Artwork from UBC Okanagan’s public art collection will be on display for the first time in Vernon, giving North Okanagan residents a sampling of the largest public art assemblies in the region.
The Ramble On exhibition, currently at the Vernon Public Art Gallery, presents a variety of artistic mediums—sculptures, paintings, prints and video artworks. The work on display has been created by a diverse roster of emerging and established artists including UBCO faculty, alumni, local Indigenous creators as well as international, figurative and abstract creators.
Ramble On is an exhibition of artworks from the UBCO’s public art collection which introduces some of the newest acquisitions including works by Judith Schwarz, Sheldon Louis, Tania Willard and Neil Cadger.
“We are excited to see some of the works from our collection out in the community,” says Dr. Stacey Koosel, curator of UBC Okanagan’s Art Gallery and the public art collection. “This is the first time works from our public art collection are being shown at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.”
Ramble On also features a few well-known Okanagan Indigenous artists.
“Our gallery’s mandate is to prioritize working with Indigenous contemporary artists. At the moment, Indigenous art is under-represented and only makes only seven per cent of the collection,” explains Dr. Koosel. “We’re hoping to improve this number in the coming years.”
Recent acquisitions featured in the exhibition include works by Syilx artists Sheldon Louis and David Wilson, and Secwepemc artist Tania Willard.
UBCO’s public art collection is one of the largest in the region, with a focus on Canadian contemporary art and the Okanagan’s emerging local artistry, says Dr. Koosel. Artwork comes to the collection primarily through donations.
“This exhibition is also the first chance for the public to see brand new works, such as Louis’s cax̌alqs (red dress) and a new acquisition by Judith Shwarz, Grid and Grid II, which just arrived from Toronto this year,” she says.
The exhibition was inspired by UBC Okanagan alumnus Clinton McDougall’s wooden sculpture of a car tire entitled Reinvention (2005). The tread on the tire forms a pattern based on the utilitarian principle of adding grip or traction to move forward. All the works in the exhibition continue this theme using patterns, grids or repetition.
Ramble On includes work by nine artists: Moozhan Ahmadzadegan, Neil Cadger, Sheldon Pierre Louis, Takesada Matsutani, Clinton McDougall, Ida Shōichi, Judith Shwarz, David Wilson and Tania Willard.
The Vernon Public Art Gallery opened four new exhibits last week, including a solo show by UBCO fine arts alumna Coralee Miller. Ramble On runs until March 9.
“This exhibition, with work created anytime between 1968 to 2021, will provide visitors with insight towards a variety of different artists, their practices and the various media used to create their thought-provoking, insightful works,” adds Dr. Koosel
For more information, visit: vernonpublicartgallery.com/current-exhibitions-1