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Past Exhibitions


Heather Benning – Field Doll

August 11th – October 28th, 2018

Gallery B

Curator: Arin Fay


The Field Doll took up residence at Touchstones during the late summer and fall of 2018. The Field Doll made several appearances at iconic spaces throughout the city of Nelson, including the Big, Orange Bridge (BOB).  Benning has exhibited the Field Doll both in Canada and the US by placing the work in the context of each specific place via photographs which is an essential part of the process and presentation.  The work is an irreverent ode to place and change and the proportion of both to the viewer and their perspective.

Heather Benning – Field Doll – Photo Shoot

Heather Benning – Field DollPhoto Shoot on the Big Orange Bridge (BOB)Nelson, BCAugust 2018#fielddollVideo Credit:Anthony SannaOnline Marketing Smarty Pantshttp://www.anthonysanna.comThanks to: Heather Benning and Tim Moore (obviously), The Swift Current Art Gallery, Shelley O'Neill of Safe Start Safety and her crew, the staff of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, West Kootenay District for granting us a "special event permit to use or occupy a highway", Jemima Rottweiler, Anthony Sanna and Nelson Culture Days, Terrence Brennan, Jocelyn Carver & Astrid Heyerdahl.

Posted by Touchstones Nelson – Museum of Art and History on Friday, August 10, 2018

A Mountain Biking Retrospective

August 24 – November 4, 2018

Gallery A

Curator: Community curated; Astrid Heyerdahl

A Mountain Biking Retrospective is an exploration of the culture, characters, infrastructure and landscape of mountain bike culture in the Kootenays. This exhibit is truly a community-curated exhibition, and is the result of a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts sharing their stories about the history and impact of mountain biking in the Kootenay/Columbia Basin. From the mossy overgrown bridges and tracks in the forest to the high tech gear and industry sponsored events, this exhibition illustrated the fascinating and vibrant legacy of mountain bike culture in the Kootenays.

DJ Olive: Listening to Fir

June 8 – August 5, 2018

Gallery B

Curator: Arin Fay

DJ Olive – Gregor Asch – the Audio Janitor – artist, improviser, beat writer, and electronic music producer will bring his world renowned art sound sensibility to Touchstones Gallery B space. A combination of natural aesthetics and technological range: water – wood – movement and sound – both audible and ambient will be a part of DJ Olive’s installation; the first sound performative exhibition to show at Touchstones. Asch describes his approach as “Art as medicine. Sound as therapy. A place to pause. reflect. think. absorb. recharge. find peace of mind.” DJ Olive – Gregor Asch – the Audio Janitor – artist, improviser, beat writer, and electronic music producer will bring his world renowned art sound sensibility to Touchstones Gallery B space. A combination of natural aesthetics and technological range: water – wood – movement and sound – both audible and ambient will be a part of DJ Olive’s installation; the first sound performative exhibition to show at Touchstones. Asch describes his approach as “Art as medicine. Sound as therapy. A place to pause. reflect. think. absorb. recharge. find peace of mind.”
DJ Olive has twice been included in NYC’s most prestigious Biennial at the Whitney Museum as well as a massive installation at the Venice biennale and we are excited and privileged to showcase his work here at Touchstones. DJ Olive has twice been included in NYC’s most prestigious Biennial at the Whitney Museum as well as a massive installation at the Venice biennale and we are excited and privileged to showcase his work here at Touchstones.

Ready Player Two – Sonny Assu and Brendan Lee Satish Tang

June 16 – August 5, 2018

Gallery A

Curator: Laura Schneider

Installation image courtesy of The Reach Gallery, Abbotsford.

Ready Player Two is a collaborative and independent installation by Brendan Tang and Sonny Assu. Combining elements from science fiction, comic book, and gaming cultures to consider how these forms alternately reinforce and transcend racial boundaries in youth culture. Ready Player Two is a collaborative and independent installation by Brendan Tang and Sonny Assu. Combining elements from science fiction, comic book, and gaming cultures to consider how these forms alternately reinforce and transcend racial boundaries in youth culture.
In their individual practices, Tang and Assu frequently negotiate the material and conceptual dynamics of culture and ethnicity. Informed by their mixed-race backgrounds and experiences of Canadian life in the 1980s and 1990s, for this exhibition the artists bring together found objects, selections from previous bodies of work, and new collaborative pieces to create immersive spaces that evoke the adolescent sanctuaries of their time: the basement, the arcade, and the comic book store. In their individual practices, Tang and Assu frequently negotiate the material and conceptual dynamics of culture and ethnicity. Informed by their mixed-race backgrounds and experiences of Canadian life in the 1980s and 1990s, for this exhibition the artists bring together found objects, selections from previous bodies of work, and new collaborative pieces to create immersive spaces that evoke the adolescent sanctuaries of their time: the basement, the arcade, and the comic book store.
This exhibition is touring to Touchstones from the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford, BC, and generously supported by the Canada Council.

Paul Seesequasis: Indigenous Archive Photo Project

February 24 – May 27, 2018

Gallery B

Curator(s): Paul Seesequasis & Arin Fay

Paul Seesequasis will guest curate his first ever gallery exhibition of archival photographs culled from his multiyear project via facebook and Instagram of sourcing and sharing images of Indigenous people from across the country. The result of this project has been to emancipate images from obscurity and let them see the light and be seen – and importantly named and acknowledged. The images are powerful in their straightforward and candid beauty – moments of time lost in a catalog.

Paul Seesequasis: Indigenous Archive Photo Project will bring together images of his ongoing work with a regional representation of images from the Kootenay area.

She. We. They: The Women Show

March 8 – May 27, 2018

Gallery A

Curator: Community-curated; Arin Fay

Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, in partnership with The Nelson and District Women’s Centre, is putting together a community-curated exhibition titled She. We. They: The Women Show.

Two very important facets of this exhibition will be a 60 ft long timeline and a ‘wall of women’ portrait display (100+) images. Other facets of the exhibition will include video, a response wall, history of feminist text/press and programming and performance.  The intent of this historical and collaborative exhibition is to frame feminism from many perspectives – illustrate the past – celebrate community and acknowledge the cultural currents which continue to be addressed. This exhibition is both a celebration and a contribution to the important conversations taking place at present about She. We. They. The exhibition opens on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2018.


Art Deco in Modern Times

November 18, 2017 – February 11, 2018

Gallery B

Guest Curator(s): Peter Bartl & 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.

Upstream Benefits: Artist-Run Culture in the Kootenays

November 18, 2017 – February 11, 2018

Gallery A

Curator(s): Arin Fay & Miriam Needoba

The ‘Upstream Benefits’ Exhibition involves ten artists: Courtney Andersen, Susan Andrews Grace, Amy Bohigian, Brent Bukowski, Boukje Elzinga, Ian Johnston, Maggie Shirley, Natasha Smith, Deborah Thompson and Rachel Yoder, a sampling of the impressive caliber of artists that call the Kootenays home. The artists involved in this exhibition example how artist run culture in the Kootenays has been supported and developed over the last decade.  The place in which we live is an important part of the creative process; artists are informed and fostered by place, where they live and where the work was conceived and created. Each artist will display an early instrumental piece – from their tenure here in the Kootenays, in tandem with a new work which will illustrate the evolution of their respective creation/styles/approach. This exhibition is about artist run culture, about the creative process and the importance of place.


