|THE OPENING is all about delving into the fascinating, quirky and wonderful visual arts in Vancouver. Each week we’ll feature an artist, cover an exhibition, discuss a lecture and everything else in-between to delve deep into who and what makes art happen!|
To say that Jason Gowans and Michael Love can do it all is no exaggeration: at once gallery proprietors, curators, artists, and collaborators, they can just as easily build a smokehouse with their bare hands as they can see an exhibition through from production to installation. It was the former state of affairs that Love was initially occupied with when he let me into Gallery 295 on a torrential Sunday morning, rain-slicked from a motorcycle ride into the city from his home in the outlying suburbs. Under the industrious moniker of their collaborative effort, The Everything Co., Gowans and Love were to construct a cedar smokehouse in the heart of downtown Toronto for Nuit Blanche, during which they would smoke enough sushi-grade salmon to feed hundreds of spectators. (Though they had been fretting about the feasibility of such an undertaking at the time of this interview, a newly-returned and euphorically exhausted-looking Gowans reported to me last week that everything had gone even better than planned.)
Unsurprisingly, it was their collaborative work for The Everything Co. that allowed Gowans and Love to gain a foothold in the infamously reticent local scene after they moved here from Montreal. The pair threw barely-legal speakeasies that brought the art community together in otherwise inaccessible heritage spaces in the city, highlighting hidden local histories while serving up gallons of moonshine that they had distilled in their own basements. Like any law-dodgin’ moonshiners, however, Gowans and Love gave up the gig once word spread too far. Instead, they channelled their energy into opening Gallery 295 in the burgeoning contemporary art district at the base of Mount Pleasant, and now divide their time between their individual art practices, collaborations, and programming what has come to be the best roster of contemporary photography in the city.
Jason Gowans & Michael Love taste-testing some moonshine at 221A. Photo: 221A. …READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY>>>