Upcoming Events

Katie Ohe and curator Katherine Ylitalo in Conversation

Friday, September 13, 6pm

Katie Ohe + Katherine Ylitalo

Join us for a conversation between artist Katie Ohe and curator Katherine Ylitalo of MONSOON at 6pm before the exhibition’s opening reception, 7-9pm.

Katie Ohe is considered one of Alberta’s pioneers of abstract art. Her six-decade career working in sculpture in a range of materials including steel, concrete, epoxy and chrome has spearheaded the abstract sculpture medium in Alberta. Ohe has exhibited extensively throughout Canada and internationally, and her sculptures are found in numerous public collections. Ohe has had significant positive influence as an artist, educator and philanthropist and is a fiercely beloved teacher and mentor. She has taught sculpture at the Alberta College of Art and Design since 1970, and her students include many successful and high-profile artists with international careers. Now in her 82 nd year of a very diverse, creative and exceptionally giving and nurturing life, she continues to experiment and remains an influential and driving force in Alberta’s contemporary art scene.

Katherine Ylitalo is a Calgary-based curator, writer, educator, garden historian and gardener and curator of Griffin’s MONSOON exhibition. As an independent curator, she has organized and written for exhibitions for several museums, galleries and artist-run-centres such as the Glenbow Museum, Nickle Galleries, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Dunlop Gallery and Stride . Usually, she has a number of projects on the go. Currently, she works at Founders’ Gallery, a remote site of the University of Calgary at The Military Museums of Calgary, is curator of the art collection of Bow Valley College, Calgary, is a monthly contributor to Avenue magazine and stewards the Mike MacDonald Butterfly Garden at the Banff Centre.

MONSOON Artists Roundtable

Saturday, September 14, 1pm

Katie Ohe

Artists’ Roundtable with Robin Arsenault, Isla Burns, Katie Ohe, Evan Penny and curator Katherine Ylitalo from MONSOON.

Robin Arseneault is a graduate of the Alberta University of the Arts (formally, Alberta College of Art & Design (BFA, 1998)) and the Edinburgh College of Art (MFA, 2005). A semi-finalist for the Sobey Art Award in 2007, Arseneault received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in 2008 and has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Arseneault’s practice includes sculpture, drawing, photography and collage. She has an active record of exhibitions including within Canada, USA, Scotland, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. In 2011, she collaborated with Paul Jackson to complete the public sculpture commission, Hunting Blind for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, that was on view at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Her work is represented by Jarvis Hall Gallery, Calgary, AB.

Isla Burns was born in Calcutta in 1952. She has a Diploma in sculpture from the Alberta College of Art, a MVA in Sculpture from the University of Alberta, and an extensive working experience as a welder in the aerospace and oil industry. Burns travelled frequently between five cities: Bombay, Monghyr, Saharanpur, Calcutta and Gauhati. This time and these places left an indelible visual memory which later became a deep source of inspiration in her Sculptures. While steel is Burns’ main medium, she has a longstanding interest in portraiture and the figure which are often incorporated in her work. Burns has been teaching at the University of Alberta since the early 80s. She received the Beta Sigma Phi Award in Art and Design in 1978, an Award for Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2002, and was inducted into the Cultural Hall of Fame in Edmonton in 2013. Burns has widely exhibited in Canada, and has worked and exhibited in the UK, USA, Spain and Greece.

Katie Ohe is considered one of Alberta’s pioneers of abstract art. Her six-decade career working in sculpture in a range of materials including steel, concrete, epoxy and chrome has spearheaded the abstract sculpture medium in Alberta. Ohe has exhibited extensively throughout Canada and internationally, and her sculptures are found in numerous public collections. Ohe has had significant positive influence as an artist, educator and philanthropist and is a fiercely beloved teacher and mentor. She has taught sculpture at the Alberta College of Art and Design since 1970, and her students include many successful and high-profile artists with international careers. Now in her 82 nd year of a very diverse, creative and exceptionally giving and nurturing life, she continues to experiment and remains an influential and driving force in Alberta’s contemporary art scene.

Evan Penny was born in South Africa in 1953, and immigrated to Canada in 1964. In 1975 he graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary with an Honours Fine Art Diploma. Two years later, he returned to the Alberta College of Art and Design and completed Post-Graduate studies in sculpture. From his earliest sculptural busts in the 1970s through to his first nude sculptures in the early 1980s, Penny has devoted himself to an examination of how the concepts of sculptural realism have been influenced by classicism, romanticism, and - most importantly for the artist – by the advent of traditional and digital photography. Over the past fifteen years Penny has stated that his interest has been to explore the discrepancies between the way we might experience each other in real time and space and the way we might imagine the equivalent in an image.

