Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓?// Can you See Beaver?

Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓?// Can you See Beaver? is a community-based research and public art project led by Gitksan Witsuwit’en artist and community organizer Jolene Andrew and produced by grunt gallery Project Curator Nellie Lamb, in collaboration with Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.

The project is collaborative and based in community. It began with a conversation about a historical beaver dam that once blocked Brewery Creek near the spot where Main St and 14th Ave now intersect. This led us to wonder about the absence of such an important animal in an urban socio-ecological system and consider how the history of beavers in this landscape can inform our relationships to the land now and into the future. Throughout the project we will be contemplating the importance of keystone species like the beaver, whose knowledge and skills build dams that create wetlands, providing habitat for many other plants and animals. Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓? Can you see Beaver? is a reminder to take notice.  The project looks to beavers and the other animals and plants in their communities as teachers and guides. It asks questions about obstruction and flow, what has changed and what has endured, and what we can learn from these histories in the ongoing and complex contexts of urbanization, colonization, and decolonization.

The project’s Squamish language title, Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓? asks, “Can you see the beaver?” We hope you will join us in opening our hearts and minds to beaver’s teachings. Starting in March 2021, we are hosting a series of knowledge sharing, field study, planning, and art-making events focused on the landscape, plant, and animal (including human) life in the area that is now known as Mount Pleasant and rooted in the Indigenous knowledge and art of Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) storytellers, weavers and other urban Indigenous artists. Events are led by Jolene alongside artists, historians, scientists, storytellers, and knowledge holders and are open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members.

Further details about this project and upcoming events can be found at canyouseebeaver.ca

Image: Nicole Neidhardt.

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Community Workshops: Captioning, Transcription and Non-Auditory Access

Online, FREE. Register here.
Presented by grunt gallery and Kay Slater.

The last year of working and gathering primarily online has brought into wider view an understanding that many in the disability arts community have always understood and advocated for: we need more skilled people creating video and digital content that is accessible to non-auditory audiences.

This series of workshops is designed to help arts organizations, artists and community creators take a tangible first step towards building accessibility into their practices. By outlining best practices (and identifying the pros and cons of available auto-generated captioning services), and inviting participants to learn the basics of captioning and transcription for live and pre-recorded material, we invest in a baseline standard for access as well as a shared and shareable knowledge base.

The series includes a mentorship opportunity to learn captioning alongside experienced and practicing access professionals with an invitation to co-facilitate their own non-auditory access workshops designed specifically for their own communities.

Spring offerings include half-day workshops supported by our community partners ArtStarts in Schools, DTES Small Arts Grants Program, Gallery Gachet, WePress and the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres. The full spring schedule of workshops is below.

Workshops are FREE to all, and will be conducted online. Register and find out more here. For the April 30th Captions for CanLit workshop, register here.

Upcoming Workshop Dates:
  • Thursday April 22nd, 5:30pm-8:00pm: Workshop Aimed Towards Creators and Artists*
    Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. On-location, in-person viewing at Carnegie Community available in the theatre. Centre viewing in their Theatre, and online streaming. Workshop also available online for free (link coming soon).
  • Friday April 23rd, 1:00pm-3:30pm: Workshop Aimed Towards Creators and Artists*
    Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. On-location, in-person viewing at Carnegie Community available in the theatre. Centre viewing in their Theatre, and online streaming. Workshop also available online for free (link coming soon). *Cantonese/Mandarin translation will provided for online participants.
  • Sunday April 25th, 1:00pm-3:30pm: Workshop Aimed Towards Creators and Artists*
    Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. On-location, in-person viewing at Carnegie Community available in the theatre. Centre viewing in their Theatre, and online streaming. Workshop also available online for free (link coming soon).
  • Friday April 30th, 11am-1pm: Captions for CanLit, specifically for literary event organizers, including publishers, bookstore staff, and magazine editors.
    This workshop will take place on Google Meet with automatic captions. Presented by Kay Slater with Leah Horlick. Register via this form: https://forms.gle/G3DiRmgBWi4T9sgj9
  • Friday May 28th, 5:30pm-8:00pm: Q&A Session – Live with Kay, ask your captioning and transcription questions! Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. Live webcast, with on-person viewing at Carnegie Community Centre available in their theatre. Mandarin and Cantonese translation available via online stream. ASL Interpretation will be available 6-8PM
Past Workshops:
  • Friday March 12th, 1:30pm – 4:30pm: Workshop aimed towards Galleries, Artist Run Centres, and other Presentation Venues. Google Meet (with English auto captions). *session is full*
  • Friday March 19th, 1:30pm – 4:30pm: Workshop aimed towards Galleries, Artist Run Centres, and other Presentation Venues. Google Meet (with English auto captions).
  • Thursday, March 18th, 5:30-8:30pm: Part of the ArtStarts in Schools Spring Digital Learning Lab: Digital Transformations. Workshop aimed towards Teachers, Caregivers, and Teaching Artists –  External RSVP Link: https://forms.gle/VFkmjmpUfKJLaTbG7
  • Tuesday March 23rd, 1:30pm – 4:30pm: Workshop aimed towards creators and artists.
    *All ages / spring break special, Zoom with CART (captions) and ASL Interpretation.
Do you have any accessibility needs?

