Kamloops Art Gallery
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- Garnet Dirksen
Garnet Dirksen works in photography, opting to shoot with film for its attachment to a
history of documentary photography. He looks at shifts in trade and industry, their effects on local economies and the human element within built environments. Having grown up in Merritt, BC, Dirksen has documented the effects of economic downturn and the closing of resource-based industries and their impact on workers, residents and associated businesses. He seeks out work spaces altered by labourers with their own personalized touch and the emptiness of spaces in the absence of them.
Currently residing in Montreal, QC, Dirksen explores the fur industry in the city after a decline in the 1990s and 2000s. He documents retail spaces, workshops, processing spaces and storage revealing a human element of those involved in the industry today. While it’s true there has been a recent resurgence in the market for fur, increased global competition and cheaper labour abroad have forced many of Montreal’s traditional furriers out of business. Dirksen looks at the changing industry through personal touches of workers within utilitarian spaces. The images show present-day working places and consider how inseparable this industry is from its role in the history of Canada. The images ask the viewer to question the relevance of this industry in contemporary terms and revisit its historical significance.
Location Information: Kamloops Art Gallery
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101 - 465 Victoria Street,
The Kamloops Art Gallery is a registered charity and not-for-profit society.
Incorporated in 1978, the Kamloops Art Gallery serves residents of and visitors to Kamloops (pop. 82,000) and the surrounding Thompson-Nicola Regional District (pop. 124,000) as well as national and international audiences.
In 1998, the KAG moved to a purpose-built civic building, designed by award-winning architects Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin, which also houses the Thompson-Nicola Regional District offices and the Kamloops branch of the TNRD Library System. The 20,853 square foot Gallery includes 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, an admissions/store area, two multipurpose studio/workshop/lecture rooms, a packing and acclimatization area, the collection storage vault with an adjoining workroom and, on a mezzanine above, administration and curatorial offices along with a research library. In 2006, the KAG was designated a Category “A” institution under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.
The Gallery’s annual attendance has ranged between 24,000 and 37,000 over the last five years. It enjoys a national reputation for its touring exhibitions and publications and has developed relationships with national and international artists, curators, critics and scholars. The KAG is also well respected for its exhibitions, events and educational and public programs through activities organized and presented in the community and region involving both contemporary and historical art. Its collection as of December 2012 consists of 2,700 works that primarily reflect the Gallery’s exhibition history. In 2005, the KAG co-commissioned with the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Canada’s participation in the 51st Venice Biennale with the work of Rebecca Belmore.
Governed by a Board of Trustees, the KAG maintains an effective organizational structure that includes a Management Team led by the executive director, a Program Team led by the curator and a Development Team led by the manager of operations. Teams meet monthly to report, evaluate, problem solve and plan.
The Kamloops Art Gallery brings art, artists and communities together.
The Kamloops Art Gallery is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The KAG acknowledges art to be an essential part of the human experience in nurturing a healthy society. As a leading cultural institution, the KAG is an integral part of the fabric that draws intellectual, social and economic opportunities to our province and to our region.
The Kamloops Art Gallery fosters enjoyment of and interest in the visual arts by researching, developing and producing exhibitions, publications and programs that engage, challenge and inform its various audiences. The Gallery also oversees the development and preservation of a permanent collection that includes regional, national and international art in all media. It also strives to create rewarding opportunities for visual arts professionals and the public.
- Committed to art, artists and audiences
- Collaborative, respectful and ethical
- Tolerant, inclusive and diverse
- Relevant to local and regional communities
- Striving for excellence
- Fiscally responsible