8:30 a.m., Sept. 29)
Visual arts centre reopens its doors after five-month hiatus
By Fred Sherwin
chair Steve Noble (left) and cultural program manager Louis
Trejo have teamed up to transfrom the visual arts centre into
a hipper, more contemporary gallery. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Visual Arts Centre Orléans, better know as VACO by the local arts
community, reopend its doors last Thursday after a five- month hiatus
during which they went through a period of transition.
centre, which is located on the main floor of the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation
Complex on Youville Dr., closed its doors in early April mired in
a dispute with the city over future rental fees in the new Shenkman
Arts Centre and internal issues over staffing and programming.
a period of reorganization, the non-profit gallery is back, although
it's future still remains uncertain.
chair Steve Noble says the centre is hoping to work out a deal with
the city to move into the new arts centre. At issue right now is the
future rental arrangement. The city has told VACO they will pay the
same rent during the first year as they're paying now, even though
they will have three times as much space as they currently have. What
the city hasn't told VACO is how much the rent will go up in the second
and third year.
have worked really hard in getting rid of our debt, so we 're being
very careful in how we move forward," says Noble. "We don't
know what the rent will be after the first year and we don't know
what sort of caveats will come with the lease."
arts centre has streamlined its art courses which will focus on beginner
and intermediate classes in the areas of drawing, watercolour and
painting under the guidance of Louis Guillermo Trejo who was recently
hired as the centre's new cultural program manager.
has a background in youth and children's art education, an area he
plans to focus special attention on. For instance, he plans to organize
workshops for youth rather than weekly courses. For one, the workshops
are cheaper, and for another, they don't require the same sort of
hard to get some kids to come to a course every week. They're more
interested in coming for one day and doing something," says Trejo
who hopes to kick things off with a comic illustration workshop.
the changes most people will notice if they plan to visit the gallery
is their hours of operation. The gallery used to only be open during
the day. It's now open Thursday and Friday evenings and 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
says he wants to bring more contemporary exhibits to the gallery in
the same vein as the SAW Gallery and Studio 101 downtown, beginning
with his own one-man show which is a series of ink drawings using
images and headlines from daily newspapers as inspiration.
don't have anything like that in the east end," says Trejo. "The
Cumberland Gallery and the Gloucester Gallery focus on more traditional
art shows. I won't to offer people something a little different. Something
they haven't seen before."
can support VACO by purchasing a subscription to the arts centre which
entitles them to discounts on art courses and educational programs,
borrowing privileges from VACO's library, voting privileges at the
annual general meeting and a discount on room rental.
out more about the subscription program, the art courses being offered
or other future plans visit VACO's new website at www.vaco-online.ca
where you can download course descriptions and register online.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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