Our workshops are hosted on Google Meet (Free Service – Accessible by Browser) with Auto-Captions (English), and we will have a session with ASL Interpretation on March 23rd. Let us know if you have any access needs when you register, or write us an email at access@grunt.ca

Session Transcripts will be made available.

Check back for updates, including paid mentorship opportunities and streamable content.

Kay Slater (project lead/ workshop facilitator) is a multidisciplinary artist, accessibility consultant and arts worker.  As a consultant, they work directly with artists and organizations to build accessibility in at the planning stage, and to incorporate sustainable, grass roots strategies that support evolution in artistic presentation. Their work is rooted in anti-oppression practices, and they employ open source and community-engaged approaches to support ongoing knowledge transfer  with makers and creators at all stages of their careers. They are a member of the Open Access Mapping project’s Advisory Committee, are a proud volunteer and social coordinator at Queer ASL, have completed the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certification program and are working towards CSA Accessibility certification later this year. Kay is passionate about sharing knowledge with the wider arts community.  Kay is queer and hard of hearing. They use They/Their/Theirs pronouns exclusively online.

This program is produced by grunt gallery with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Disability Alliance BC.

    

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Job Call: Curator

Job Posting
Position: Curator
Location: grunt gallery
Reporting to: Program Director
Term: Part-time, permanent. 25 hours/week. Evening and weekend work. Flexible schedule.
Remuneration: $30/ hour
Start Date: January 5, 2021

Application deadline: 4pm PST, Friday, October 30th, 2020
To apply: Please send your resume and cover letter by email to Meagan Kus at meagan@grunt.ca

About grunt gallery
grunt gallery was founded in 1984 on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada) and is one of the region’s most established artist run centres. The gallery offers exhibitions, special projects and public programming with a focus on practices and perspectives that have, since the beginning, questioned established values in contemporary art production.

grunt was formed in 1984 by a group of 8 artists as a venue for artists and their work. Since then the organization has worked within local, national and international artist communities to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for the development of innovative and provocative contemporary art. Very early on grunt began collaborating with other organizations to realize projects otherwise beyond a single organization’s capacity.

In the early 1990s grunt began working with Indigenous art communities to provide a venue for contemporary production. This relationship has done much to define the organization since that time. grunt has not only been a significant venue for Indigenous production in Canada and internationally, but has had continuous participation on the staff and board team throughout this history. We have also provided an ongoing opportunity for residencies for Indigenous curators, researchers, writers and artists. We have similarly been guided by ongoing relationships with BIPOC and queer/ LGBTQIA2S+ arts communities.

grunt has been invested in ideas of ‘decolonization’ and intersectionality long before these terms were widely in use. Our experience working with artists and communities of diverse perspectives is well-known across the country and we continue to build capacity within the organization to grow in the service of this core mandate of diversity and creative innovation. These priorities comprise the fabric of our organization – and we strive to remain self-reflexive and evolving in the expression of them. Currently the organization is engaged in a 5-year process evaluating the accessibility of our systems and programs from an anti-oppression framework. This involves all levels of the organization.

Our programming scope has grown significantly over the years from a facility that primarily supported exhibitions, publications and performance to one that produces a wider range of activities, including: multi-partner collaborative projects, online project sites and expansive digital resources, site-specific artist projects, artist-residencies, public art projects, international artistic exchanges and a vital, growing archive. While our facility is modest – we operate from a 1400-square foot office and gallery space in East Vancouver – our reach is expansive.

Our recent and upcoming programming reveals a strong international component, with reciprocal opportunities for Canadian artists. We have in recent years considered how to improve the nature of exchange – beyond the presentation of isolated events or exhibitions abroad. As is more fitting to our mandate and way of working, we have been developing longer term relationships with colleagues internationally, and seek to provide reciprocity – that is, a culture of exchange that acknowledges the importance of opportunities created over time and via embedded networks, and those that disseminate resources both at home and abroad.

