Wanted: marijuana art exhibits for Penticton Art Gallery

Penticton's Art Gallery is looking for marijuana-themed art pieces to showcase as part of its spring show, Grassland.

Gallery puts out call for 'cannabis-infused art' submissions for March marijuana show, Grassland

Montreal photographer and filmmaker Ezra Soiferman will be featured in the Grassland exhibit. He has described cannabis as a 'dream subject' because of its angles and versatility. (Ezra Soiferman)

The Penticton Art Gallery has put out a call for submissions for its upcoming Grassland exhibit, exploring the impact of marijuana on modern culture.

The exhibition opens on March 17 and will showcase "cannabis-infused art" from all over the world.

Gallery curator Paul Crawford said he first got the idea for such an exhibit about 10 years ago, while he was living in Grand Forks, B.C.

"Living there on the fringe of the Kootenays, just the whole marijuana, pot, cannabis culture thing was so prevalent," said Crawford.

"It was such a large part of the community and culture. It was something that really fascinated me."

He didn't immediately pursue the idea, but said a show this spring seemed fitting with federal legislation looming to legalize marijuana and dispensaries popping up all over the province.

'The right time to explore this'

"It just seems to me it's the right time to explore this. I thought I'd throw it out there to see what the reaction would be."

He has already secured a number of pieces, including art by an American artist who creates works out of rolling papers. The exhibit will also feature political cartoons and a glass blower who creates art out of bongs.

The Grassland exhibit will feature works by glassblower Patrick 'Redbeard' Vrolyk. (Redbeard Glass/ Facebook)

Crawford said he wants to highlight the politics of the issue and the creativity that comes out of cannabis culture.

"There's a guy in the States who is hired by Snoop Dog for $10,000 a month to roll joints in the shapes of helicopters and guns, but they're actually sculptures that are smokable."

"Regardless of what your opinion is, I want you to come out and say, wow, I had no idea."

The gallery also plans to host weekly marijuana forums with speakers, including police officers and health officials.

There is currently a public call for submissions — artists can submit up to four works for consideration by March 3 by emailing curator@pentictonartgallery.com.

Grassland opens March 17 with an Alice in Wonderland-themed party and runs until May 14.

With files from Adrian Nieoczym

Glassblower Patrick 'Redbeard' Vrolyk starts with simple glass bongs and creates elaborate pieces of art. He will be one of the artists showcased in the Grassland exhibit. (Redbeard Glass/ Facebook)