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Current Exhibitions

The changing exhibitions of Touchstones Nelson offer a diversity of topics and themes that reflect the broad interests and capabilities of people living in the region. From contemporary art and pop culture, to fine craft and design, to local architectural and human history, Touchstones Nelson exhibitions connect to this area’s creative energy and rich heritage.

Gallery A

Upstream Benefits

November 18 to February 11, 2018

Artist Talk: Sunday, November 26, 2:00pm

Opening Reception:
Friday, Nov 17, 7-9pm

Upstream Benefits has been an evolutionary project from word one. Initially conceived several years ago as an exhibition to commemorate over a decade of Oxygen Art Centre’s presence and accomplishment in the community of Nelson, this project has morphed into an exhibition (and symposium) which acknowledge the place and people that contribute to artist-run-culture in a broader sense. Through the lens of ten artists who represent a wide gamut of artistic enterprise, this exhibit explores the – who/where/what/when/why – of artist-run culture, and the evolution of present day artistic practice in the Kootenays. The artists participating: Courtney Andersen, Susan Andrews Grace, Amy Bohigian, Brent Bukowski, Boukje Elzinga, Ian Johnston, Maggie Shirley, Natasha Smith, Deborah Thompson and Rachel Yoder, have all contributed to Oxygen Art Centre over the years, as exhibiting artists, members, curators, founders, board members, advocates, and have all had substantial and important portions of their respective practice take place here in the Nelson region. These artists are a sample of the plethora of creative people that live in ‘our’ midst, a survey of a very specific sub-culture, and not a definitive overview by any means. This exhibition is a way of celebrating both place and process – how artists create the culture that in turn support their ever-evolving practice, a snake-eating-its-own-tail sort of paradox if ever there was one. The call and response format of the Upstream Benefits exhibition allows these artists to present an early and a more recent work and contextualize the place/process and particulars which contributed to the works’ creation and the evolution of the artists practice.


For more information on the artists, please click here.


Gallery B

Art Deco in Modern Times

November 18 to February 11, 2018

Opening Reception:
Friday, November 17, 7-9pm

Artist Talk: Thursday, November 23 (7-9pm)

Guest Curator(s): Peter Bartl and Jane Merks

At present there is little attention paid to our architectural heritage built after the end of World War 1. However there are many buildings, public and private, from the 1920’s into the 1950’s that deserve our appreciation.

To mention just a few:

The Capitol Theatre (1925), the Terrace Apartment (1929), the Medical Arts Building on Baker (1930), The Civic Centre (1935), the Chrysler Dealership on Hendrix (1936), the Scandinavian Church (1933) etc. In these early years the work of the contractor A.H. Green, who was involved in many of those buildings also deserves more credit. By the mid-1930 the firm of F.W. Williams and his wife Ilsa Williams, and later the work of D. Fairbanks all have iconic significance in the physical fabric of Nelson: the former Forestry building (now the Community First Health Co-op) on Lake Street (1952), the Gateway building on Front street (1936) and most importantly Mount St. Francis (1949). These two generations of architects have also created many fine residences throughout the city.