Art galleries in the downtown core with an interview with Margaret Chrumka of KAG August 31, 2023

In the heart of Kamloops’ bustling downtown, at the crossroads of Victoria Street and 5th Avenue, the Kamloops Art Gallery (KAG) lies as an artistic cornerstone that enriches the culture of our community. With the impeding fall season, the experiences the gallery offers are well worth your time. We chatted with the KAG’s Executive Director, Margaret Chrumka, to learn more about their upcoming programming and all the opportunities available for you to embark on a journey that inspires appreciation for art and creative thinking.

As the largest art gallery in the Interior of British Columbia, the KAG is a leader in Canada, hosting over 12 art exhibitions annually and offering studio-based programming for people of all ages and abilities.  

“Being a leader in a community the size of Kamloops, the KAG works with artists who are striving towards excellence,” said Chrumka. “What we try to do at the gallery is to inspire people to see and do things differently, to accept art forms that are not as mainstream as they might be used to.”

Every three to four months, the KAG features three new exhibitions that share the work of international, Canadian, and local artists. The gallery organizes exhibitions of contemporary and historical work and often brings in touring exhibitions from other Canadian art galleries, including the Vancouver Art Gallery.

This fall season, you can expect to find these two exhibitions:

  • Paula Durcharme: Tob Tob Kin – September 16 to December 30, 2023.

Featuring the work of a recent Thompson Rivers University Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, this exhibition creates abstract wall hangings incorporating traditions and new approaches drawn from her Indigenous ancestry, exploring the reconnection and cultural evolution of her identity as a Birdtail Sioux First Nations and settler artist.

  • Deanna Bowen: Black Drones in the Hive – September 23 to December 30, 2023

Curated in collaboration with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, this thought-provoking Black artist from Ontario sheds light on narratives often obscured by the mainstream, including the role of slavery and the impacts of racism shown through archival stories.

As Chrumka commented, “This exhibition shares a very clear and direct message about the history of racism throughout Canada, and it is important that we face this history and come to terms with it. Bowen does and exquisite job in sharing what many of us have not been willing to confront.”

Beyond these jaw-dropping installations, the KAG also has an Open Gallery, an admission-free space offering community-based art projects related to current exhibitions. And if you are looking for more hands-on activities, the KAG also hosts a variety of different studio programs every month, including interactive tours, art camps, and workshops.

Take advantage of the diverse, accessible, and affordable experiences at the KAG this fall season – Don’t forget admission is free every Thursday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm thanks to support from BCLC.

Besides visiting the KAG this fall, Downtown Kamloops is full of other art-inspired activities and spaces to explore.

We asked Margaret about her favourite things to do around the bustling streets and were not disappointed with what she said. Check them out for yourself:

The Kamloops Farmer’s Market – Now until October 28

Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, discover organic produce and arts and crafts from local vendors to spark your creativity. Every Wednesday from 8:30a – 1:30p on the 400 block of Victoria Street and every Saturday from 8:30a – 12:00p at the 200 block of St. Paul Street.

Kelson Hall Centre for Arts & Education – 330 St. Paul St.

This extraordinary cultural space is home to the Kamloops Symphony and Western Canada Theatre. Unwind and discover the amazing performances hosted here every month.

Kamloops Museum and Archives (KMA) – 207 Seymour St.

The KMA is one of the oldest museums across B.C., with over 20,000 artifacts, its collections present stories that define Kamloops. Check out their latest exhibitions to learn more about the history of this city.

The Art We Are – 246 Victoria St.

Enjoy local food, live music and amazing art pieces at this artisan restaurant and support small businesses in Kamloops.

As the temperature drops, take advantage of the opportunity to venture beyond and explore all the incredible art offerings throughout Kamloops. Accessible from the downtown hub, these experiences will surpass your expectations!

Author: Mandy Curtis Post Date: August 31, 2023

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