Cancelled shows and slow reopening for Revelstoke Art Gallery

The gallery has been closed since March due to COVID-19

So far three months worth of exhibitions have been cancelled at the Revelstoke Art Gallery since the COVID-19 closures in March.

For Jo Willems, who was supposed to show It Just Takes Time in the main gallery in May, having her show cancelled, and then rescheduled to September was part of the turmoil everyone must be feeling.

“Having an exhibit, as much as it is so important to artists to do that, there are so many other issues going on in the world right now,” she said.

Willems’ show will features pencil drawings of forests done on huge pieces of paper. A small piece is 38 by 50 inches, while the big ones are taller than Willems.

She has been working on the pieces for three years, each takes between two and five months.

But the theme isn’t just about time on the clock, but rather about taking time, noticing details, seeing the trees through the forest both while walking out walking and creating art.

Willems has worked with many mediums throughout her life, but drawing with pencils feels like an extension of her hand. She said she finds beauty in the simplicity.

Willems show has been rescheduled, but she is leaving town to be closer to her family and hopes she will be able to return to see it hanging.

For Shea Slager, ITSHEAVY creator, the show in July was to be his first art exhibition. He said he was really looking forward to blowing some hair back and making some smiles as they are his favourite thing to make.

Susan Lind was also supposed to have a show in May. So Close to my Heart was to feature scenes from Mt. Revelstoke in acrylics on canvas.

She was going to have five paintings for one of the side galleries, but while the pandemic put the show on hold, it also temporarily put her inspiration on hold.

As businesses reopen and people adjust to the new normal, the Visual Art Society has been looking for ways to reopen.

Judy Goodman, chair of the board, said that with limits on group sizes impacting opening night events, some artists didn’t want to move forward.

The biggest part of the exhibition is the opening night, Goodman said.

Exhibitions have been postponed for the summer, though some scheduled for spring have been rescheduled for fall.

The society is hosting a summer art fair from July 21-Aug. 28. Take-in is July 15-17 from 12-4 p.m.

Other community spaces on the society’s building, such as the wood shop, pottery guild and private studios will be open with limits on capacity and online booking requirements.

Other shows cancelled due to the pandemic include art by Susie Kathol, art by the Golden Girls, Zuzanna Riha’s Dreamers, RSS’s year end show, Michelle Austin’s New Territories, No Path is Set by Shea Slager, Carmen Wesley’s Chaos and Calm, the River Climate Quilt Community project, A Climate View member’s show, art from the instructors as well as Kristen Robilliard’s Astral Peregrinations.



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Jo Willems’ show will features pencil drawings of forests done on huge pieces of paper.. (Submitted/Peter Blackmore)

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