Reading the Contemporary: Art and Culture Talks at the Library with Griffin Art Projects with Sara-Jeanne Bourget

Thursday, September 26, 7:00-8:30pm

Sara-Jeanne Bourget

Located at the North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Branch, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 0A2

Join us for a presentation and discussion with Sara-Jeanne Bourget, current artist-in-residence. Bourget is the inaugural recipient of the Studio Residency Award, a new partnership between Griffin Art Projects and Emily Carr University. Continuing from her recent thesis project at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Bourget’s large scale works explore “physical and conceptual interconnections between “Rocks, Paper, and Charcoal,” based on [her] geological explorations and the inherent materiality of both paper and the artist’s own handmade charcoal.

Sara-Jeanne Bourget was born in Lévis, Québec in 1988. She obtained her BFA in Studio Arts at Concordia University (2015) and her MFA from Emily Carr University (2019). In 2016, she took part in residency programs in Finland, Quebec and Vermont where she also exhibited her work. She is the recipient of two grants (2017 & 2019) from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in support of her work and studies.

This talk is the first in a series of Tuesday evening talks with artists on their work and process throughout the fall of 2019, at North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Branch, featuring artists currently in residence at Griffin Art Projects, North Vancouver.

Family Day and North Vancouver Culture Days

Saturday, September 28, 1:00- 3:00pm

September Family Days

Please join us for an afternoon of participatory art making in the gallery related to the exhibition MONSOON for kids of all ages.

Public Art Walking Tour on the History of Spirit Trail With Mary Tasi and Wade Baker from Sky Spirit Consulting

Saturday October 5, 2:30-4:30pm

Join Mary Tasi and Wade Baker of Sky Spirit Consulting for a walking tour of artworks on the first section of the Spirit Trail, created in 2008 and 2009. We will visit Wade Baker’s stainless steel and red cedar sculpture, Gateway to Ancient Wisdom, and several curvilinear benches with art created by various Squamish Nation artists, located at the Mosquito Creek Marina oceanfront. There are 28 bronze disks in the benches that have all been created based on ancient story sharing from the elder’s workshops. Tasi and Baker will describe the land placemaking process, which was the first design collaboration between the City of North Vancouver and the Squamish Nation, and the narratives that the disks were based on. The project won the City of North Vancouver Award of Excellence for Public Art in 2013.

Meet at Lonsdale Quay main entrance on the ocean side, at the circular fountain (or in adjacent covered area in case of rain). The trail is a short 10 minute walk from the Quay. Please dress for the weather, and bring umbrellas and rain gear if needed.

Mary Tasi, Community Planning & Research Consultant. Mcip, Rpp Mary Tasi is a community planning consultant, art consultant, research consultant and author. She worked for many years in Ontario and Quebec as an urban planner and designer. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Planning Institute of British Columbia and the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. Tasi’s philosophy is that art brings community together. She has worked with the City of North Vancouver and the Squamish Nation to create the “Gateway to Ancient Wisdom” for the beginning of the North Shore Spirit Trail. This public art piece brought together elders, youth, landscape architects, builders, contractors, steelworkers, welders, politicians, and many others in an innovative, award-winning collaborative process. Tasi’s multi-disciplinary strengths include city planning, art project marketing, communications and policy. She uses innovative public engagement techniques and visioning that produces meaningful solutions to complex community issues. She has the ability to manage and communicate divergent ideas and conflicting visions or goals. She has marketing experience with over 100 galleries in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

Wade Baker, Mintledus, Oral History Expert Wade Baker is a sculptor, graphic designer and red cedar carver. He has been carving and creating art since he was a teenager. As a descendent of ancient Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Tlingit and Haida nobility, Baker has inherited a rich artistic legacy. In these traditions, art is not a separate activity but is interwoven in life, language, custom and culture. Art is a means of spiritual expression in which a design or piece of art can encompass an entire story. Baker’s preference is to create large public art sculptures. He has worked in steel, wood, glass, marble and many other mediums. His stainless steel North Star was commissioned for the 2010 Olympics and stands at the Vancouver Olympic Village site. One of the highlights for Baker was meeting Prince Charles when the North Star was unveiled in 2009. Baker has also produced smaller public art designs and in 2000, his wolf design was selected to be part of the Millennium series of Royal Canadian Mint quarters. 50 million quarters were produced with Baker’s design and are now in circulation. Baker is a member of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, and a Director at Large for Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia. Most recently, Baker is writing the history of his British ancestors Lieutenant Joseph Baker, an early mapmaker of the British Columbia Coast, and Robert Hunt, a fur trader and factor with the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1850’s.