For more information on the artists, please click here.

Members’ Show and Sale

September 23 – November 12, 2017

Gallery B

Curator: Arin Fay

The ‘Members’ Show and Sale’ exhibition events are excellent opportunities to get a visual measure of our membership and reciprocate the support that our members give us as an organization. The last member exhibition took place in 2014 and was a beautiful and eclectic showing of the talent, dedication and passion that exists within the community. It is with great pleasure that we invite our membership to participate in the ‘2017 Members’ Show and Sale’.

River Relations

September 23 – November 12, 2017

Gallery A

Curator: Arin Fay

Nick and John Electric Lines Grid: Nick Conbere & John Holmgren Bonneville Dam 1 19×22” etching on photograph on paper

Using art as a visual and narrative critical tool, River Relations is a multi-disciplinary group exhibition that investigates the ecological and social impact of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. The fourteen dams, in BC, Washington and Oregon are heralded for massive energy production and economic benefits; however, they have incurred environmental costs and impacted the lives of many in the surrounding watershed regions. This exhibition is intended to create a space for creative contemplation, thoughtful dialogue and involved citizenship. It will engage with the specific geography of the Columbia River region and the hydro-electric dams that have impacted it, as well as larger issues around watershed governance, natural resource use and ecological sustainability

River Relations Interdisciplinary Research Team: Matthew Evenden, Rita Wong, Fred Wah, Nick Conbere, John Holmgren, Genevieve Robertson, Emmy Willis, Zoe Kostuchuk.

Train Dreams

Common Collective (Simon Brothers, Luke Mistruzzi, Nick Kuepfer, and Mark Preston):

June 10 – September 10, 2017

Gallery B

Curator: Arin Fay

Common Collective Train Dreams (still frame from video) 2014 Image courtesy the Artists

Train Dreams is an experimental three-channel video installation that examines the nature of memory and time by exploring history through railway culture. The exhibition includes animation, regional and international new and archival video footage, and an original sound design. This exhibition is a collaboration between four artists which portrays memory as a phenomenological, dream-like process. It does not unfold in a linear narrative process, but instead through a sequence of enactments, dissipations, and transformations. Train Dreams engages the viewer in a visceral process of sensory oscillation and plays with sense perceptions; creating experiences of scenes, shapes, spaces, colours, textures, and sounds, that blend together to form ambiguous impressions of the past.

Jack Shadbolt


June 10 to September 17, 2017

Gallery A

Curator: Jennifer Cane

Jack Shadbolt, Morning Epiphany, 1991, serigraph on paper, Ed. A/P 8/9, 57.7x 77.5 cm, City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection, Gift of the artist, BAG AN 1997.30, Photograph: Harry Booth

Explore the diverse, seven-decade-long art practice of the formidable Jack Shadbolt (1909-1998) and the ‘Momentum’ exhibition. Works include early 1930s sketches, commissioned silkscreen play posters, painterly abstractions, and lithographs in this touring exhibit from the Burnaby Art Gallery, curated by Jennifer Cane. Jack Shadbolt had a long a wide-ranging career: student, war artist, teacher, muralist and artist of the highest order (Order of Canada, 1972). Shadbolt lived in several regions of Canada, including the Interior of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, but the majority of his life was spent on the West Coast.

Jack Shadbolt was a friend and contemporary of Emily Carr, he was influenced by Pablo Picasso, and developed a style which beautifully marries the honesty and observation of landscape with the commentary of social realism.

Terms used to describe Shadbolt’s style: turbulent – vitality – improvisational.

Geo. A. Meeres, Nelson, BC.

March 4 to May 21, 2017

Gallery B

Curator: Rod Taylor

George A. Meeres
Capitol Motors
September, 1930
Collection of Touchstones Nelson

George A. Meeres was a professional photographer who moved to Nelson in 1924. Soon after he purchased the Campbell Art Gallery (which would later become Vogue Photographic), which he ran until 1936. Always detailed and meticulous in his work, he later adopted the motto, “a good photo or none”! Drawn from the Shawn Lamb Archives at Touchstones Nelson, this exhibit will feature reproductions of some of the cellulose nitrate photos he took during his time in Nelson. Startling in their depth and composition, the photos are a testament to his skill and vision as a photographer. They also offer a fascinating glimpse into our community at that moment in time, through the groups, businesses and landscapes he documented.

Tanya Pixie Johnson

Edge of the Light

February 25 – May 28, 2017

Gallery A

Curator: Arin Fay

Tanya Pixie Johnson 2014

Tanya Pixie Johnson is an artist defined by her obsessive sorting and gathering; of found materials, ideas and human experiences. With roots in rural British Columbia Tanya P’s practice has an astounding reach due to her penchant for residencies in far-flung places and an unrelenting engagement with land, people and place; both ephemeral and essential. From her birth in Nairobi, Kenya and childhood in South Africa, to her bohemian wandering in Europe, to her current place in the Kootenays, Tanya P has delved deeply and with a focused abandon into the dichotomies of human experience. In between the shadows of influence and idolatry beats the heart of pure and unrelenting artistic inquiry. Integrating the aesthetic of collage, assemblage and found art, a cabinet of curiosities meets ceremonial altar. Fetish meets artifact. Ritual object meets family photo album. Flotsam and jetsam meet the edge of the bog. Light meets dark.

Edge of the Light explores notions of paradigm and ideas of meaning found at allegorical edges and in liminal spaces.


History of Forestry in Nelson- Out of the Woods

November 26, 2016 to February 19, 2017

Gallery B

Curator: Rod Taylor

Logging in the Slocan Valley – this was one tree! 1909 Collection of Touchstones Nelson


Forestry has a long history in our region, and has played an important and continually changing role in the makeup of our communities. From the sawmills that fed the demand for building materials starting in the late 1800s to the “Stop Clearcuts” signs and “Forestry Feeds My Family” bumperstickers many decades later, our relationship with the forest has been varied and increasingly diverse. From fence posts to fruit boxes, plywood plants to protest camps, this exhibit looks at the history of the forest industry in our region, and the many ways in which it has shaped our community.

Wayne King: Retrospective

November 19, 2016 – February 12, 2017

Gallery A

Curator: Arin Fay

The Wayne King Retrospective Exhibition reflects the collective King collection of the community of Nelson and area, and the love and enthusiasm that Kootenay denizens will always have for the unabashed, unofficial artist-laureate of Baker Street. Wayne King has departed but is not forgotten, and his vibrancy, dedication to beauty and proficiency are evident in the riot of colour which will overwhelm Touchstones Gallery A from November 19th till February 12th, 2017. This retrospective exhibition is made possible by the dozens of friends and patrons who eagerly came forward to loan their works, and was curated to best illustrate the many styles and subject matter of the late, great Wayne King. It is particularly poignant that the exhibit has its duration during what can the bleakest months of the Kootenay Winter (November – February) – to quote Wayne, “be happy you are alive – the rest we don’t know.”

