House of All Sorts

About This Exhibition

This exhibition began with an invitation from Artist for Kids (AFK) to the students of Patrik Andersson’s PRAX 300 (Dialogues in Curating) class at Emily Carr University of Art & Design to research and activate the vast collection of art in the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art located on Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.

Artists for Kids was established in 1990 through a generous partnership among some of Canada's most renowned artists and the North Vancouver School District. Their mission has been to build an art education legacy for the children of British Columbia. By the 2000s the activities and art collection had grown substantially enough to warrant a new gallery which opened in its current location in 2012 and was named after one of the Founding Patron Artists, Gordon Smith (1919-2020), who along with Jack Shadbolt (1909-1998) and Bill Reid (1920-1998) initiated the AFK Artist Edition program which helps fund educational activities as well as the purchase of art work for the collection.

With this invitation from AFK, Patrik Andersson, along with Orly Ashkenazy, Sierra Bronkhorst, Tallon Ellison, Dorsa Hadikhanloo, James Peach and Vance Wright spent February and March of 2021 working with the staff of AFK to explore and understand the collection in order to activate it through their individual curatorial interests. A group decision was made to produce a unified exhibition that nonetheless allowed each curator to narrate their own selection of art work and, in some cases, invite artists not included in the collection to become part of the dialogue. This includes current ECU students and Alumni. Due to COVID, the physical exhibition has not been open to the public but we are proud to present it virtually to promote the importance of AFK and the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art and highlight the many connections it has with students, alumni, faculty and staff at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The title of the exhibition is a reference to the artist Emily Carr’s book The House of All Sorts, written in 1944 after having endured the restraints of WW II. It seemed an apt title during our own pandemic times.

Special thanks to the staff at AFK. In particular its director Allison Kerr and Vice Principal of Arts Education Daylen Luchsinger for inviting us to work hands-on with the collection and gallery, as well as archivist Marilyn Ramen, installer Emily Neufeld (ECUAD Alumni) and photographer Khim Hipol (currently a student at ECUAD). Finally a big thank you to Wil Aballe of WAAP for lending and transporting work.

All Installation Photography by Khim Hipol. Courtesy AFK and The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art