Abbotsford – The Reach Gallery Museum is welcoming submissions from regional artists for the Fraser Valley Biennial exhibition. This is the seventh iteration of the Fraser Valley Biennial, an exhibition that showcases exceptional artwork produced by artists in the Fraser Valley region over the past two years. Since its launch in 2011, the Biennial has helped to facilitate and contextualize local and regional visual art practice, while broadening the public’s awareness and appreciation of the immense creative talent that finds its home in the Fraser Valley. Each iteration is organized by a guest curator to support the widest range of creative possibilities and perspectives.
The full exhibition will premiere at The Reach from January to May, 2023. Smaller, specially curated versions will then be presented by regional partners throughout the remainder of the 2023 calendar year. This year, the Biennial welcomes two new presenting partners—The Langley Arts Council and the Fort Gallery—in addition to long-time partners at the Abbotsford Arts Council, Mission Arts Council, Kent Harrison Arts Council, and Chilliwack Visual Artists Association.
This year The Reach has invited Candace Couse to be the Guest Curator. Couse is an Assistant Professor of visual art at the University of the Fraser Valley School of Creative Arts. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Calgary (2010) and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Brock University (2020). Couse’s work has been exhibited across Canada, the USA, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Trinidad, Pakistan, Nepal, Iceland, and India.
This Year’s Theme: The Body
For the 2023 Biennial, artists are encouraged to submit work that deals in some way with the theme of “the body.” This may be interpreted in a wide variety of ways; just some possible approaches could include a focus on issues of ability and disability, disease, strength and resilience, the body as it relates to others, the earth, and the universe, the body as a system, the body as metaphor, the five senses, or the relationship between the body and technology. Artists are encouraged to experiment and explore the theme as broadly as possible!
“I always look forward to the Biennial, it’s such an exciting opportunity to see what artists in our community are making,” said Adrienne Fast, The Reach’s Curator of Art & Visual Culture. “With this one exhibition, I learn more about the creative landscape of this region than I do in two years’ worth of studio visits!
This will be the third Biennial that I’ve been involved with, and in that time I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of applications – which tells me that more and more artists are calling the Fraser Valley home. I can’t wait to see what we receive, and what our guest curator creates for 2023.”
To be eligible to apply, artists must currently reside in the Fraser Valley region or have lived in the region in the last two years. For purposes of this exhibition, the Fraser Valley is defined as the region from Hope to Langley. Only original works of art can be submitted for consideration, and all works must have been produced in the last two years (2021-2022).
The deadline to apply is October 15, 2022. Visit www.thereach.ca/submissions to download an application form.