Laura Schneider (lleft) and Kris Foulds of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford accept an award from the B.C. Museums Association.

Laura Schneider (lleft) and Kris Foulds of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford accept an award from the B.C. Museums Association.

Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford wins provincial award

Award of Merit presented for Grand Theft Terra Firma exhibition

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford has won a provincial award for the exhibition Grand Theft Terra Firma by artists David Campion and Sandra Shields.

The museum received the Award of Merit-Excellence in Exhibitions from the BC Museums Association (BCMA). The organization recently presented its Awards for Outstanding Achievement at its annual conference in Kelowna.

The Grand Theft Terra Firma exhibition, which is currently touring across Canada, blends the social awareness of contemporary art with rigorous historical research.

The artists use popular culture, specifically the visual language of video gaming, to disrupt the celebratory mythology of nation-building which is common to museums.

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The exhibition combines photography and installation, and was developed in collaboration with many partners and advisors from the Stó:lo community.

Grand Theft critically reconsiders Canada’s colonial history within the particularities of local experiences in S’ólh Téméxw, now more commonly known as B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

“To be recognized by our peers in this way is really an honour, especially given that the exhibition straddles so many disciplines – it is certainly not a straightforward museum exhibition,” said Laura Schneider, executive director and curator of the exhibition.

Grand Theft Terra Firma, which debuted at The Reach in 2017, was most recently presented at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery (Halifax) this past summer.

In 2019, it will be presented in Saskatoon at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre (University of Saskatchewan) and the Art Gallery of Peterborough in Ontario before returning to B.C. in 2020 to be exhibited at Gallery 2: Grand Forks and District Art and Heritage Centre.