Bridget Corkery


September 17 – November 20, 2016

Gallery B

Guest Curator: Boukje Elzinga

Dead Bird 2012 Cera Cola on Wood

For much of her life, art making was part of Bridget Corkery’s everyday existence. After moving with her family to Nelson in the mid-1990s, she was an instructor in Mixed Media at the Kootenay School of the Arts, and later a founding member of the Nelson Fine Arts Centre (now the Oxygen Art Centre).

This exhibition will present work spanning nearly two decades of her creative practice, from the early 90s through to her untimely passing in 2013 at the age of fifty two. Through various media including painting, printmaking, sculpture and woodworking, it will show an artist whose work continued to change and evolve to reflect not only her personal sensibility, but the people and events in her life.

Tsuneko Kokubo & Toru Fujibayashi


August 27 – November 13, 2016

Gallery A

Curator: Arin Fay

Duality: Blackbird’s Masks Toru Fujibayashi Soapstone (Virginia) 1989

Regeneration is an exhibit by Tsuneko Kokubo & Toru Fujibayashi, two senior artists with extensive, fascinating and variant backgrounds, who have been part of the Kootenay arts and culture fabric for many years.

Regeneration evokes a minimalist design and aesthetic – like a Japanese-style garden of contemplation – with its tightly bounded compositions of gravel and rocks and sparse vegetation. Regeneration, at its heart, is a way of seeing; a study of memory and the motivations and methods with which we are able to understand lives lived. As the title tells us, these works are about life and death, but they also give us a glimpse of the doing in between.

Greetings from Nelson: Historic Postcards from the Collection 

May 28 – September 11, 2016

Gallery B

Curator: Rod Taylor

Postcard Circa early 1900s Collection of Touchstones Nelson

Before Instagram and Facebook, postcards were a popular way for travellers to send a quick note and image to friends or family. This exhibition will feature many reproductions of postcards from the Nelson area, along with some of the brief and at times humourous messages from the back. Also included will be a “Collector’s Choice” section, featuring notable cards and personal favourites that three local postcard enthusiasts have chosen from their own collections.

Lou Lynn

Out of the Ordinary

June 4 – August 21, 2016

Gallery A

Curator: Arin Fay

Fasteners (detail) Bronze 2014

Somewhere between a Through the Looking-Glass sense of distortion and a scientific exactitude we find Lou Lynn’s Out of the Ordinary. The components of this installation challenge the viewers’ sense of scale and proportion while appeasing the eye with the most perfect pastilles of surface shine and tactility. There is a meaningful balance between the feelings of nostalgia evoked by recognizable utilitarian objects, and the impact of small things writ impeccably and improbably large.

Out of the Ordinary examines everyday household objects and questions our relationship to them.  It reinterprets the common, the mundane – buttons, fasteners and kitchen utensils – into exaggerated objects of questionable usage.

Youth Art 2016

February 13 – May 22, 2016

Gallery B

Guest Curator: Catherine McIntosh

Celebrating the emerging talent of young artists, this exhibit showcases selected student work from LV Rogers, Mount Sentinel, Reach and Self Design High.

Jude Griebel and Tammy Salzl

Unfamiliar Selves

February 20 –  May 29, 2016

Gallery A

Curator: Rod Taylor

Jude Griebel Wheat Country 58” x 31” x 26.5” Papier-mâché, foam, epoxy, wood, human hair, oil paint 2013

Who are we? In very different ways, the work of Jude Griebel and Tammy Salzl explores this question. Griebel’s fantastic sculptural beings contrast with the quieter, more introspective qualities of Salzl’s small scale watercolour paintings. Together, they offer a diverse and engaging perspective on the uncertain notion of identity.


Roll On Columbia: Exploring the Landscape and Culture of the Columbia River Treaty

November 28, 2015 – February 7, 2016

Gallery B

Guest Curator: Eileen Delehanty Pearkes

Roll On Columbia: The Landscape and Culture of the Columbia River Treaty explores the legacy of the Columbia River Treaty in order to inform present day understanding of the trans-boundary Columbia River watershed ecosystem. Roll On Columbia takes its name from the Woody Guthrie folk song of the same name, date from the era of the Great Depression when mega projects such as dams were celebrated and embraced. Nearly a century later, there is widespread understanding that mega projects transformed human culture’s relationship to water and the ecology of rivers, and not necessarily for the better. Yet, the rivers of southeastern B.C. continue to roll on through the mountains and across the international boundary into the United States, governed by the 50 year old Columbia River Treaty (CRT).

The exhibition contains historical information panels as well at artwork by Heather MacAskill (BC) and Mary Babcock (Hawaii). It is guest curated by Eileen Delehanty Pearkes. View the exhibition and ask yourself – do the public values that originally formed the treaty remain the same today?

Leah Weinstein

The Poetry of Objects                                                  

November 21, 2015 – February 14, 2016

Gallery A

Curator: Rod Taylor

Mixed media
dimensions variable

A dress covered in spoons, a garment composed only of sleeves, an arc of lampshades….in the Poetry of Objects, artist Leah Weinstein invites you to celebrate unexpected connections and discover the extraordinary in the everyday.

Using new and re-purposed materials and forms, Weinstein creates assemblages that use the familiar in surprising ways, blurring the lines between the ordinary and the profound.

Leah Weinstein is a Vancouver‐based artist working in sculpture, textiles and performance. Between completing her BFA and starting her MAA (both at Emily Carr), in 2006-7 she studied textile design at the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson.

Lost Orchards: A History of Fruit Farming in the West Kootenays

September 5 – November 22, 2015

Gallery B

Curator: Rod Taylor

I have never seen anything finer than the fruit of the Kootenay District. You have a fruit country unsurpassed by anything in the Dominion  – Professor Mills of Guelph Agricultural College, from early promotional literature.

Fruit ranching in the West Kootenays? Unlikely though it may seem, fruit ranching once played a prominent role in the local economy. In the early 1900s large areas of land were being cleared and cultivated by newly arrived residents, often lured by the promise of a mild climate and easy growing conditions. Many orchards grew and thrived in the decades that followed, but by the 1940s only a few remained. Today, long neglected fruit trees in overgrown fields are almost all that remain of a once thriving industry. Come and discover the promise and hope, the endurance and despair of this nearly forgotten chapter in our local history.

John Hall and Alexandra Haeseker


September 12 – November 15, 2015

Gallery A

Curator: Jessica Demers

Pendulum I
Acrylic on Canvas
152 x 152cm

Living in the tension between beauty and repulsion, playfulness and danger, Pendulum/Pendula is a series of paintings produced collaboratively by artists John Hall and Alexandra Haeseker. With colourful subject matter drawn largely from  Mexican culture, the work is rendered in the stunningly photorealistic style they’re both known for.

Hall & Haeseker met when they were students at the Alberta College of Art and Design in the 1960’s. During their years of collaboration in the early 1990’s, they spent half of the year in Calgary and half the year in Guanajuato, Mexico. This influence can be seen in their use of objects from both traditional Mexican culture and modern consumer culture. Heaseker lives in Calgary and Hall now calls Kelowna home.

