here in Kelowna than it does in Ontario, for example, where most of the members worked in their formative years.

A selection of recent acquisitions to our own collection have also been included in this show, all of which were purchased from local artists with the assistance of the Canada Council’s grant program for acquisitions assistance. David Alexander, Jane Everett, Gary Pearson, and Bryan Ryley all have recent works on display that have been added to the collection in the last two years. This show provides an excellent opportunity for the gallery to display some of these new purchases to members of the community, for whom they are held in trust by the Kelowna Art Gallery.

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