Jeff Wilson / Mike Ambach & Avi Sternberg

August 16 - September 10, 2016

Opening reception: Friday August 19, 7-9pm

Jeff Wilson (Main Gallery)

"Back in the Eastside"

Jeff Wilson is a Scottish-Canadian artist based in Vancouver. He works within the Scottish tradition of realist painting, influenced by the colours & compositions of the Group of Seven. Jeff likes to paint pictures of everyday observations of subjects that are illustrate a story or issue distinctive to a given place, working with unusual compositions that are cropped & asymmetric and a rich colour palette. The collection of paintings in this show illustrates distinct local narratives present in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES), such as the distinctive streetscape of sawtooth Victorian/Edwardian architecture, incorporating legacy neon signage; the presence and resilience of disenfranchised residents; emerging traditions of First Nations protest; the presence and role of First Responders; the presence/absence of objects in the streetscape; urban wildlife. The DTES forms a significant part of the industrial and residential history of Vancouver. It is home to many of Vancouver’s poorest and most marginalised people, and their continued presence has been a focus for Vancouver policing, drug and health policy for several decades. Conversely, the resulting lack of development during the 20th Century has allowed the original Edwardian urban landscape to remain intact, while the rest of downtown Vancouver has undergone 50 years of redevelopment.

Mike Ambach & Avi Sternberg (Mini Gallery)

"Itamae: Scenes From a Life in Front of the Cutting Board" 

This photo and text exhibit recounts the story of Avi Sternberg's eight-year apprenticeship in the art of traditional Kaiseki cuisine in Northern Japan. A decade later, Avi returns to Japan to reunite with his mentors, colleagues, and teachers and gather material for a book recounting this transformative stage of his life. Photographer Mike Ambach accompanies him and documents his story with images. From the fiercely demanding environment of the kitchen to the calm of the traditional tea ceremony, the images and words of this collaboration explores this apprentice’s challenging process of growth and often hilarious voyage of a man facing cultural barriers, demanding mentors, and inner demons.

Mike Ambach is a Prince Rupert photographer with an eye for both documentary-style and fine art imagery. He shoots both digital and film. Mike enjoys all kinds of photography, but is particularly drawn to photographing places that evoke a strong sense of identity and character, or sites that otherwise suggest stories or evidence of human use and history.

Avi Sternberg is a Smithers-based chef instructor for Northwest Community College. He spent eight years training in traditional Japanese cuisine. He holds his Red Seal, Chef de Cuisine certification and poisonous blowfish license. Avi is overjoyed with the availability of local foods in the Bulkley Valley and continues to seek new cooking methods and flavors which he can absorb into his daily cooking repertoire.