Art show funds drawn up

Additional costs pop up for temporary art gallery in storage containers in downtown Vernon that will house international art this spring

Some additional costs have popped up for a temporary art gallery in storage containers in downtown Vernon that will house international art this spring.

The Vernon Public Art Gallery asked for nearly $22,000 in funding from Greater Vernon Advisory Committee directors Thursday for the 2015 Okanagan Print Triennial, slated to run March through June in storage containers to be placed at 3007-31st Avenue.

Started in 2009 as a national print competition, the VPAG had hoped this year’s triennial– which has grown to be an international art show – would take place in a new art gallery.

But the process towards a new gallery has been delayed. And because the current art gallery in the parkade isn’t large enough to handle the triennial activities, alternate sites were considered.

The city-owned lot on 31st Avenue was ultimately selected for the storage lockers because it has been identified as potentially the future home of a permanent art gallery.

“While the facility has not yet been realized, the scope of the international show has surpassed expectations,” said VPAG executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant in her presentation to GVAC Thursday.

“It’s exploded beyond our expectations.”

Nearly 180 artists from 35 countries applied to participate in the triennial, with a jury of three professionals selecting 23 of the top artists from 12 countries to be exhibited at the VPAG.

Big Steel Box is supplying five units to be installed at the satellite location for the show.

The VPAG is seeking money for additional costs such as signage, lighting, security and wages.

The property will be needed from March to July, including for set-up and dismantling of the lockers.

The opening reception is slated for March 19.

Admission to the show is by donation.

GVAC directors voted unanimously to recommend supporting the one-time-only request to the Regional District of North Okanagan directors.

Funding would come from tax requisition or reserves.

Electoral area C director Mike Macnabb, however, had some concerns.

“It’s a small part of a bigger picture and we don’t have a view of the big picture,” said Macnabb, referring to the event’s overall budget. “Donations only, in my mind, is a money loser. If they have a strong business plan, saying it’s $3 at the door, that gives me more comfort.”

Area B director Bob Fleming said he wasn’t “super comfortable” with approving funding on short notice.

“It’s for something we don’t know too much about,” said Fleming. “It looks like a good event and I hope it will do exactly what it proposes.”