Gardens and Wilds: Indigenous Walking Tour & Workshop

Saturday, October 12, 1-3pm

Cease Wyss and Katherine Ylitalo will discuss their work with gardens and Indigenous knowledge. Wyss will address North Vancouver’s local flora, her indigenous ties to the land, as well as her land-based work in relationship to her practice, while Ylitalo, a master gardener and curator, will discuss her work with The Butterfly Garden (1999), an art project by Mi’kmaq artist Mike MacDonald at the Walter Philips Gallery, Banff.

T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/Metis/Hawaiian/Swiss T’uy’t’tanat- Cease is an interdisciplinary artist who works with new and other mediums and community engaged and public art. She is currently developing two public art sites in Vancouver based in permaculture and other land based work. Cease is a Coast Salish ethnobotanist and is an emerging cedar and wool weaver with a textiles art practice that includes plant and other natural dyes. Through the IM4 :: Indigenous Matriarchs [An Indigenous Futurisms Lab, with Loretta Todd], Cease has become an emerging developer of XR Futures, and has developed a series of VR experiences for her Sacred Teachings Series. Cease is a beekeeper and a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast and lives in East Vancouver.

Katherine Ylitalo is a Calgary-based curator, writer, educator, garden historian and gardener and curator of Griffin’s MONSOON exhibition. As an independent curator, she has organized and written for exhibitions for several museums, galleries and artist-run-centres such as the Glenbow Museum, Nickle Galleries, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Dunlop Gallery and Stride . Usually, she has a number of projects on the go. Currently, she works at Founders’ Gallery, a remote site of the University of Calgary at The Military Museums of Calgary, is curator of the art collection of Bow Valley College, Calgary, is a monthly contributor to Avenue magazine and stewards the Mike MacDonald Butterfly Garden at the Banff Centre.

Reading the Contemporary: Art and Culture Talks with Griffin Art Projects with Lam Wong

Thursday October 24, 7:00-8:30pm

Located at the North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Branch, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 0A2

Join Lam Wong, recent artist-in-residence, for a presentation and discussion on his work, specifically his installation in the exhibition Person/ne at Griffin Art Projects, and accompanying series of tea ceremony performances.

Lam Wong is a contemporary artist, designer and curator based in Vancouver, BC. His interest is primarily rooted in regional West Coast art history, with an emphasis on the development of painting and its avant-garde narrative. Wong’s creative approach is often concerned with blending Eastern philosophies and challenging the notion of painting.

An immigrant from Hong Kong during the 1980s, Wong studied design, art history and painting, both in Alberta and British Columbia. He is currently practicing painting and tea related artwork as his main media. Wong sees art making as an on-going spiritual practice. His main subjects are the perception of reality, the meaning of art, and the relationships between time, memory and space. Wong has lived and worked in Vancouver since 1998.

During his time in residence at Griffin Art Projects, Wong created and performed his “間 / MA Trilogy”, a three-part series of tea ceremony performances taking place within the framework of the exhibition Person/ne, and staged in the gallery, residency studio, and outdoors at nearby Capilano River. Wong has a family history with the art of tea for over 15 generations, and creates performances situation his art practice within traditions of Chinese style tea ceremony (gongfu cha) and tea meditation.

Open Studio with Sara-Jeanne Bourget

Saturday, November 9, 1:00-3:00pm

Sara-Jeanne Bourget

Griffin Art Projects Artist Residency, 1180 Welch St, North Vancouver, BC V7P 2R5

2:00pm Artist talk with Sara-Jeanne Bourget

Join artist Sara-Jeanne Bourget to see the work she has made while in residence at Griffin, and for an intimate artist talk in the studio.

Conversations on Collecting

Thursday, November 21, 7-9pm

Join us for an evening of discussion with senior private and public collectors based in Alberta, regarding their support of the work and artists in the exhibition MONSOON, and the broader collecting scene in Alberta.

Building on one of Griffin Art Project’s mandates to make privately held art collections accessible to the public, this new and ongoing series is presented in partnership with the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver.

