The Charles H. Scott Gallery is proud to present Goodbye Charles, an exhibition that celebrates Charles Hepburn Scott, an artist, educator and our gallery’s namesake, in commemoration of the latest chapter in our history. In the fall of 2017 we will relocate to the new Emily Carr University campus on Great Northern Way in East Vancouver where the Charles H. Scott Gallery will be renamed the Libby Leshgold Gallery. This exhibition offers a glimpse into Scott’s creative practice through the inclusion of his paintings, drawings, sketchbooks and writings. Contemporary artists that have exhibited at the Charles H. Scott Gallery have also been invited to respond to the occasion. A diverse list of artists have contributed portraits of Scott to a bookwork, and two additional projects will be situated within the gallery by London-based artist duo Cullinan Richards and Vancouver artist Ron Tran.
As a catalyst, organizer and champion of artistic freedom, Scott helped to shape and define the arts in the city of Vancouver. Along with a core of committed artists and patrons, Scott was instrumental in the founding of the BC Arts League, the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts and the Vancouver Art Gallery, laying the foundation for our internationally recognized contemporary art scene. He had an unshakeable belief in the importance and value of the creative arts.
It was under Scott’s supervision that the students at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts began mounting their annual Beaux Arts Ball and other costumed amateur theatrics. The first ball occurred in 1929 with a medieval-theme. Scott took an active role in these spectacles and his own interest in staging and costumes was evident in his sketchbooks and working notes from his student days at the Glasgow School of Art. Not only did the annual ball raise the profile of the art school within the local public imagination, these kinds of events also helped to strengthen bonds within the art community itself. Further evidence of this can be seen in the summer sketching camps on Savary Island that the school organized and he led, at which students and artists/teachers would sketch and paint en plein air, engage in critiques of each other’s work and perform in concerts and plays, often creating costumes out of the flotsam and jetsam found on the beach. Images and anecdotal recollections of such trips evidence a relaxed camaraderie within the group of participants.
For the Goodbye Charles exhibition Cullinan Richards and Ron Tran respond to the Beaux Arts Balls and the spirit of the Savary Island camps. Cullinan Richards have been shown in both group and solo exhibitions at the Charles H. Scott Gallery. Their installations explore painting, drawing, sculpture, theatricality and exhibition-making. Commonplace materials are employed in the production of their work, including plastic, cardboard, house paint and tape—standard materials used by artists in the making of their work rather than as the finished product.
Like Cullinan Richards, Vancouver artist Ron Tran has had both solo and group exhibitions at the Charles H. Scott Gallery. Tran makes work using a wide range of media and much of his work is performative and temporal in nature, with a sense of community and generosity at play. Tran often works collaboratively with other artists in projects that play with and break down the notions of authorship and the rarefied art object.
London artists Charlotte Cullinan and Jeanine Richards have worked together for 20 years, first under the moniker Artlab and more recently as Cullinan Richards. They have exhibited their work widely, including exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery, London; South London Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art, Seville, Spain; Daniel Spoerri Foundation, Seggiano, Italy; Whitstable Biennale, Kent, UK; and Kunstmuseum Lucerne, Switzerland.
Ron Tran has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Canada, Europe and Asia. He was recently awarded a Mayor’s Arts Award (Vancouver, 2015) and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien residency (Berlin, 2014). His work is featured in Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes, published by Phaidon Press.
Presenting Sponsor: RBC Wealth Management