About the curatorial position
The Curator works in tandem with the Program Director and alongside grunt staff, contractors and volunteers to support the creative vision of the gallery and its public presentation. As detailed above, we support a wide range of activities, and applicants should have an interdisciplinary knowledge of/ interest in contemporary practice – and an appreciation for works that are produced both in and beyond a gallery context. This could include installation art, public works, digital media, screen-based production, writing/ publishing/ zine production, sound installation, socially-engaged works, podcast production, performance, community and frontline organizing, collective practice and so on.

Interested candidates should note that much of grunt’s programming is submissions-based and determined by committee. This does not preclude a more traditional authorship or singular curatorial voice, but we feel this is an important thing to note – ‘curator’ can mean many different things, and here as elsewhere it’s very influenced by the culture of the organization. At grunt the Curator is a central creative role and while our mandate and work culture is well established, we invite you to bring your own experience fully to the position. This strong sense of agency, in tandem with the collaborative nature of the programming and the expansive range of activities, offers a unique opportunity that emphasizes both collective access to resources and a demonstrated belief in the individual and what they can offer.

The Curator role will focus primarily on the exhibitions program, as well as our new Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen. There will be ample opportunities for creative thinking in both. Required skills and competencies are listed below, and disciplinary knowledge is important, but core to this position will be a passion for working with artists to support their vision. The Curator is at base level a bridge builder – you will act as the translator between the organization and the artist, and you will steward the presentation of the work to the public; your ability to communicate well and build relationships will be key.

As an employer we welcome your voice and your ideas, and we value equally your ability to listen and take time.

Required Competencies:

Collaboration                           Commitment                           Written Communication
Community                              Conceptual Thinking              Negotiation
Creativity                                  Flexibility                                 Mentorship
Reliability                                 Programming                         Grant Applications

General Responsibilities:

  • Working with the grunt Program Director and other grunt staff to determine overall program vision for exhibitions and programs on Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen (MPCAS);
  • Liaising with artists to determine programming and exhibitions within grunt’s exhibition space and beyond the physical facility;
  • Liaising with artists to determine media programming for the MPCAS;
  • Working in tandem with the Program Director to manage and organize the programming committees for exhibitions (annual) and MPCAS (bi-annual);
  • Working with the Program Director, MPCAS Engagement Coordinator and other grunt staff to create and maintain public outreach activities;
  • Writing and editing for publication, press releases, didactic materials, web and online promotion and other venues as necessary;
  • Organizing, hosting and managing events, online presentations, and other public programs;
  • Research and development of projects involving exhibition, artist residencies, community engagement, event and publication components;
  • Outreach, promotions and relationship building for grunt gallery, locally and internationally (via travel, networking and professional development opportunities);
  • Ongoing participation in grunt activities and programs, including committee meetings, curatorial research and development, staff/programming meetings;
  • Grant writing for present and future projects;
  • Evaluation of annual programming in collaboration with grunt staff.

Required Skills and Education:

  • Critically relevant curatorial experience with knowledge of diverse communities;
  • Strong sense of local context, including an investment in creating and maintaining relationship to the region’s host Indigenous nations (beyond acknowledgement);
  • Proven success with visual arts programming and an excellent reputation within the art community, built on previous success and rapport with artists;
  • Post-secondary education in an arts related field (or commensurate work experience);
  • A working intercultural skill-set to effectively work with a diverse group of staff, artists and community members, and a history of engagement with Indigenous, LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC communities;
  • Experience with or active interest in anti-oppression frameworks and how they relate to accessibility in the arts;
  • Strong technical awareness with regard to screen-based, online and interactive media;
  • Excellent understanding of artist-run centres;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Exceptional communication and coordination skills to ensure knowledge and comprehension of complex project planning;
  • Ability to work collaboratively;
  • Proven ability to write grants;
  • Highly organized, detail oriented and committed to quality;
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Able to work flexible hours.

grunt gallery offers a competitive salary and benefits package, along with a flexible work schedule, opportunities for education and development, and a very comfortable, creative, harmonious and positive work environment. grunt is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all applicants.

