Container doors open on new art show

We’ve bought you shipping containers that have been turned into art, this time we’re showing containers that display art.

VERNON – The shiny steel doors of Vernon’s new pop-up art gallery open to the public today.

The large metal shipping containers donated by BigSteelBox represent the first art gallery of its kind in the Okanagan. Designed to house a portion of the international Okanagan Print Triennial show, the satellite gallery at the corner of 31 Street and 31 Avenue was born when curators realized they didn’t have enough space at the main facility. It was either turn away exhibitors, or think outside the box.

“The versatility of BigSteelBox allows us to create an art space like no other in Canada. The containers have been stacked, connected and angled in such a way that the form itself is a work of art,” executive director for the Vernon Public Art Gallery Dauna Kennedy Grant said.

The art show features an array of works, from intricate wood block prints to large-scale digital images. The art gallery had hoped to display the exhibition at a brand new facility, but showing it in a modular space at least at the designated site of the future gallery was the next best thing, Kennedy Grant said.

Former Vernon mayor Sean Harvey, now the president of Modus Structures, which provided an interior wall system, noted how the conversation for a new art gallery started 15 years ago.

“As unique and creative as this temporary building is, I hope these steel containers serve another purpose: to draw attention to the continued lack of a modern, functional, long-term home for the Vernon Public Art Gallery,” Harvey stated in a release.

The public is invited to an opening reception Thursday at 6 p.m. starting at the Vernon Public Art Gallery and moving to the satellite space in the BigSteelBox. The show runs until May 21. Admission is by donation.