February 26 to March 22, 1992
Images and Objects is an annual provincial juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts coordinated by the Assembly of BC Arts Councils. It is preceded each year by twelve qualifying regional shows, from which over two hundred works in total are selected from the thousands submitted for display in the provincial showcase. Thanks to the sponsorship of BC Festival of the Arts Society, the Assembly is able to offer artists whose works are selected for inclusion in Images and Objects subsidized delegate status to attend the Festival. While at the Festival, artists have the opportunity to participate at no charge in professional development workshops organized by the Assembly on their behalf.
After the dismantling of Images and Objects VIII last summer, while I was writing thank you knots to countless volunteers and sponsors, I began to ask myself, “What does all this mean? Are we serving the artists in the province the best way possible? How can we improve what we’re doing?” I started to think of the many things that we could do to help Images and Objects grow, to be more than just another art exhibition. In speaking with Deborah Meyers, the executive director of the Assembly, we found that we shared the same vision, the same dream. Deborah and I spent many hours discussing regional development and ways of improving the system.
There is more to Images and Objects than just the exhibition. By providing access to the jurors in the regions this year and an intensive workshop schedule at the Festival we encourage artists in their professional development. We are currently striving to bring workshops out to the regions during the year and would like to incorporate discussion sessions concerning the establishment of a mentor program and touring a segment of Images and Objects throughout the regions.
A driving question continues to be, “What are the needs of community-based artists, not only the two hundred and forty that have been selected for Images and Objects, but the thousands of others who submit to this exhibition?” We believe that it is essential for the jurors to be available for interaction with artists in each region, bringing not only their own professional opinions and expertise, but also serving as a link among all the regions by sharing other regions’ concerns. The theme serves as a cohesive starting point for conversation among all regions. While we must have our own identity, our own regionalism, we are all ultimately linked to a whole: the whole of British Columbia, which extends to Canada, which extends to North America and the rest of the planet.
In my opinion, one of the main functions of art is to get the conversation going. Artists are important part of their communities, especially if they provide the images needed to stimulate conversation within those communities. Conversation has definitely been generated this year by having a theme. This theme and other changes have challenged artists to stretch their boundaries and in turn, this has challenged viewers to look at the art in their communities more closely and to see its potential.
Francesca Lund, Images and Objects IX Coordinator, Assembly of BC Arts Councils.
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