The Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle

2013 Biennale celebrates artists of the Fraser Valley

The Maple Ridge Art Gallery hosts the Fraser Valley Biennale until July 27

If the term `biennale’ doesn’t immediately resonate with you, it’s probably time you made a point of checking out the amazing array of artwork featured in the Fraser Valley Biennale, which opened Saturday the Maple Ridge Art Gallery.

In the art world, a biennale is simply a show that occurs every two years.  Whether the show is international in scope or embraces a specific region like the Fraser Valley, it’s generally a display that celebrates diversity in artistic style, focus and medium, as emerging and established artists share the spotlight in unusually close proximity.

The Fraser Valley Biennale is actually represented in four different public galleries, all offering their own impressive displays at different times throughout the spring and summer: The Reach Gallery, Abbotsford (July 11-Sept. 8); The Kariton Gallery, Abbotsford (July 26-Aug. 20); the Mission Arts Centre (July 2–20), and the Maple Ridge Art Gallery (June 15-July 27).

“This is an exhibition where I set aside my own vision of creating an all-embracing statement or theme to the exhibition, and – believe it or not – I don’t find that easy,” says Maple Ridge Art Gallery curator, Barbara Duncan.

“But I think it’s refreshing sometimes, to simply select work that speaks to you purely from the point of each artist in the room – it’s a snap shot of what’s going on in the region, and it demonstrates the remarkable range of artists we have working in the area.”

It is the second year Maple Ridge has hosted the exhibition.

“If nothing else, this exhibition demonstrates that the valley has attracted an extraordinary number of accomplished artists, some of them who are recognized in the larger urban centres and even the international stage, while others, for any number of reasons, create their art in relative obscurity,” Duncan added.

The Maple Ridge Art Gallery hosts the Fraser Valley Biennale until July 27.