Katherine Hofmann


May 23 – August 30, 2015

Gallery B

Curator: Jessica Demers

Katherine Hofmann. Terracluster (detail)
Ceramic and found glass containers

Katherine Hofmann’s installation Domiciled combines clay with found materials in ways that confound, surprise and delight. In 2013 Hofmann made a clean break from her practice as a production potter in order to explore form and material in an open ended way. The resulting body of work is both playful and unsettling in it’s refusal to be conform to typical notions beauty and craftsmanship. Her raw, ambiguous sculptural forms are process driven and loosely reflect the body, plant growth and architecture.

60 Years/60 Objects: A Diamond Anniversary Exhibition

May 23 – September 6, 2015

Gallery A

Curator: Rod Taylor

Did you know that in 1949 all bikes in Nelson required a license? Or that J. A. Gilker, opened his first store in a wall tent, and before becoming the first official postmaster used a wooden gin box set on its side to sort the letters in?

In celebration of 60th anniversary of the founding of our organization, this exhibition will share 60 notable or unusual objects from our Archives and Collections that help tell the story of our community. From a pickle jar to a bike license, this will be a diverse and rollicking exhibit that has something for everyone.

Boukje Elzinga

La Puerta Negra

January 31 to May 17, 2015

Gallery B

Curator: Rod Taylor

Mexico Past and Present
Oil on Canvas

What do international drug cartels and sun-soaked vacations have in common? In a new exhibition of work at Touchstones Nelson, artist Boukje Elzinga explores these connections and more.

Titled “La Puerta Negra” (The Black Door), the work was inspired by numerous trips the artist has taken to Mexico, as well as a recent trip to Peru. The paintings and sketches relate not only to the richness of the culture, but also to the element of oppressive violence that reaches at least as far back as the Spanish Conquistadors and continues with the present day cartels.

As an added attraction, Elzinga will occasionally be spending time painting in the gallery during the exhibition. For those so inclined, she welcomes the chance to talk about art, travelling, cartels, or any other subject related to the show. Work that she creates during this time will be added to the show in display cases adjacent to the gallery space.

Unlimited Edition

February 21 – May 10, 2015

Gallery A

unlimited edition is organized by the Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, B.C. Curated by Tania Willard (Secwepemc), Aboriginal Curator in Residence, Kamloops Art Gallery.

 unlimited edition attempts to construct an art historical framework that looks at how prints by Aboriginal and Inuit artists represented in the Kamloops Art Gallery’s permanent collection, supplemented by works on loan from the Carleton University Art Gallery and Legacy Art Galleries, represent a drive to preserve, portray and popularize oral histories and address social inequities in the medium of printmaking. Featuring prints from Northwest Coast, Woodlands and Inuit artists with a focus on an early period of printmaking in the 50s through to the 70s, unlimited edition showcases prints that relate to ideas of cultural story, politics of land, and the beauty of Indigenous aesthetics.

Artists in Exhibition:

Kenojuak Ashevak (Inuit) • Carl Beam (Ojibwe) • Robert Davidson (Haida) •Charles Greul • Chuuchkamalathnii (Nuu-chah-nulth)• Mark Henderson (Kwakwaka’wakw) • Richard Hunt (Kwakwaka’wakw) • Ellen Neel (Kwakwaka’wakw) • Pudlo Pudlat (Inuit) • Daphne Odjig (Odawa-Potawatomi) • Walter J Phillips • Bill Reid (Haida) • Chief Henry Speck (Kwakwaka’wakw)  • Art Thompson (Nuu-chah-nulth) • Art Wilson (Gitsxan)


Amy Bohigian

Wide Shot/Close Up

November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015

Gallery A

Curator: Jessica Demers

Video stills from Wide Shot/Close Up
Amy Bohigian

Nelson filmmaker Amy Bohigian’s new interactive video installation Wide Shot/Close Up explores the collective human experience. Bohigian interviewed 24 Columbia Basin residents from diverse backgrounds, asking them to reflect on their identity and their relationships with themselves and others. By sharing their candid responses, Bohigian invites us to see beyond the labels we ascribe to one another, in order to connect on a fundamentally human level.

Zeljko Kujundzic

Zeljko Kujundzic and the Early Years of the Kootenay School of the Arts

August 16 – November 9, 2014

Gallery A

Curator: Jessica Demers

Zeljko Kujundzic paints while students look on
Circa 1959
Collection of Touchstones Nelson

It was 1960, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Zeljko Kujundzic, a fifth generation artist from former Yugoslavia with a sometimes fiery disposition, was hired as the first principal of the newly formed Kootenay School of the Arts. For the next four years, he would impart rigorous studio practices inspired by his European training. Kujundzic taught his students to make their own art materials using locally sourced clay for sculpture, mineral pigments for mixing paints and metals for jewellery. Although he was only there for a relatively short period of time, his influence marked the beginnings not only of KSA, but perhaps also of Nelson’s re-invention as the “Best Little Arts Town” in Canada.

With his bold lines, iconic imagery and strong compositions, Kujundzic’s own practice was a reflection not only of his own sensibility, but of the times themselves. Join us for this retrospective exhibit that explores Kujundzic’s diverse artistic practices, and traces the beginnings of the now iconic Kootenay School of the Arts.

Sons of Freedom Doukhobors: Photographs from the Stevens Studio Collection

May 24 – September 7, 2014

Gallery B

Curator: Jessica Demers

Doukhobor woman stands in front of burnt house Circa 1950’s Collection of Touchstones Nelson

The Sons of Freedom, a distinct group of reformed Doukhobors based in mainly Krestova BC, gained worldwide attention during the early 1950’s. They burned their own houses to demonstrate rejection of material wealth and private property, and marched naked as a form of spiritual cleansing and protest. When a public demonstration was planned, photographer Jane Sloan often showed up before the police. A trusted outsider, she was invited by the Sons of Freedom to document their cultural activities and protests, and her evocative photographs quickly spread throughout Canada and parts of Europe via newspapers and publications such as Life Magazine.

Selected from the larger Stevens Studio collection in the Touchstones Nelson Archives, the photos in this exhibit document a compelling chapter in the history of the Sons of Freedom Doukhobors, as well as our community. Although much of the collection has been made available for viewing online (at, this will be the first time the photos have been exhibited publicly since they appeared in media outlets over six decades ago.

Courtney Villads Andersen

This is Relatively Urgent

May 17 – August 10, 2014

Gallery A

Reclaimed metal, paint on wood panel

This exhibition will feature work by well known long-time Nelson area resident and KSA instructor Courtney Andersen. Since coming to the area in 1993, much of his work has been shaped by a combination of reclaimed metal, his personal sensibility and a sharp pair of tin snips.

According to Andersen, “Humour reveals itself everywhere in my art, sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly. It is an important characteristic, and these materials appeared very appropriate for this. The off-cuts would provide an unexpected and oft times humorous design attribute. I enjoy uplifting the work with titles which bring a smile to the beholder.”

From smaller pieces in cera cola (a cold, wax based medium) to large scale metal sculpture, this will be an opportunity to not only see the range of his work, but gain an appreciation for his sensitivity to material and intelligent humour.

Good Medicine: Nelson’s Healthcare History

February 22 – May 18, 2014

Gallery B

Curator: Jessica Demers

Nelson Red Cross Group, World War I, c.1915
Touchstones Nelson Archives

Good Medicine is an exploration of the individual stories, images and artifacts that make up Nelson’s dynamic healthcare history. This eclectic exhibit will trace the both the development and decline of health services in our community up to the present.