 

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COVID-19 Gallery Protocols

Please be advised of our current protocols to help ensure the health and safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Maximum 4 people in the gallery at a time (excluding staff)
  2. Please do not enter the gallery if:
    • you have traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days
    • you have had contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19
    • you have any symptoms such as fever, chills, coughing, loss of taste or smell.
  3. Masks are mandatory while inside the gallery (if you don’t have your own, we will provide one)
  4. Please use the hand sanitizer provided upon entering and upon leaving the gallery
  5. Please practice social distancing (minimum 2m between visitors)

Please feel free to contact communications[at]grunt[dot]ca if you have any questions.

Thank you!

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Spark Artist Talks Online!

The return of Spark Artist Talks!
Featuring Ovila Mailhot on October 22, 2020

 

Our long running Spark Artist Talk series, featuring emerging Indigenous artists with diverse art practices, returns this fall in a digital format! Spark Talks are held from 12:15-1pm on the third Thursday of the month. A live Q&A will be held after each one, hosted By Alanna Edwards.

Join us online from wherever you are via this link: https://zoom.us/j/96996717456

Ovila Mailhot is a Coast Salish artist originally from Seabird Island, British Columbia. He carries roots from Nlaka’pamux & Stó:lō Nation. Mailhot is “thankful for the opportunity to share the beauty of Coast Salish art” and expresses himself by utilizing elements of Salish art that have been passed down through generations. Believing that carrying on the tradition of this work is necessary for his culture and for healing, Mailhot works primarily in graphic design, adding to a cultural continuum that, as he mentions, still has not been actualized or received by mainstream culture.

Image: River Woman by Ovila Mailhot.

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Cool Indians on Main Street

Cool Indians on Main Street
on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

grunt gallery and Cool Indians On Main Street have teamed up on a project for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen! Charlene Vickers and Neil Eustache, the co-founders of Cool Indians on Main Street benchin collective have invited Indigenous artists to make an open ended statement about Indigenous presence and benchin. What is benchin one may ask? Benchin is the act of gathering socially to sit on a bench to people watch, share ideas, stories, and just be together. Moving through the uncertain times of a pandemic, benchin is redefined and expressed differently. Benchin happens in individual moments, alone or within one’s  social “bubble.” Benchin is expressed via face-time chats, or by sharing benchin pics on social media, or by a regular phone call.  This summer Charlene Vickers organized a dream team of Cool Indian benchers to create a series of digital media works for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen as the next iteration of what “benchin” could become.

Cool Indians Benchin Dream Team:
Lacie Burning
Robert Chaplin
Neil Eustache
Jeneen Frei Njootli
Whess Harman
Maria Hupfield (with collaborators Ester Neff, IV Castellanos)
Janine Island
Jenny Irene Miller
Casey Koyczan
Manuel Axel Strain
The Human Nature Collective (Daina Warren, Kirstin Snowbird, Robert Snowbird, Theo Pelmus, with Kevin McKenzie)
Tania Willard
Charlene Vickers

Images, from top left: Wavers by The Human Nature Collective; Alas and Forsooth by Whess Harman; The Labour of Protecting by Manual Axel Strain; Cool Indians design by Neil Eustache; Prayers by Lucie Burning; We Practice Our Culture Because Our Parents Were Not Allowed To by Casey Koyczan; Swaying Praying by Tania Willard; Canuck the Crow by Robert Chaplin.

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Together Apart

Together Apart is a loosely formed collective of 2S/Indigiqueer artists, writers and performers that followed out of the Spring 2019 Together Apart, Queer Indigeneities 2S/Indigiqueer Symposium, inspired by the Two-Spirit Cabarets held at grunt during the early 90s. With a flexible format of membership, Together Apart uses itself as a mobilizing point to pool skills and resources that can be adaptive to ideas, projects and partnerships as they come. By operating through grunt gallery with Project Curator Whess Harman (Carrier Wit’at), the collective is able to anchor itself and its projects within a stable and intuitive organizing body while retaining agency over programming decisions and outcomes. The project reflects the widely interdisciplinary nature that inherently follows organizing around the identities that fall within the cross-section of both queer and Indigenous.

Projects for Together Apart are both on-going and forth-coming, and open to 2S/Indigiqueer community members for assistance in the conception and organization of  projects. Following the original symposium event, the Together Apart Zine, initially a publication made to go alongside the event, has extended now into a nine issue run gathering work from artists and writers from across Turtle Island. Adapted into a two-term peer mentorship model, the Together Apart Zine has been edited both by writer Brandi Bird (Cree, Saulteaux and Metis) and following with Kaya Joan (Jamaican/ Vincentian, Kanien’kehá:ka). Through the course of the nine issues, over 30 queer, Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous creators have contributed to either the zine or its accompanying launch events and partnerships.

