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Open Spaces is a 'fortunate' title, artist says of new Coquitlam show

Three new art exhibits opened April 1 at Coquitlam's Place des Arts including Grp4Art's Open Spaces.

When Grp4Art applied to do a show at Coquitlam’s Place des Arts in 2019, the four artists never thought their theme would be so meaningful.

Open Spaces is the title of their new display — a subject matter that has been in the forefront since the pandemic lockdown last March.

“It was just fortunate that the topic was so relevant when we were able to show,” said Grp4Art spokesperson Roxsane Tiernan. “After being cooped up for a year, you really want to get out of the house, and explore the outdoors.”

The 32 paintings, collages and mixed media images that Burnaby residents Tiernan, Virginia Chin and Marjorie Wong, and Kathleen Susan Young, of Vancouver, present include scenes of recreational places such as parks, walking and bike paths, playgrounds and community gardens as well as backyards and urban settings.

Tiernan, 81, who produced a picture of the Coquitlam River after a photo walk, said the group was given free rein to interpret the motif.

Still, they all wanted to convey that “being outside, in the fresh air, gives a boost to your well-being. There are so many places to go: Mine are more off the beaten track because I like to be around nature but there are very nice places inside cities, too.”

Formed in 2001, Grp4Art regularly shows its work around the Lower Mainland at juried events, art galleries and businesses. It first displayed at Place des Arts in 2006, in an exhibit titled Yesterday and Today; Open Spaces, which launched April 1, can be seen in the Leonore Peyton Salon at the Maillardville arts hub until May 27.

Meanwhile, also on show until May 27 are Hamideh Abol’s Where is Home?, and Threads of Hope by the Fibre Art Network. To book a viewing time as an individual or with a core bubble, call Place des Arts (1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam) at 604-664-1636 (ext. 0).

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