Broader issues will also be touched upon, including the development of Medicare in Canada and the social determinants of health. Visitors will be invited to answer the question What is Good Medicine to you? on the chalkboard wall in the lobby.

Shyra De Souza, Mark Mizgala, Nate and Cedric Bomford, Brent Bukowski

Found: The Art of Re-Use

February 8 – May 11, 2014

Gallery A

Hmmmm. That looks familiar…..That’s one of the initial reactions that people can have to art created from reused or recycled material. In different ways and for different reasons, Brent Bukowski (Kaslo), Shyra De Souza (Calgary), Mark Mizgala (Vancouver) and brothers Cedric and Nate Bomford (Winnipeg and Vancouver Island, respectively) all make use of reused or recycled material in their work. Finding materials in back alleys, old houses, thrift shops and landfills, they look past an object’s original use to reinterpret both its function and meaning. Join us for this exciting exhibition of art that challenges preconceptions by offering a new take on old materials.


David Alexander

The Shape of Place

November 23, 2013 – February 2, 2014

Gallery A

Rims Around the Entrance
Acrylic on canvas

This travelling exhibition from the Kelowna Art Gallery presents paintings which survey Alexander’s international career of over 30 years. His lively renderings convey an immersion into the Canadian landscape. Alexander received his BFA from Notre Dame University in Nelson in 1979, and later completed his MFA at the University of Saskatchewan. His art is in many public, private and corporate collections throughout the world, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of London, University of Toronto and Concordia University in Montreal, Museum of Art in Iceland, and Canadian Embassies in Berlin, Beijing and Krakow.

Meghan Hildebrand

Restless Fables

November 30, 2013 – February 16, 2014

Gallery B

He’ll Wander and Return
Acrylic on canvas
Image credit: Meghan Hildebrand

Meghan Hildebrand’s colourful semi-abstract works explore storytelling and re-imagined landscapes. Her ambiguous narratives and playful dream-like imagery draws the viewer in, inviting them to create their own story. In Restless Fables, Hildebrand investigates the relationship between nature, culture and identity through the motifs of masks, animals, maps and globes.

Hildebrand has maintained a very active art practice over the last 13 years, exhibiting her work in private and public galleries throughout Canada. She is a graduate of Kootenay School of the Arts, and also attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is now based in Powell River, BC.

Susan Andrews Grace


September 21 – November 17, 2013

Gallery A

Icon: A Grammar of the Body, Generative (detail)
Susan Andrews Grace
Silkscreen print on silk organza, india ink, yupo paper, methyl cellulose on matboard

Nelson artist and writer Susan Andrews Grace explores the sacredness of life on earth in her new body of work featuring textile-based printmaking, collage, sculpture and installation. She contemplates the “language of the earth’s beauty” through forms that echo the paths of insects etched in wood and the amorphous shapes in clouds. Reflecting on her Catholic upbringing, Grace refers to religious iconography, but infuses it with her own imagery, drawn from earth-based notions of the sacred.

Lynn Dragone will open the exhibition with an unfolding movement ritual, presented through the calligraphic art form of ‘Big Brush’, which expresses birth, life and death, in one stroke. 7pm sharp at the opening reception, Friday Sept.20. Lynn will also offer a Moving with the Big Brush: Calligraphy and Movement Workshop, details to be announced.

Nelson at War

September 14 – November 24, 2013

Gallery B

Wood Vallance Window showing photographs of Nelson boys in World War II Victory Bond Appeal.
Circa 1942
Touchstones Nelson Archives

Did you know that the Boeing Aircraft Company operated a temporary production plant in the Civic Center during WW2, and that Boeing required the workforce of about 150 workers to be 65% female? Nelson At War will offer a glimpse into this and other aspects of Nelson’s involvement in World Wars 1 and 2, as well as the Boer War. The exhibit will feature historic photos and news clippings from the Touchstones Nelson Archives, as well as artifacts from the Permanent Collection, such as a scale model of the SS Formidable, the aircraft carrier from which Hampton Gray flew his final ill-fated mission in the dying hours of WW2.

Glenn Clark and Peter Corbett

Abandoning Paradise: The Northern Gateway Project

June 15 – September 15, 2013

Gallery A

Kispiox Village Totem Park
Glenn Clark
Oil on canvas

Over the course of a year, Glenn Clark (Penticton) and Peter Corbett (Winlaw), traveled across northern BC, painting the landscapes which would be impacted by the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. A selection of their plein air sketches and studio paintings will be shown alongside pertinent information about the region and the scope of the pipeline project. Stay tuned for events which will occur in conjunction with the exhibition, including a panel discussion.

City in Flames: A Journey Through Nelson’s Fire History

Gallery B

June 8 – September 8, 2013

Nelson Fire Department battles the Strathcona Hotel fire, May 27, 1955
Touchstones Nelson Archives

Lieut. Hans Lehrke of the Nelson Fire Department lived in the Strathcona Hotel. He moved out in January, but four months later, on May 27, 1955, he was a volunteer firefighter battling to save lives as one of the most prominent hotels in Nelson burned to the ground.

This exhibit will tell the story of this fire and many others that have changed lives and transformed our community over the decades. It will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fire hall on Ward St. in Nelson, and look at changes in firefighting methods and equipment.

Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College: Graduation Exhibition

April 13 – June 2, 2013

Gallery B


This exhibit features the work of graduating students from the Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College. Student work from each of the four studios: Clay, Fibre, Jewellery & Small Object Design and Metal will be displayed. KSA’s programs place emphasis on the skills necessary to become a successful and professional arts practitioner. Hands-on studio work combined with the study of design, drawing, history, and professional practices leads to an in-depth understanding and refined ability to apply the essential elements for success in the industry.

Graham Gillmore: I Love You, In Theory

March 2 – June 9, 2013

Gallery A

Good Review Bad Review (detail)
Acrylic and paper on canvas
Photo credit: Bill Sheppard

I Love You, In Theory will feature a collection of works spanning Winlaw studio-based artist Graham Gillmore’s career of over 30 years. Included are his iconic text-based paintings on panel, canvas and paper, alongside sculptures, and several new works.

Gillmore’s text-based paintings appear at once elegant and gritty, carefully executed and spontaneous. From seductive poured paint surfaces akin to the Abstract Expressionist Morris Louis, to dense stacks of roughly drawn, encircled letters, reminiscent of Jean-Michelle Basquiat, his work has wide aesthetic appeal. The highly controlled router-carved block letters of his panel works contrast with the loose line quality of his paintings on canvas, described by artist William Rand “as if painted by the trunk of a baby elephant learning how to spell“.

The fragmented messages relayed in Gillmore’s paintings often contain a circular logic and searing irony, using humour and quick-fire wit to counter an undercurrent of loss, cynicism and discontent. His masterful manipulation of clichés, idioms and pop culture references moves the work from personal narrative to a more collective context.