Going forward, Together Apart is seeking avenues of digital projects both in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in efforts to be accessible to queer Indigenous folks beyond urban spaces. These projects are grounded in an ethos of for us/by us as a way of better expressing queer Indigenous identities in all its multiplicity while prioritizing solidifying platforms in which queer and Indigenous creators have opportunities to build their practices with and alongside one another.

Images: Untitled by Kaya Joan; Issue 5 cover by Lacie Burning; Issue 4 interior art by Jaime Blankinship.

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ONLINE LAUNCH | New Documentation & Response by Tobias Ewé for Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week 


Photo: Quivering by Hong-Kai Wang

“When an earthquake’s sonic event oscillates through the air – rolling over the earth – it absorbs all objects in its wake. The sonic outline of every object in the path of the sound wave is inscribed into its signature. An earthquake produces rumbling imperceptible infrasounds that alter the geological make-up, as well as deep bass frequencies that offer up new modes of understanding the malleability of geological strata. Movements are world-makers. As sound moves, worlds are created. As the earth quakes across its surface, new lines are drawn up.”   – Tobias Ewé

Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week announces the web-launch of “On Hong-Kai Wang’s Quivering,” a newly commissioned text by Tobias Ewé in response to This is no country music, a performative lecture hosted at Artspeak on November 1, 2019, and Wang’s exhibition Quivering which was on view at Artspeak from October 26–December 7, 2019.

Read Tobias Ewé’s response and view the event and exhibition documentation on the Recollective website.

Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week is a series of free public events that highlight artist-run centre archives, artists working with archives, and the intersections between contemporary art practices and social movements in Vancouver and beyond. Recollective commissions original response works to our programming from a variety of artists, writers, and activists. Stay tuned for more Recollective responses and programming at archivesweek.ca!

BIOS
Tobias Ewé
is a Danish experimental theorist currently based in Vancouver, BC. He is writing a PhD on inhuman psychoacoustics in the Department of Art History at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the epistemology of listening in modernity, and its symptoms in the sonic arts at the nexus between vibrational inhumanism and speculative aesthetics. His most recent work appears in Holger Schulze, ed (2019), Handbook of the Anthropology of Sound, London: Bloomsbury; and Laboria Cuboniks (2018[2015]), Xenofeminisme: En politik for fremmedgørelse, trans. Tobias Ewé, Copenhagen: Passive/Aggressive. Tobias has exhibited/performed diagrams and sonic fictions in Germany, Canada, Denmark, Italy and online.

Based in Taipei, Taiwan, Hong-Kai Wang’s research-based practice confronts the politics of knowledge lost in colonial and diasporic encounters. Through experimental modes of sonic sociality, her multidisciplinary work seeks to conceive of other time-spaces at the intersection of lived experience, power and ‘listening.’ Wang’s work critically interweaves the production of desire, histories of labor and economies of cohabitation. She has presented projects at Asia Art Biennial 2019; Theater Commons Tokyo 2019; Sculpture Center New York; documenta 14; Taipei Biennial 2016; Liquid Architecture; and the Museum of Modern Art.

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Limeflower Heterodoxy by Sharona Franklin: June 9 — July 3, 2020

Limeflower Heterodoxy
Sharona Franklin
June 9 — July 3, 2020
Window viewing hours at grunt gallery: Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 5pm

Limeflower Heterodoxy is a new exhibition by artist Sharona Franklin featuring the slow decomposition of one of her signature gelatin sculptures. With this work, Franklin takes the viewer into an exploration of healing methodologies, contrasting the different approaches of psychedelic and plant based medicine intertwined within the pharmaco-industrial complex. The installation centers the experiences of childhood rural illness, contrasted with the alien and often dehumanizing experiences of cytotoxic and pharmaceutical systems. Referred to by the artist as bioshrines, the sculptures embody tensions and contradictions held for those whose treatments include both natural medicine and—sometimes ethically controversial—biopharmaceutical care.

Decomposition is an integral part of Franklin’s process, as she invites visitors to come back and revisit her sculptures over the course of an exhibition, witnessing their transformation in space, as time and organic matter collide. For the first time, a livestream video will grant the viewer real time access to the transformation at any moment of the day or night. The artist will also record the decomposition of her work, creating two time lapse videos over the period of a month.

The livestream and videos are available through Printed Matter, more information can be found here. The work comes at three different tiers: an unlimited livestream access, a 30min time lapse video filmed on Hi8, and a high resolution 60min video with textile edition. 100% of the profits of Limeflower Heterodoxy II, a Hi8 timelapse video, will be donated to COVID Bail Out NYC.

