Presentation House Gallery
Worth the drive to the North Shore, Presentation House Gallery is a good reason not to judge a book by its cover. Despite the quirky community building housing this gallery, and the practically invisible entrance, the smallish space has a thought-provoking program that emphasizes photography and media art. PHG has presented solo shows of local artists such as Evan Lee and Judy Radul, highlighted the work of influential but underexposed artists like local luminary Glenn Lewis, and brought the work of internationally renowned artists like Stephen Shore and Simon Starling to North Vancouver. Recently, the gallery juxtaposed Larry Clark’s brutally honest images of the underworld of drug use, sex, and violence in his hometown of Tulsa with a series of photographs by Kohei Yoshiyuki titled The Park, images shot at night using infrared film in Toyko in the 1970s which capture sexual encounters in the outdoors, and the voyeurs who stalked them. The program at Presentation House Gallery is supplemented by an interesting, idiosyncratic editions program run with Lynn Valley editions and a small but well-curated bookstore dedicated to books on photography, film and video. Director/Curator Reid Shier cemented his curatorial prowess early on with his ground-breaking Brian Jungen Shapeshifter exhibition at the Or Gallery and Stan Douglas’ solo show at the Contemporary Art Gallery where his now iconic work Every Building on 100 West Hastings debuted. In recent years there has been talk of a much-needed new space for PHG – they are up 2 flights of stairs and lack an elevator which can make visiting an impossibility for some, and installing some types of work a serious challenge. Can Shier cut through the mountains of bureaucratic red tape and raise the funds necessary to make this move happen?