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Hour of the Untitled chimes for Vancouver's art scene

How does a small gallery survive amongst the louder voices in a large city?

Hard work and collaboration seem to be the crux for the ‘Untitled’ art space in Chinatown, managed by photographer Lauren D. Zbarsky, which showcases a wide range of art focusing on different mediums.

Operating on a weekly schedule rotation, this space has a diverse voice among other galleries in Vancouver. This is thanks to the versatility within the space itself, which lends itself to transformation, as well as the artists represented.

Attention on group collaboration is what makes ‘Untitled’ click, and what resonates most with the community. As Zbarsky nears the end of her first year at the gallery, she is looking towards year two and what that means: “People are responding to things really well…its been a combination of right place, right time…and although there are a lot of galleries in Vancouver there isn’t a space quite like this, with a focus on collaborative work, which allows the work to reach a larger audience.”

Zbarksy notes that one of her favourite parts of curating an exhibit is the interaction between different art forms - the mixing of the mediums within a show – and how that brings about a sense of affinity between artists, something that she’d like to foster more of in the future.

When we meet at ‘Untitled’ the current group show, Once Our Land, is being installed and Zbarsky talks excitedly about how this show is the first exhibition for her gallery that highlights international artists, which she hopes is the first of many. Once Our Land features 45 top artists from around the world, who have created work inspired by Peter Ricq's newly completed graphic novel. The show is in partnership with Fortune Sound Club and their street-level space will also display works.

The graphic novel is a post-apocalyptic tale set in 1830s Germany. The tale focuses on two survivors; Fritz, a 62 year old warrior with a big heart and Ingrid, an 11 year old survivor who never gives up hope, as they “battle each day against mysterious invaders that have surfaced and wiped out everything they once knew.” Ricq’s novel is a fantasy, Sci-Fi period piece for both young and older audiences.

The work in the exhibit is a reflection of the broad, still distinct, range of work represented at ‘Untitled’, not only a mixing of mediums, but also showcasing both sides to any good story. A dark, yet fun sense of whimsy strikes you surveying all the works in the space.

Once Our Land opens Friday, December 4th at ‘Untitled’, 436 Columbia Street. The exhibit will run until December 11th. Please e-mail [email protected] to arrange viewings during the week.

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