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Massive floral designs inspired by Taiwanese textiles cover Michael Lin’s installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Five must-see art shows for March

It’s true that a number of great visual arts shows sponsored by the 2010 Cultural Olympiad have been taken down,…

By Cecilia Greyson , in Vancouver Art Seen , on March 13, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

It’s true that a number of great visual arts shows sponsored by the 2010 Cultural Olympiad have been taken down, like Fire with Fire and the Candahar. But take heart, art-lovers: there’s still time to check out some excellent visual arts shows in Vancouver.

Attracting an estimated 1.5 million visitors in total during the Olympics, the Cultural Olympiad has been a huge success. The visual arts shows have been part of the draw, with works from Canadian and international artists visible in venues all over the city.

Here are my picks for five must-see shows to check out this month:

Massive floral designs inspired by Taiwanese textiles cover Michael Lin's installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

1. Michael Lin’s A Modest Veil at the Vancouver Art Gallery (until May 2, 2010). Anyone downtown recently has probably caught a glance of Lin’s latest work, but it’s worth a closer look. Mounted in three sections facing the Georgia Street Plaza, the massive floral façade hand-painted by Lin and local art students has been a backdrop for civic protests and Olympic gatherings since the work was installed.

2. Ed Pien’s Tracing Night at the Museum of Vancouver (until April 11, 2010). Pien’s latest installation is an evocative journey into the mysteries of the subconscious. Constructed from enormous sheets of translucent paper, the work features audio, video, and Pien’s signature drawings of odd, dreamlike characters. Narrow tunnels, secret passageways, and startling peepholes cut in layers of paper create a mysterious effect for visitors.

3. Backstory: Nuuchaanulth Ceremonial Curtains and the Work of Ki-ke-in, at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery (until March 28, 2010). This is a spectacular show featuring traditional and modern ceremonial curtains that were originally created as portable ritual art by aboriginal communities on Vancouver Island after the banning of potlatches by the Canadian government. Named “thllltsapilthim”, the curtains continue to be featured prominently in community celebrations.

Canadian artists like Adad Hannah created works for the Endlessly Traversed Landscapes series.

4. Endlessly Traversed Landscapes (until March 21, 2010). Featuring the work of 18 Canadian artists, the pieces are displayed on public billboards throughout Vancouver. With works in photography, text, painting and collage, the billboards are unexpected and quirky, and include a series riffing on picture postcards.

5. Reece Terris’ Another False Front at the Western Front Gallery (until March 27, 2010). With wood and paint, Terris’ latest work is a duplicate wooden false front attached to the century-old existing false front on top of one of Canada’s oldest artist-run centres. Impossibly tall, Terris’ playful architectural intervention brings focus to the rapid urban development in the city of Vancouver.

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