West Van gallery curator sets sight on Art Vancouver

Curator Lisa Wolfin selected North Van-based Anne Gudrun’s bold flowers for the entrance of Hollyburn Country Club. - Michaela Garstin
Curator Lisa Wolfin selected North Van-based Anne Gudrun’s bold flowers for the entrance of Hollyburn Country Club.
— image credit: Michaela Garstin

Modelled after internationally renowned art conventions such as Europe’s Art Basel, Art Vancouver’s inaugural year will feature dozens of artists from the North Shore, across the Lower Mainland and around the world.

After visiting Art Toronto, Lisa Wolfin, curator for Hollyburn Country Club in West Van, knew the Lower Mainland was missing what many other major cities have — an event where the public can view the work of hundreds of top artists at one location.

“Art Basel is a famous week-long event. People come from around the world,” says Wolfin about her inspiration.

Like Art Vancouver, Art Basel showcases museum-quality pieces by proven masters alongside the work of emerging artists. Similar artshows run in Hong Kong, Miami Beach and other cities.

Art Vancouver will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre next Feb. 26 to March 1.

“There are countless artists on the North Shore and Vancouver. I’m always discovering another great one,” says Wolfin on a tour of Hollyburn Country Club, where the extensive walls act as a gallery for club members and the public.

Paintings of bold flowers by Anne Gudrun, a North Van-based artist, hang at the front of the club. Farther down, Deep Cove’s Tansy Sverre, known for her vivid colours, is joined by other artists from the North Shore, Bowen Island, elsewhere in the Lower Mainland and Alberta.

With this curatorial experience, Wolfin has her eye on Vancouver’s art scene and is seeking artists who want to be part of the show.

“We’re looking for 200 artists who want to join. It’s a great opportunity for them to expose their work to a large number of people,” says Wolfin, adding art will be selected in a juried application process.

Galleries are also invited to apply.

Wolfin has already sold tickets as far away as England with more than a year until the show.

“I travelled to Art Toronto and when I was there, I realized this could work in Vancouver,” says Wolfin, who is working with fellow artist Lori McPhee.

The 14th annual Art Toronto, which took place in October, had 19,000 visitors over four days. Collectors, curators, gallerists, artists, museum directors and 40 cultural and professional groups attended.

Europe has also provided influence for Wolfin.

Art Basel, held annually on the border of Switzerland, France and Germany is know as the “Olympics of the Arts World” with 4,000 artists exhibiting in every medium.

“Vancouver is the perfect city for this kind of event and we will have it in just one year,” says Wolfin.

Art Vancouver’s opening night gala   on Feb. 26 includes an art-inspired runway show and the chance to mingle with locals and international artists.

For more information or to submit artwork, visit

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