Graduate art exhibition at UBC Okanagan is 'Anchor Tenant'

This year’s Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates at UBC Okanagan came up with a novel way to choose a name for their BFA Graduate Exhibition in April. A copy of the Canadian Webster’s Dictionary provided the title. The students provided the numbers.

“There are 33 graduating students. So we took out the dictionary and looked at the 33rd word on the 33rd page. It was 'anchor tenant,' and that’s the name we went with,” says BFA graduate Joanna Staniszewski. “An anchor tenant is defined as ‘the main attraction,’ and for the week from April 18 to 26, our class is looking forward to the exhibition being the main attraction at UBC Okanagan.”

This year’s exhibition is charged with works straddling all media from photography and video to sculpture and installation, painting, drawing and printmaking, notes Bryan Ryley, Associate Professor of Visual Arts.

“Conceptually the work is rich with approaches taken on issues of social identity, utopian-dystopian world views, cultural conditioning, and more formal concerns of structure and phenomenological experience,” says Ryley.

“What is fun about this body of work, however, is a slightly irreverent, cheeky and colourful flavour that comes through the energy and construction of a lot of the work,” Ryley says. “No single artist here is shirking any issues but they seem to be taking a tack that lightens the load a bit, allowing for a slightly more energized and open view of things. I think ‘Anchor Tenant’ will charge a lot of people in ways that will surprise them.”

The exhibition’s opening reception is also free and open to the public. It will be held at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 19, in the FINA Gallery (Fine Arts and Health Building, UBC Okanagan).

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