Originally from Vancouver, Gillmore moved to New York City in 1986. For the past 10 years he has divided his time between New York and his studio in Winlaw, BC. Throughout his highly successful career, Gillmore’s work has been shown primarily in private galleries. This will be his first exhibition in a public gallery in BC, and his first exhibition in the Kootenays.

Touchstones Nelson Members’ Show and Sale

February 23 – April 7, 2013

Gallery B



This exhibition will showcase the wide-ranging talent of the Gallery’s members. A juried exhibition, it is intended to be as inclusive as possible in order to encourage and support the Gallery’s members who make art. Much of the work will also be for sale, offering a great opportunity for current or aspiring art collectors.


Arin Fay

Beyond the Batholith: Writing Women of the Kootenay/Columbia Basin

November 24, 2012 – February 17, 2013

Gallery B

Susan Andrews Grace
Pyrography and Acrylic on Board

Aliens Among Us

December 1, 2012 – February 24, 2013

Gallery A

American Bullfrog
Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum

The project endeavours to illustrate and elevate the artistic accomplishments of a very specific and important component of our cultural community – women writers. These women, literally (pun intended), form and inform the communities in which we live, and as such, function as ambassadors of ‘our’ collective artistic acumen.

This series isolates a cross-section of ‘local’ women writers not only to expose and promote the artistic wealth that this region is privileged to possess, but also in response to the historical marginalization of women writers within the canon in general. An important goal of this project is to increase the public’s awareness of both the social and cultural issues that influence artistic enterprise, feminist and otherwise, and to take the time to recognize the value inherent is such an effort.

The Royal BC Museum’s popular exhibition Aliens Among Us is about to invade Nelson!

The exhibition aims to educate British Columbians about the growing threat of alien species in our natural environment

Did you know at least a dozen species of lady beetles are aliens to Canada, some introduced to help control aphid infestation and other insects? Or that the entire Vancouver population of Eastern Grey Squirrels came from just eight animals imported from New York in 1914?

“By raising awareness about the issue of alien species, we hope to inform people so they can make good choices about protecting B.C.’s natural environment,” said Pauline Rafferty, CEO of the Royal BC Museum. Visitors will learn how alien species arrived in BC, how they can affect our environment, and what people can do to help protect their communities.

The exhibition tour will also include community visits by Royal BC Museum curators. They will host community presentations about alien species and discuss practical things people can do right in their own backyards to help limit introduction and spread.

Megan Dickie & Diana Burgoyne

Klang & Squeal

September 22 – November 25, 2012

Gallery A

Megan Dickie
The Gleamer
Aluminum, organza, adhesive
Courtesy of the Artist

When was the last time you were invited to touch a piece of art?

Klang and Squeal, a two-person exhibition featuring interactive sculptures by Megan Dickie and sound drawings by Diana Burgoyne will give viewers the chance to do just that! In their respective practices, both artists explore the notion of interaction through very different, but complementary means.

Diana Burgoyne refers to herself as an electronic folk artist. Her work combines electronic components with traditional art media in simple but often unexpected ways. The result is work that not only invites participation, but changes and evolves in response to it.

Megan Dickie creates objects that are humorous, tactile and interactive. She makes sculptures out of sensuous materials that turn functional forms into exaggerated novelty gadgets. Her piece The Gleamer, is a Buckminster Fuller inspired aluminum quilt, which viewers are invited to crawl under and mold into new forms.

What I Eat: Around the World in 13 Diets

September 15 – November 18, 2012

Gallery B

Noolkisaruni Tarakuai, the third of four wives of a Maasai chief with her day’s worth of food outside her house in a Maasai village compound near Narok, Kenya. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.)
© Peter Menzel / What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

What do you eat in a day? In a compelling collection of photos and descriptive text, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio will answer that question for 13 people from around the world. The portraits are organized by the amount of calories consumed, from a low of 800 for a Maasai herder in Kenya to a high of 12,300 for a binge eater in Great Britain, as well as listing every item that person consumed in a single (although not necessarily average) day.

Interesting, engaging, and at times disturbing, the portraits offer a unique insight into other cultures. They also give our own diets a more global perspective, and allow us to consider some of the wider implications of our food choices.

The material is drawn from the recently published What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, a follow-up to the highly acclaimed and award winning book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats . Developed by Touchstones Nelson with material provided by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, the exhibit will be the Canadian gallery debut for the work.

Also featured will be What Nelson Eats, a supplementary display of local individuals running concurrent to this exhibit at the Nelson Public Library. Using the work of Menzel and D’Aluisio as inspiration, the portraits will be photographed by Karen Redfern, with text developed by curator Rod Taylor.

Landon Mackenzie: Mapping History

July 14 – September 16, 2012

Gallery A

Landon Mackenzie
Vancouver at the Centre of the World (detail)
Acrylic on linen
Photo credit: Scott Massey

Landon Mackenzie’s enormous paintings (over 7 feet tall and 10 feet long) dazzle the senses with layers of vibrant colour, intricate meandering lines, clusters of dots and radiating shapes. What appears at first to be purely abstract is actually informed by Mackenzie’s research into Canadian history, geography and cartography. Continents, time zones, satellites and shipping routes overlap into complex networks, forming a new vision of place and history. This combination of the sheer beauty of painterly abstraction with intellectual depth and has lent her work broad appeal. Currently residing in Vancouver, Mackenzie has garnered national and international acclaim for her work including many commissions and awards. Mapping History will feature some of her most celebrated large scale paintings, as well as a selection of other work.

Baker Street Then and Now (and the Future of Heritage?)

June 23 – September 9, 2012

Gallery B

Fields Department Store and Sonja’s China Cabinet, 400 block of Baker Street
Circa 1970’s
Collection of Touchstones Nelson

Nelson is unusual – since its inception, it has managed to retain a main street that has consistently been a vital and dynamic part of the community. Since being re-discovered in the early 80’s, the historic buildings and pedestrian-friendly downtown continue to characterize the heritage that the city has become so well known for. This exhibit will feature a montage of past and present photos of many of the historic buildings on Baker Street from the Touchstones Nelson Archives, as well as considering other examples of what heritage may look like as we move further into the 21st century.

Deborah Thompson

Tales from the Underworld

April 21 – July 8, 2012

Gallery A

Deborah Thompson
Fire Ants
Acrylic and oil on canvas
Photo credit: Jeremy Addington

In her most recent work, well known local artist, teacher and curator Deborah Thompson continues to explore the human psyche through her intuitive and gestural paintings. Reoccurring images such as boats, birds and cloven hoofs assemble in painterly narratives exploring transformative themes of birth, life, death, and renewal.

In addition to paintings, the exhibition will also feature a number of sculptural pieces. Although visually and thematically complementary, they are quite different from her two dimensional work, and are further evidence of an artist whose practice continues to challenge both herself and her audience.

Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College Graduation Show

April 14 – June 17, 2012

Gallery B

This exhibit features the work of graduating students from the Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College. Student work from each of the four studios: Clay, Fibre, Jewellery & Small Object Design and Metal will be displayed. KSA’s programs place emphasis on the skills necessary to become a successful and professional arts practitioner. Hands-on studio work combined with the study of design, drawing, history, and professional practices leads to an in-depth understanding and refined ability to apply the essential elements for success in the industry.

