Art may be all around us, but the Vernon Public Art Gallery – nestled beneath a parking structure on 31st Avenue – wants to take their art somewhere else.
The gallery moved into its current location several years ago under the assumption that it would only be a temporary home, but for a variety of reasons ranging from funding to politics, VPAG has been unable to find a more suitable spot.
However, light is on the horizon for VPAG supporters and employees who have proposed a new location along with building plans for the new structure. Public interest is one of the main hurdles standing in the way of the transition process and making it difficult for the plan to come into fruition.
“When we ask people if Vernon should get a new art gallery, most say one of two things: either, ‘We have an art gallery?’ or ‘No, we need more trees or places for sports,’” says Nicholas Duong, an attendant for the gallery.
Aside from holding art exhibitions and offering individual pieces for sale, the gallery offers a variety of services such as weekly presentations and even art for rent. The VPAG houses an entirely Canadian collection, which is dominated by pieces from right here in the Okanagan.
According to the gallery’s executives, the current space is not sufficient for the safe storage of art. They cite recent water leaks – which compromise humidity and potentially damage certain pieces – as one of the reasons they hope to move.
They also hope a better location would attract more visitors and stimulate not only the community, but also the economy as a whole by increasing participation in the arts and cultural involvement by residents of the North Okanagan.
-- Will Latta