Arts & Entertainment

Varley Art Gallery unveils two new exhibitions

You’re invited ‘to go boldly’ to the Varley Art Gallery of Markham to enjoy its summer exhibitions.

‘To go boldly,’ one of two exhibitions, explores how contemporary artists look to science fiction to confront the past, make sense of the present and imagine the future.

The genre allows the exploration of complex and cultural topics like racial injustice, colonial violence, gender identity and ableism through methodologies like worldbuilding, the gallery reports. “Creating their own worlds filled with otherworldly beings and fantastical settings allows artists to escape established conventions and establish new narratives for themselves,” it explains.

Curated by Anik Glaude, the exhibition also delves into the relationships between science fiction and popular culture. Star Trek, for example, explores how fandom can become a conceptual framework through which artists explore their own identities, aspirations and critiques. ‘To go boldly’ features both newly commissioned artworks and existing pieces, some of which engage directly with the Star Trek universe. “Ultimately, the exhibition aims to illustrate that space is not the final frontier but rather a rich and diverse arena where science fiction, contemporary art and fandom can coalesce,” the gallery says.

The second exhibition, Summer Solstice, presents an “eclectic assortment” of works from the gallery’s permanent collection featuring bright landscape vistas, colourful blossoms and scenes of people enjoying various summer activities. Sketches by F. H. Varley are interspersed among those paintings. Summer Solstice is organized by the Varley Art Gallery and curated by Glaude and Susanne Lee.

Both exhibitions will be on display through Monday, Sept. 2. The Varley Art Gallery is located at 216 Main St., Unionville. Admission to the gallery is free. Visit varleygallery.ca to learn more.

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