Zona Wale exhibit first to open Art Room in Chilliwack

There’s a bright new space for the arts in Vedder, and this summer will see it fill with gallery displays, classes, workshops and more than a few hands-on arts and crafts.

The Chilliwack Community Arts Council has been prepping the Art Room for over a year, and last summer saw a smattering of trial classes and events. This summer looks to be a completely different experience, according to executive director Patti Lawn.

“Now we’re just full steam ahead,” she says with a laugh.

They opened the summer season with the first-ever solo exhibit in the gallery space, showcasing the work of Zona Wale.

Her bold lines and vibrant colours were a natural choice; as one of the founding members of the Chilliwack Visual Artists Association, she’s been a pillar of Chilliwack’s artistic community for decades. Hanging her work in the Art Space is a way of celebrating the future by honouring the past.

The grand opening of space and exhibit on May 10, Lawn says, packed the house.

“It was a very successful event,” she says. “They came to meet her and speak with her, and she was very touched that this happened.”

Lawn foresees a future of rotating art—something the council planned for when they purchased the storefront.

“One of the things that was important to the group was that there was a wall we were able to place art on—and we kept it that way, and made it accessible,” Lawn says. “It’s a lovely gallery space… it’s there for anyone to relate, to enjoy, and experience.”

The space is also designed to be flexible: tables can be set up and moved around to provide the perfect working environment for almost anything artsy, from crayon crew to drama camp to cooking classes.

“There are lots of creative opportunities,” Lawn says with a broad grin. “Look out for us, because we’re going to be expanding.”

The Art Space is located at #20-5725 Vedder Rd., and gallery hours run Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.chilliwackartscouncil.com for more information on classes and exhibits.


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