The History of Radio in Nelson

February 4 – April 8, 2012

Gallery B


Touchstones Nelson Archives

In its earliest days, radio had an almost magical quality, with its ability to draw voices seemingly out of thin air into small black boxes. As its name suggests, this exhibit looks at the history of radio in Nelson, with a focus on the earlier years of broadcasting when the medium was at its most popular. Selected artifacts from the Touchstones Nelson permanent collection will be featured, as well as amateur, or “ham” radio, (which continues to be a viable communication option for backcountry enthusiasts and others in our region), and a timeline of selected radio highlights from the early 20th century up to the present day.

Forest for the Trees

February 11 – April 15, 2012

Gallery A

Barbara Maye

Forest for the Trees brings together four local artists whose work explores the interplay between nature and culture. Through photography, sculpture, painting and installation, the artists reveal the tensions and connections between society and the natural world. Artists  Ian Johnston, Tanya Pixie Johnson, Barbara Maye and Nadine Stefan present diverse approaches, with references to science, history, spirituality and First Nations culture. By reflecting on our relationship with the natural world, perhaps we can come to a deeper understanding of our own place within it.


The White Line: Wood Engraving Prints from the Studio and Collection of Gene Leavitt

November 19, 2011 – January 29, 2012

Gallery B

They just keep getting bigger
Wood Engraving

In contrast to much of the digital imagery that surrounds us today, the relief printmaking process of wood engraving is typically a low-tech, high-precision endeavour.  Invented in the 18th century, primarily for book illustration, wood engraving is a refinement of the ancient relief technique of the woodcut resulting in a far richer tonal range and greater detail.

Local artist and teacher Gene Leavitt has long been interested in creating and collecting relief and wood engraving prints. The White Line  will feature prints from his impressive personal collection, as well as those he has created himself. It promises to be an exciting opportunity to gain insight into this process, and see the amazing range of style and expression that is possible within its boundaries.

Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank

November 26, 2011 – February 5, 2012

Gallery A

Ansel Adams
Manzanar Relocation Center, 1943
Courtesy of Library of Congress


Two profoundly different views of a terrible time in history . . .

On loan to Touchstones Nelson from the Japanese Canadian National Museum in Burnaby, BC, this compelling collection of photographs presents two views of internment and incarceration in the early 1940s. Through them, we have an opportunity to reflect on the nature of forced separation and uprooting and the effects that it has on its victims. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, both the Canadian and American governments forced the relocation of citizens of Japanese ancestry from the coastal regions. Nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans and 22,000 Japanese Canadians were affected. This extreme response was the culmination of years of anti-Asian racism in western North America. The experiences in the US and Canada had many similarities, and also many differences. Ansel Adams took a personal and intimate approach to illustrate the vitality and fortitude of the people. In contrast, Leonard Frank’s photographs are a clinical documentation of the government process. Regardless of the approach, these photographs clearly illustrate the suspension of civil rights in both countries. After the war, community members spent years fighting for redress and building educational awareness. In 1988, both the US Congress and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney apologized on behalf of their nations for the injustices suffered by persons of Japanese descent.

Heart Lab


August 27 – November 13, 2011

Gallery B

Resonance (detail)
Mixed media on paper, string, tissue paper

Drawing on work originally created in direct response to the local geography/ecosystem of Calgary and area, Re-surface will be a 3-Dimensional participatory drawing/diorama that will playfully represent the essence of words as sound and image as space by drawing upon the beauty of the Kootenay valley.

Heart Lab is a collaborative effort fusing the talents and vision of two artists – Anita Levesque and Bradley Smith. Combining text and visual imagery, the couple explore the dynamics between two distinct forms of communication, sometimes bridging the gap of both worlds, and in other instances creating a tension between the two. Heart Lab places an emphasis on process and time-based projects. Utilizing various drawing materials, manual typewriter and block printing tools, the duo create multi-sensory, installation narratives reminiscent of illustrated story books.

Night or Day: Day Clothes vs. Evening Wear

September 3 – November 20, 2011

Gallery A

Guest Curator: Katherine van der Veen

Excerpt from Eaton’s of Canada catalogue, Fall and Winter 1947-1948
From the Permanent Collection of Touchstones Nelson.

What to wear? Do clothes make (or break) the person? This exhibit features men’s, women’s and children’s garments from the Touchstones Nelson permanent collection. The design, functionality, and manufacturing of clothing will be examined in relation to gender roles, labour requirements, social classes, and cultural values from the turn of the twentieth century until the late 1960s.

Focusing on the differences between clothing worn during the day and the evening, this exhibit will provide visitors with the opportunity to identify how changes in past fashions have affected the development of designs and consumption of clothes today.

Change: What’s in it for you?

September 3 – November 20, 2011

Gallery A

Did you know that on April 2, 2007, Leaf Rapids, Manitoba (population approximately 600) became the first community in Canada to ban plastic bags in retail stores?
From bike sharing to eating locally, this exhibit will feature efforts like this that are immediate and accessible. Although seemingly small in relation to the scale of the problem, individual and local action is an important step in addressing climate change and environmental degradation.

Also featured will be an exciting in-gallery contest, Ideas for Change, a showcase of local ideas addressing climate change that would benefit from a little money. Visitors to the gallery will be given a coin that they can either choose to keep, or put towards the entry of their choice. All entries can keep the change they collect, and the two entries from each category (under 18, 18+) that accumulate the most money will be given additional prizes at the end of the exhibit.

Upstairs at Wah Lee’s : Portraits from the C.S. Wing Studio

June 4 – Aug 21, 2011

Gallery B


C.S. Wing
Self Portrait
Circa 1910
Courtesy of the Quesnel Museum

Touchstones Nelson is pleased to present Upstairs at Wah Lee’s, a remarkable and intimate portrait of life in the small frontier town of Quesnel.

Chow Shong (C.S.) Wing was born in Quesnel and became a partner in the family store, the Wah Lee Company. As a young man in the early 1900’s, he established a studio above the store, becoming the first professional photographer in Quesnel. In addition to views of sternwheelers and freight wagons, he also took portraits of local residents for post cards. He drew sitters from the First Nations, Chinese and “White” communities, perhaps because of his own minority status, or because they were people he knew in his role as a local shop keeper. A traveling exhibit on loan from the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives, the photos are unique in representing the mixing of cultures in a small frontier town.

Masters of BC Art: Selected Works from the Collection of Hans Wilking

June 18 to August 28, 2011

Gallery A

E.J. Hughes
Indian Church, North Vancouver
Watercolour on Paper
Collection of Hans Wilking

Hans Wilking, owner of the Ymir Hotel, has been a collector of art for many years, and has a personal connection not only to the work, but often to the artists themselves. This exhibition will feature highlights of his collection, including a number of works by such well known artists as E. J. Hughes, Simon Charlie and Norval Morrisseau. This promises to be a rare opportunity to not only see original works of this calibre, but to have a glimpse inside the world of the collector himself.

Nelson Through the Lens: The Historical Photography of J.H.Allen

June 18 to August 28, 2011

Gallery A

J. H. Allen View from Gyro Park, Nelson, BC Circa 1950’s Collection of Touchstones Nelson

With works from the Touchstones Nelson permanent collection, as well as on loan from local collectors, this exhibition will showcase the photographs of James (“Jimmy”) Allen (1878-1969), and celebrate the mark he has made on the landscape of our local history through his contributions as a photographer and community member.