Reading the Contemporary: Art and Culture Talks with Griffin Art Projects with Mary Tasi and Wade Baker

Thursday, November 28, 7:00-8:30pm

Located at the North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Branch, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 0A2

Join Mary Tasi and Wade Baker for a presentation and discussion on their journey of the cultural research and the book they co-authored, The Hidden Journals (published 2015, revised edition 2018). The research has focused on the lost narratives of the Captain Vancouver era through an indigenous perspective, and the findings of the high level trading and personal relationships that occurred, through primary archival research and oral indigenous knowledge.

The Hidden Journals was presented to the Victoria Legislature in 2015 for excellence in primary source research bringing new perspectives to history. Over 1,000 copies were donated to North Shore High Schools in 2015, sponsored by Neptune Terminals and Port Metro Vancouver. The Hidden Journals is included in the North Shore Author’s Collection, a partnership between North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver District Public Library, and West Vancouver Memorial Library.

Baker and Tasi will share updated information on their ongoing research, including a Coast Salish ceremonial woven robe from 1793, currently in the collection of the Helsinki Museum, Finland, as well as the contemporary artworks Baker is developing based on ancestral methods and design. Mary Tasi, Community Planning & Research Consultant. Mcip, Rpp Mary Tasi is a community planning consultant, art consultant, research consultant and author. She worked for many years in Ontario and Quebec as an urban planner and designer. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Planning Institute of British Columbia and the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. Tasi’s philosophy is that art brings community together. She has worked with the City of North Vancouver and the Squamish Nation to create the “Gateway to Ancient Wisdom” for the beginning of the North Shore Spirit Trail. This public art piece brought together elders, youth, landscape architects, builders, contractors, steelworkers, welders, politicians, and many others in an innovative, award-winning collaborative process. Tasi’s multi-disciplinary strengths include city planning, art project marketing, communications and policy. She uses innovative public engagement techniques and visioning that produces meaningful solutions to complex community issues. She has the ability to manage and communicate divergent ideas and conflicting visions or goals. She has marketing experience with over 100 galleries in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

Wade Baker, Mintledus, Oral History Expert Wade Baker is a sculptor, graphic designer and red cedar carver. He has been carving and creating art since he was a teenager. As a descendent of ancient Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Tlingit and Haida nobility, Baker has inherited a rich artistic legacy. In these traditions, art is not a separate activity but is interwoven in life, language, custom and culture. Art is a means of spiritual expression in which a design or piece of art can encompass an entire story. Baker’s preference is to create large public art sculptures. He has worked in steel, wood, glass, marble and many other mediums. His stainless steel North Star was commissioned for the 2010 Olympics and stands at the Vancouver Olympic Village site. One of the highlights for Baker was meeting Prince Charles when the North Star was unveiled in 2009. Baker has also produced smaller public art designs and in 2000, his wolf design was selected to be part of the Millennium series of Royal Canadian Mint quarters. 50 million quarters were produced with Baker’s design and are now in circulation. Baker is a member of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, and a Director at Large for Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia. Most recently, Baker is writing the history of his British ancestors Lieutenant Joseph Baker, an early mapmaker of the British Columbia Coast, and Robert Hunt, a fur trader and factor with the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1850’s.

Decolonizing Design: Open Studio with Sierra Tasi Baker

Saturday, December 5, 1:00-3:00pm

Griffin Art Projects Artist Residency, 1180 Welch St, North Vancouver, BC V7P 2R5

Join artist Sierra Tasi Baker to see the work she has made while in residence at Griffin.

Decolonizing Design is a body of work relating to the built environment and the public realm. Sierra will use the studio space at GAP to further develop content explored in her Sustainable Urbanism Masters Thesis from University College London on “Decolonizing Consultation”. The space will be used to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and the testing of new ideas. Developing a uniquely Pacific Coastal Indigenous research methodology and aesthetic to celebrate and reclaim identity of place and power, the intention is to rapidly rewrite this visual narrative through art, architecture, urban form, history and academia to develop a mixed media solutions-based approach to decolonizing design. The work will be an embodiment of the artist’s design approach as expressed through form and conceptual analysis of the colonial context.

Sierra Tasi Baker, MSc, BEnvD is an award-winning Squamish Nation, Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Tlingit, Haida & Hungarian designer, community consultant, entrepreneur, artist, and storyteller. Her work focuses on furthering Indigenous design and research methodologies whilst focusing on daylighting hidden histories and reconciliatory narratives. Sierra has her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the University of British Columbia and her Master’s in Sustainable Urbanism from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London in London, England. Sierra’s company, Sky Spirit Consulting, leads Indigenous research and design initiatives locally and internationally.



View an archive of past events here.