This installation is organized by Printed Matter (NYC), hosted at grunt gallery and produced with the support of VIVO Media Arts Centre.

Downloadable PDFs:
Limeflower Heterodoxy Recipe
Let’s Talk About Disability

Sharona Franklin b. 1987 is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist, writer and advocate.

Her work explores radical therapies, cybernetic craft, ecological systems, bio-ritualism, pharmacological and social inter-dependency disseminating mythologies of class and biocitizenship within disability.  Franklin’s visual media practice can be viewed through social media platforms @paid.technologies, @star_seeded and @hot.crip. Through ontological study and utilizing natural, salvaged, biodegradable, edible, print media and digital mediums, her psychedelic works invite the viewer into facets of biopharmaceutical investigations and educational community practice.

Recent exhibitions include Kings Leap, NYC, Unit 17, Vancouver, Canada, G44 Center for Contemporary Photography, Toronto, Canada, New Image Art Gallery Los Angeles, CA, and Flux Factory, New York, NY. Recent publications include Injustice in Biopharm, 2019, Cassandra Press and Rental Bod, 2016, Peace Library Publications.

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grunt gallery Founder Glenn Alteen Retires as of May 29th, 2020

As of  Friday May 29th 2020, grunt gallery’s founder Glenn Alteen, who served as the gallery’s Program Director for 37 years, has retired. The staff and board of grunt are incredibly grateful for the energy, ingenuity and spirit Alteen has given grunt since the very beginning; he has fostered an extraordinary community of artists, curators, and cultural workers that extends from Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood across Canada and internationally.

Since grunt’s inception in 1984, Alteen has recognized the value in platforming diverse voices and supporting artists through their creative processes, and has been committed to providing resources for artists to exhibit work that might otherwise go unrecognized. His boundless generosity and bold approach has been instrumental in building the vitality of the gallery and relationships with many exceptional artists and curators, including Rebecca Belmore, Dana Claxton, Margaret Dragu, Aiyyana Maracle, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Carole Itter, Adrian Stimson, Tania Willard, and Tarah Hogue. Throughout his career, Alteen has pushed boundaries with projects such as Queer City (1993), An Indian Act: Shooting the Indian Act (1997) by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and the co-founding of LIVE Biennial of Performance Art in 1999. Showing no signs of slowing down, in 2019 Alteen and grunt launched three of their most ambitious projects to date: Wordless: The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency, and the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen.

His connections to artists is truly unique, and his commitment to long-term creative relationships has built a community around grunt that spans generations, cultural communities and disciplinary boundaries. Dana Claxton recalls:

“I think I first met Glenn at the Pitt Gallery on Water Street in the late 1980s. Early on in the realm of programming NDN’ art work, he was committed, supportive, made enormous space and provided guidance in a way, he may not even be aware of the guidance he gave. Our early morning talks for many years, as he would dream up projects…he makes ideas become concrete. And it was never about him, but always what can happen for other people.”

Alteen has championed intuitive, organic and artist-driven creation, while simultaneously ensuring the continued growth and stability of grunt itself. By developing grunt’s programming archive, securing a permanent space for the gallery and the creation of an endowment fund, Alteen has cemented the longevity of grunt and contributed to the sustainability of artist-driven culture in Vancouver. He was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2018 for his decades of exceptional contributions to the arts in Canada. Glenn Alteen has been a visionary for grunt gallery and Vancouver’s visual arts communities, and has left an enduring mark on the ways we work through, with and around art.

His unique perspective will carry forward into grunt’s future, and will continue to shape the organization. Incoming Program Director Vanessa Kwan, who has shared the role with him since last June, says:

“In so many ways, Glenn embodies what we hope for in a more compassionate art community. His leadership has taught so many of us about the importance of both resistance and care. His work proposes something no less than a revolution in how we understand a successful (dare I say legendary?) career in the arts: that ambition can be expressed as generosity, and that capital–cultural, financial and otherwise–is best shared widely rather than being kept to oneself.”

As grunt honours Alteen’s remarkable career and contributions to the art community, we are also proud to announce the re-naming of our endowment to the Glenn Alteen Legacy Fund, and we invite you to contribute to the future of the organization, and the furthering of its unique vision. More information can be found here.

Thank you so much, Glenn, for your audacity, persistence, disgruntlement and care.

 

Photo: Portrait of Glenn Alteen by Henri Robideau, Jaunary 1987.

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