Vancouver Art Gallery


Escape Vancouver Completely (by way of North Vancouver) Without Touching a Car
Part 1 of 5 – The Vancouver Art Gallery

This year my wife and I were celebrating a significant wedding anniversary and decided to get away from it all and actually relax.

As you might imagine, children complicate matters; we could not go far for long. I devised an escape that would let us feel like we got away from it all while still maintaining a reasonable distance in case of an emergency.

My second objective was to be able avoid having to use a car. We like wine and beer and traffic in the Lower Mainland does not lend itself to a sense of relaxation.

Therefore our escape started in the calm confines of the Vancouver Art Gallery. This building is a former provincial courthouse. The two grand entrances still look grand but are not entrances anymore. You access the gallery via Hornby Street near Robson Street.

The Hornby Street Entrance

This is the grand non entrance.

My decision to go to the Art Gallery was not based on a special exhibit; I had no idea what special exhibit was running. In fact, there wasn’t one. The main gallery level was, strangely, being painted in preparation for the eventual display of what I assume would be paintings.

This did leave us with a discounted entry fee of $18 rather than the $24. This meant that the main attraction was on the top floor where they have Emily Carr’s paintings. Emily Carr was a British Columbian painter (1871 – 1945). Her style, in my non-artist’s view, is impressionism applied to Pacific Northwest nature. It makes for an odd sensation, but she’s a BC darling with an art school named after her.

These three images I found compelling. Click on them for the larger version.

The next floor down featured multimedia artwork display about the advent of the atomic bomb. The signage said that the horrors of this type of warfare inspired artists to drop the traditional art forms to try to capture just how disturbing the nuclear age was and is.

This mock poster made me laugh out loud. Perhaps it’s my age group, but we generally thought Reagan and Thatcher we absurd. Given the current insanity in the US, I almost (stress almost) wish for those times.

This rather depressing display led us to the Gallery Café. It is cafeteria style, but the food and drinks are upscale. It’s a peaceful setting with outdoor seating. Although, the starlings and crows have made a good living snacking on leftovers. Cheeky monkeys.

City view from the Gallery Café

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Our next step was to take the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay and truly escape the city.

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