Art Exposed makes a virtual comeback

The annual art exhibition has returned with a new online platform

The Kamloops Arts Council also included a virtual tour of Art Exposed this year, which is available on their Facebook page for anyone who wishes to view the two-minute video. (Elizabeth Nygren/The Omega)

In 2021, Art Exposed received over 150 submissions to the annual art exhibition, with artists contributing pieces from across the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD).

“Art Exposed is a juried art exhibit, and it happens annually; this is our 11th annual regional art exhibit,” Terri Hadwin, Executive Director of the Kamloops Arts Council, said. The KAC accepts artwork from emerging and established artists in the TNRD for the exhibition, and they showcase both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kamloops Arts Council had to adjust the event to account for the COVID-19 regulations in place. These adjustments included only allowing four guests into the building at a time and hosting the awards ceremony of winners online.

“Obviously, we couldn’t have hundreds and hundreds of people coming through here,” Hadwin said. Regarding the awards ceremony, Hadwin said: “We did a short film where we interviewed the artists that were recognized as the winners of first place and second place in their category. I think that was a really wonderful addition to this year’s event and something we would actually really like to look into doing in the future.”

This year’s event did not contain as many pieces as previous years, only having 159 pieces, compared to last year’s event, which had 230 pieces.

“I feel like we had a lot of good representation from artists throughout the TNRD,” Hadwin said. She noted that during the week of Art Exposed, the Old Courthouse Cultural centre was typically at max capacity and that they had to take reservations. 

“Our sales were down this year which was a little bit disappointing,” Hadwin said, “especially with the calibre of talent that was up on display, but we understand that people are a little bit closer to their wallets than they have been in the past.”

The Kamloops Arts Council also included a virtual tour of Art Exposed this year, which is available on their Facebook page for anyone who wishes to view the two-minute video.

Hadwin said, “We’ll keep those virtual elements up just so that people can have a look to see what our exhibits are like and hopefully, in 2022, when they come to visit us, they’ll have a good idea of what it might look like.”

Art Exposed is an opportunity for emerging, established, and young artists to present their work to the community, whether it be their first time or 50th time.

“This year I guess more than anything it was really important to give artists an opportunity to showcase their artwork and something to look forward to,” Hadwin said. “Just in general, I think it’s a really great opportunity for artists to be able to put their artwork up on display.” 

The KAC is lucky to have support from the Kamloops community to host this event. This year, the sponsors of Art Exposed were Petland Kamloops, New Gold Afton Mine, and the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

Hadwin said, “Without the sponsorship it actually would not happen, or we would have to charge substantially more to our artists which is always worst-case scenario.”

Anyone wishing to check out the online showing of Art Exposed can check out the Kamloops Art Council Facebook page at Kamloops Arts Council. Those wishing to learn more about the annual art show can check out kamloopsarts.ca.

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