I recently came back from a trip to Vancouver, and while there, I took a few day trips up in the mountains. If you’ve never been, I suggest you go. The views are spectacular.
ABOVE: Scott Hocking, The Reptile Room: Mercury Retrograde, installation
SiTE:LAB @ 54 Jefferson (formerly the Grand Rapids Public Museum)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
In 2012, SiTE:LAB took over the former home of the Grand Rapids Public Museum and filled the space with the work of 18 artists. The building, which was vacated in 1994, still contained a number of its dioramas and exhibits, and they, along with the artist’s installations, provided the viewer with a truly unique experience. It was surreal and creepy, and, it was the top venue at Artprize 2012.
ABOVE: Ai Weiwei, Straight, installation
Ai Weiwei: According to What? (Art Gallery of Ontario)
Having followed Weiwei’s exploits in the news, I was super excited to see this politically charged exhibition. Everything on display was deep, but I especially liked Straight (pictured above), which consisted of 150 tons of rebar recovered from schools that had collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake. They were all straightened, and on the wall behind them, were the names of the students who lost their lives in the quake. Heavy.
ABOVE: Gabriel Dawe, Plexus A1, installation
Wonder (Renwick Gallery)
In 2015, after a two-year renovation, the Renwick Gallery opened its doors to Wonder, an immersive exhibition featuring the work of 9 artists. Each was given a room to create a site specific installation, and the entire building became one immersive artwork. As the title suggests, it was a wonderful space to spend an hour two, and, judging by the long lineups to get in, it was a big hit with the locals too.