The new facility got rave reviews when the City of Pitt Meadows hosted the grand opening of its first public art gallery on Saturday.
The new gallery, which is located in the former Visitor Information Centre at 12492 Harris Rd, is part of a city initiative to expand arts and culture in Pitt Meadows.
Mayor John Becker presided over a ribbon cutting ceremony, and noting “it’s been a long, long time coming.
“Culture is such an important part of who we are as a community, and as two communities (with the Katzie First Nation), and as many communities,” he said. “It’s a great new day.”
Susann Sigmund, the arts and cultural services coordinator, said the city’s cultural mapping in 2010 made it clear that the city was severely lacking in places to display their work. It found a facility in the former visitor’s centre, which was renovated for $35,000.
The opening event packed the renovated building, and Sigmund said she was getting nothing but positive feedback from the arts community.
“The response is ‘Wonderful. It’s been a long time coming.”
The creation of an art gallery provide an opportunity for artists and the community to engage, connect, and network with each other. The new space brings attention to local art, and creates new opportunities for art, artists, artist groups and residents in the community, said a press release from the city.
The gallery’s first exhibit, “Small Works,” features a wide variety of smaller works from a number of both established and emerging artists just in time for the holiday season. The show runs from Nov. 18, to Jan. 14, 2018.
“Recognizing the role art plays in shaping communities is an increasing trend globally. The presence of a City of Pitt Meadows gallery can help that process evolve by connecting art to the community,” said Becker. “Council has made arts and culture in the community a priority, and we’re proud to say that this is Pitt Meadows’ very first art gallery.”
“The Pitt Meadows Art Gallery will be a place for arts and cultural expression and education for the community as well as tourists and visitors alike,” said Sigmund.
“Artists need the right infrastructure, a place to show their work. This in turn creates greater public awareness and an understanding of the arts.”
Members of the community will be given the opportunity to showcase their work, including artists, art groups, youth, seniors and Katzie First nation through a series of rotating exhibitions.
Exhibits will include work by both local and regional artists, and works may include drawings, paintings, multi-media, fibre, textile, jewelry, ceramic art and photography. Sculptural works and metal art will also be showcased. All artwork in the gallery is for sale.
The Pitt Meadows Art Gallery is volunteer-run, and is currently seeking volunteers. Staff are looking for friendly and outgoing individuals who enjoy interacting with the public. Volunteers will learn about art and how galleries work, meet new people and contribute to the community. Interested individuals can visit pittmeadows.bc.ca/galleryvolunteers or call the City’s Cultural Services department at 604-465-2432.