Derek Besant’s The Dark Woods (Revisited) #2 (2018, thermal ink transfer on vinyl scrim veil, 56 x 98 in) is on display at the Vernon Public Art Gallery. (Photo submitted)

Vernon Public Art Gallery visits dark woods

Explore a forest-scape of multimedia flora and fauna, text fragments and mystery in the The Dark Woods (Revisited).

The board of directors and executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant invites the public to the opening reception of The Dark Woods (Revisited) by Derek Besant, Emergence by UBCO bachelor’s of fine arts graduates and Overcoming the Darkness by The Bridge Youth and Family Services at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

Enjoy an evening of music, contemporary art, punch and appetizers May 24 at VPAG.

“It is my pleasure to welcome back Canadian artist, Derek Michael Besant, to the Vernon Public Art Gallery with his latest exhibition The Dark Woods (Revisited). Recognized internationally for his large-scale photo-based works, we are thrilled to bring work of this calibre to the North Okanagan,” Kennedy Grant said. “Emergence is an annual exhibition here at the VPAG, where we get the opportunity to showcase the creative, dynamic work being produced locally at the post-secondary level.”

Besant’s exhibition stages a site-specific installation of printed shaped veils and a large scale 15-minute looping video projection. The out-of-focus close-up images of trees and forest flora create a dense visual environment for the viewers to decode possible hidden narratives suggested by text fragments incorporated in some images.

Besant will be in attendance at the opening reception and will give an Artist Talk during the reception.

The exhibition Emergence is produced by selected graduating students from the UBC Okanagan bachelor’s of fine arts program. This exhibition consists of a selection of works of six emerging artists which include painting, screen printing, sculptural installation, photography and fibre art.

Overcoming the Darkness is an exhibition by the youth at the Bridge Youth and Family Services Express Yourself Group, a therapeutic art program.

For the past eight weeks, youth have been exploring the healing power of art and community as they participated in weekly expressive arts workshops. Express Yourself provided a safe space for youth to share experiences of homelessness, substance use, mental health concerns, marginalization and loneliness.

The opening reception of these three diverse exhibitions is May 24 from 6-8 p.m. at the Vernon Public Art Gallery and is open to the public with admission is by donation.


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