New Exhibitions Launching On Friday At The Reach In Abbotsford

The Reach Gallery Museum will open three new exhibitions that consider concepts such as influence, adaptation and collaboration through unique artistic practices.

An opening party is planned for Friday (September 23) at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome and guests will enjoy light refreshments and a cash bar. Admission is by donation.

New fall exhibitions feature the work of two contemporary Indigenous artists. Ó:xwest kw’e Shxwelí lá ye Mestiyexw (Give Spirit to Men) is an exhibition by Speplól Tanya Zilinski, presenting a collection of traditional beaded tapestries. The Ts’qols (Hope) resident artist was tutored in beadwork by Mary Sandoval, an elder of the Chawathil First Nation.

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Zilinski combines elements of her lived experience and training in the Coast Salish Territory with age-old influences like Anishinaabe beadwork to express complex narratives grounded in traditional teachings and oral lore. Zilinski sees the finished works as a link between the past and the future: each piece is inspired by a vision received by the artist from their ancestors and intended to serve as an heirloom for future descendants.

The nationally touring exhibition Catherine Blackburn: New Age Warriors similarly strikes a balance between traditional beadwork and contemporary design. Blackburn’s futuristic warrior attire and plastic Perler beaded language medallions celebrate the strength, resilience and resourcefulness of her ancestors and the women in her life.

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Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak, Sask., is of Caucasian descent and a member of the English River First Nation. The exhibition is curated by Jesse Campbell, organized by Mann Art Gallery and distributed by Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina.

Becoming|Un|Becoming: The Art of Leah Decter features nearly 20 years of work by the artist, including some that are being exhibited for the first time. Decter’s artistic practice is dedicated to the critique of the settlers’ colonial claims, and she often models strategies for decolonization through collaborative engagement. Throughout her career, Decter has prioritized meaningful, mutually supportive collaborations with Indigenous partners, and this new exhibition is the result of a long-term collaboration between the artist and two guest curators, Carla Taunton and Rachelle Dickenson.

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