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Gabriola Island artists explore how COVID and climate change intersect

Three-day art show will be held at Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre from March 17-19
The art exhibit ‘COVID versus Climate Change,’ in which seven artists explore both topics, will take place at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre from March 17-19. (Submitted image)

In a group exhibit, Gabriola Island artists will examine how “one of the world’s deadliest threats” impacted or intersected with a global pandemic.

The free-to-attend art show, ‘COVID versus Climate Change,’ will be held at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre from March 17-19, showcasing the work of carol weaver, Corinne Flaws, Lynne Quarmby, Shawn Riverstone, Yarrow Koontz, Tyrrell Clarke and Nerissa Layton. The event will include a gallery viewing, as well as public discussions throughout the weekend.

Executive director of the Gabriola Arts Council, Carol Fergusson, said the idea for the event was initially presented to her by the environmental organization, Sustainable Gabriola, as a means to have a discussion in which artists are actively part of the climate change conversation.

Fergusson said “the onslaught” of COVID has caused both negative and positive impacts on climate change.

“Plants started coming back, water was cleaner, the air was cleaner, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere dropped quite significantly,” she said. “And … with all the waste that was happening from masks … and more plastic, it had a negative impact on climate change as well.”

The executive director said the seven artists were selected based on how they expressed their opinions and views on the interpreted theme, and that the heart of the exhibit will be in the conversations that take place over the weekend.

“We knew that it was going to end up with some interesting conversations in the gallery while people were looking at the work and remembering different things about those dark two years, 2020 and 2021,” she said.

Each interpretation will be as unique as the artist, as they collectively offer a diverse representation of the island’s artists.

Work on display will include installations, textile, paintings and a drum, accompanied by artists’ statement on their understanding of how the topics impact and intersect.

‘COVID versus Climate Change’ was developed via the Gabriola: Together we Triumph community grant from the federal government as an art for discussion show with no sales.

The exhibit’s opening will be Friday, March 17, at 7 p.m., followed by gallery viewing hours from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Six of the artists will talk on Saturday in two sessions, first at 1 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday at noon, Sustainable Gabriola will lead a discussion speaking directly to the artists about their work.

READ MORE: Shop window art show explores COVID-19, the Black Death and the Renaissance

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Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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