Friday, April 16, 2010

Ossie and the Guerrilla

Ossie and Harriet's it aint! So if your looking for paintings to display over a nice living room sofa, or your still stuck in the 1950's somewhere like much of VanWa' s art patrons you will want to try another gallery.
A few of the paintings are as rough as the sawn cedar that frames the work. However this is just what VanWa needs in the ongoing evolution of our art community. VanWa needs a place where young artists can come together to fail and succeed just as it does in this opening exhibit of local artists work.

Let's be clear, the artists who are currently showing at Tryckpress Galleri and Guerrilla Gallery probably won't quit their day jobs anytime soon. But their hearts and minds are definitely in the right place. They are on the path and they believe that there is a market for the work that they are producing. Most of the work hanging in this show is in the two hundred dollar range. Much of it is worth the asking price. Some may not be, but that is hardly the point here. Everyone has their own esthetic influenced by how they value art, but all of us can understand the mechanics of patronage. Encouragement almost always is an essential component in the success of an artist long before the artistic breakout moment manifests.

Without bona-fide encouragement in the form of an Arts Commission these young artists have forged ahead to support themselves. A worthy tack, essential to surviving in VanWa: "If there is no wind in your sails...blow!"

Tryckpress Galleri (Ossie Bladine) and Guerrilla Gallery (Olin Unterwegner) have taken over nearly all the top floor of a Billy Dean (Dean Irwin, notable local arts supporter) property at 1001 Main street in downtown VanWa above the Rosemary Cafe. On a personal walk and squawk with Ossie, Olin and Mike (an investor/window washer extraordinare) I was reminded just how important it is for young artists to put themselves out there. Ossie and Olin, together with fellow artists Drew Taylor, Russ Mason and Lucas Adams "puke it out on white gallery walls", then have the “cajones” to invite facebook friends to check it out. It’s an act of social networking and gutsy guerrilla tactics. If you are just too old to appreciate this defiance, you will view this as an act of suicide. But to the youthful soul it is “the headlong rush into the bliss of making your mark in the world.” It is absolutely painful, and absolutely essential for young artists who are caught up in this need to create. The principles in this artistic venture have staked themselves with six months worth of cash in a bold move to bring their new galleries into existence. Let’s hope they make it, VanWa needs it! I for one will be curious to see how they blend it all together.

They’re in the infant stages of gathering like minds with like ambitions “who they get on with." It is part of a needed younger movement in the local arts scene that has been to long controlled by old proponents of what the arts should be like here in VanWa. This group like the new collective of artists in Uptown isn't sitting around waiting for an Arts Commission or a Center for the Arts. Their time is now and to postpone it is the real suicide!
The opening night reception is tonight Friday April 16th at 8pm

You can find them on the web at

and through the gallery listings on the Vancouver Voice search the gallery-listings

Llewellyn J. Rhoe
Founder, Arts Equity

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