British Columbia

Surrey Art Gallery showcases local artists in 40th anniversary show

A new exhibit at the Surrey Art Gallery — Views from the Southbank I: Histories, Memories, Myths — showcases dozens of artists who all live and work south of the Fraser River.

40th anniversary show focuses on rapid growth south of the Fraser River

The Surrey Art Gallery is preparing for a new show that will feature local artists. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

A new exhibit at the Surrey Art Gallery — Views from the Southbank I: Histories, Memories, Myths — showcases dozens of artists who all live and work south of the Fraser River.

“It’s a chance for us to show work by artists we haven’t been able to show in the past,” curator Jordan Strom told The Early Edition.

The new show at the Surrey Art Gallery opens this Saturday. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

“[We're] introducing some new voices and being able to set up dialogues between different artists who maybe haven’t had a chance to show before.”

Many of the artists were inspired by Surrey’s rapid growth, but Strom said many also welcomed the opportunity to explore the region’s history.

In one of the pieces, artist Polly Gibbons focused on a pet cemetery in the middle of a high density residential neighbourhood.

“It’s the last remaining parcel of land that hasn’t been developed in the midst of a giant series of subdivisions,” Gibbons said.

“The day that I was out there, the owner of the land just happened to drive by. He was curious about what I was doing and I said, ‘I’m doing some grave rubbings from some of the gravestones.’ I asked him what he had planned for the land, and it’s sort of in limbo.”

The works will range from Gibbons’ grave rubbings to a textured piece that includes denim from a pair of jeans.

Art displayed in the new show focuses on the history of the area south of the Fraser river, as well as recent rapid growth. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

“We have artists who are creating different experiments with print, painting multimedia works, photography, oil on canvas to textile woven works,” Strom said.

“There’s a wide range of matter, but it’s divided up among those main themes.”

The grand opening is Saturday evening at the Surrey Art Gallery, which is in Bear Creek Park on 88th Avenue just off King George Blvd.

To hear more about the new show at the Surrey Art Gallery, click the audio labelled: Surrey Art Gallery celebrates 40 years.


Jesse Johnston worked in private radio from 2004 to 2014 in Vancouver, Red Deer and Calgary. He spent the next five years based out of Surrey (his hometown) as CBC's South of the Fraser reporter until he joined the Impact Team in 2019. Jesse is a two-time recipient of the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for Best Short Radio Feature. He loves radio, running and dogs. He also loves the Detroit Lions, but if you follow him on Twitter, you already knew that. @Jesse_Johnston


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