This piece by Erica Grimm is titled Lifeboat 3 and is made of dogwood branches, cheesecloth, bathymetric maps of the ocean, beeswax, binder twine and LED lights. (Sharon Huget photo)

Five new exhibitions kick off new year at The Reach

Opening reception at Abbotsford gallery on Jan. 18

The Reach Gallery Museum kicks off the new year with five new exhibitions.

The public is invited to meet the artists, connect with the arts community, and enjoy appetizers at an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way.

Salt Water Skin Boats is an inter-arts project by Abbotsford-based visual artist Erica Grimm in collaboration with acclaimed sound artist Sheinagh Anderson and artist/arborist Tracie Stewart.

This large-scale installation features sculptural forms based on ancient water-going vessels and made from willow, dogwood, fig, and cedar branches, cheesecloth, animal skin and gut, bathymetric maps of oceans, and layers of wax.

The Projectionist by Winnipeg artist Mark Neufeld brings together video, painting, performance, and objects from The Reach’s historical collections.

It explores cinematic histories, settler narratives, gender roles, and museum collections.

In Search by Image, Langley artist Christopher Friesen’s recent paintings are based on the ubiquity and circulation of imagery from the Western art historical canon.

Mission-based artist Marjatta Itkonen presents her recent project Touch.

She creates figurative paper sculptures that recall her relationship with her mother, who remained in Finland when she came to Canada in 1972.

Rounding out this robust season of exhibitions is Art on Demand 4.1. Curator Kendra Anderson has selected paintings that remind viewers that abstract expressionism is very much still alive in recent paintings by Joy Kinna.

Kinna was raised in the Fraser Valley and currently lives in Langley, where she attends Trinity Western in her third year.

On the heels of the opening reception, The Reach hosts a free talk with Mark Neufeld on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.

Neufeld is an artist working out of Winnipeg, where he currently teaches at the University of Manitoba School of Art. He works with a variety of media, though painting remains the starting point for his activities.

Also this month, Brunch with the Artists takes place on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 10:30 a.m. at The Reach.

Guests will enjoy brunch and conversation with the artists presented in the current season of exhibitions. The casual meal is followed by a relaxed tour of the exhibitions.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for guests. They are available by pre-registration at thereach.ca or in person. The new exhibitions run until May 7.

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