From 1919 until his death in 1969, Allen operated Allen’s Art Shoppe in Nelson, a photo-finishing business which also served as a venue for marketing his own work. Between the 1920s and 50s, he created hundreds of black and white photos,  and garnered acclaim for his hand-tinted prints, which can still be found in  homes throughout the area.

A lens into the past, Jimmy Allen’s photographs provide a portrait of Nelson over more than three decades, documenting changes in the urban landscape, as well as celebrating the lakes, rivers, mountains and country roads which he explored year round.

Kootenay School of Art at Selkirk College

Graduation Show

April 16 – May 29, 2011

Gallery B

This exhibit features the work of graduating students from the Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College. Student work from each of the four studios: Clay, Fibre, Jewellery & Small Object Design and Metal will be displayed. KSA’s programs place emphasis on the skills necessary to become a successful and professional arts practitioner. Hands-on studio work combined with the study of design, drawing, history, and professional practices leads to an in-depth understanding and refined ability to apply the essential elements for success in the industry.

Alf Crossley

Spirit of the Land

April 2 – June 12, 2011

Gallery A

Alf Crossley
Lake of Many Hues
Oil on Canvas
Photo credit: Janet McIntyre

Well known Kootenay artist Alf Crossley’s work is firmly rooted in our local landscape. With a visual style often leaning towards abstraction, his practice has long been based on working outdoors (or “en plein air”), drawing both imagery and inspiration directly from the natural environment. Crossley says, “I suppose the basic inspiration comes from my delight in seeing how the forces of nature.. wind, water, and sunlight orchestrate this earth and how the resulting rhythm, repetition and growth force, etc. bring meaningful form into the visual tapestry surrounding us.”

Born in Rossland, Alf Crossley graduated in graphics and painting from the Vancouver School of Art (later to be Emily Carr) in 1965. During this four year period, he studied with such notables as Takao Tanabe, Roy Kiyooka and Jack Shadbolt. With a brief stopover in the Okanagan, Crossley eventually resettled in the Kootenays in the early 70’s, buying a house outside of Castlegar that he continues to live in today.

In addition to paintings in Crossley’s trademark style, the exhibition will also feature lesser known works on paper, as well as some of his earliest pieces that document the origins and evolution of the visual style he would later become known for.

Max Liboiron

Trashscapes and Rubbish Topographies

January 15 – April 10, 2011

Gallery B

Max Liboiron
Environmental Monitoring Series (detail)
Toy car, salt, mixed media
Photo credit: Max Liboiron

From trash to treasure…artist Max Liboiron’s reforming of our trash into tantalizing works of art and “walk in” art installations has contagious impact on the communities in which she exhibits her work. Last year’s exhibition Salt Winning at the Oxygen Art Centre saw crowds lining up to trade in their possessions in exchange for a piece of salt encased trash. Her upcycled trash environments offer the viewer an opportunity not just for assisting in the completion of a piece, but also a chance to reflect on one’s relationship to the environments in which we inhabit.

This January, in gallery B Liboiron will install Trashscapes and Rubbish Topographies, a landscape made from road salt, used tea bags and styrofoam eroded by water-borne pollutants. According to Liboiron, waste and pollution are a permanent global phenomenon; I use them as raw materials to make fantastic mythological landscapes based on present environmental issues.” Gallery visitors will be invited to bring their own used (and dried!) tea bags to the gallery to create a mountain of sweet smelling rubbish to rival the scale of the artwork.

Max Liboiron grew up in northern Canada in a small rural community. Her understanding of environmental relationships was formed within this context, and has been influential in both her early studies in biology and her more topical inquiries in art. She holds an MFA and a Certificate in Cultural Studies from the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York, and BFA with Distinction from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. She is currently pursuing a PhD at New York University in Visual Culture with a focus on environmentalism. She divides her time between New York, New York and Winlaw, BC.

Jan Kabatoff

Ice Flows and Sound Retreats

January 22 – March 27, 2011

Gallery A

Jan Kabatoff
Mass Balance
4000 plastic bottles containing samples of glacial water from Prince of Wales Ice Field, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Jan Kabatoff has a fascination with ice. Not the household variety, but glacial ice, and more specifically its relationship to global warming. Kabatoff has travelled to glaciers on seven continents from Argentina to Nunavut documenting and recording the movement and morphing of glacial ice. The result, Ice Flows is a multi-media installation focusing on the ephemeral nature of ice.

According to Kabatoff, “science tells us that with a few exceptions, glaciers worldwide are receding at an alarming rate, due to their sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. Like the canary in the gold mine, they are speaking the loudest about the effects of climate change.”


Kristi Malakoff

The Golden Bell

June 22 – September 12, 2010

Gallery A


Kristi Malakoff is an emerging Canadian visual artist who has participated in artist residency programs at the Banff Centre, the Stride Gallery, Calgary, SÍM, Reykjavík, Iceland and most recently Moscow, USSR.  She has exhibited widely and rigorously in both group and solo shows throughout Canada and in England, the US, Germany and Mexico. She currently resides in Nelson, BC.

Malakoff will create an installation of work called The Golden Bell in gallery A this coming summer. Her installations often involve repetition of 2-Dimensional motifs assembled to create a 3-Dimensional fantasy landscape or icon image.  Her creative process is such that the work is made complete through a labour intensive installation process with some pieces requiring 9-14 days to install. Of her work art critic Gary Pearson says, Part of the visual appeal of Malakoff’s work rest in the sumptuousness of it craftsmanship and its luxurious presentation, yet in a non-ironic turn, it’s the  works appeal to the imagination that makes the most lasting impression.

The Golden Bell will consist of some of Malakoff’s previous pieces, such favourites as Resting Swarm an installation made of meticulously cut out photos of 20,000 life sized honey bees pinned into one large mass of bees. This work plays with the viewer’s sense of beauty and horror and was shown at the Art Gallery of Peterborough in 2008. This work continues with her interest in paradox specifically with notions of life and death, beauty and the foreboding. Her imagery is inspired by her travels and observation of other cultures as well as her photographic work. Malakoff says the new work in The Golden Bell will explore the notion of transcendence, such as a church with a bell tower made from copies of 100 dollar bills.

Kootenay School of Art at Selkirk College

Graduation Show

April 24 – May 30, 2010

Gallery B

This exhibit features the work of graduating students from the Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College. Student work from each of the four studios: Clay, Fibre, Jewellery & Small Object Design and Metal will be displayed. KSA’s programs place emphasis on the skills necessary to become a successful and professional arts practitioner. Hands-on studio work combined with the study of design, drawing, history, and professional practices leads to an in-depth understanding and refined ability to apply the essential elements for success in the industry.

Selkirk College Digital Arts and New Media

Graduation Show 

April 10 – April 18, 2010

Gallery B

This exhibit features the work of graduating students from the Digital Arts and New Media program at Selkirk College. Student work in a variety of traditional and electronic media will be displayed. The program provides a two-year Diploma of in-depth training in the design, development and production of new media on the Tenth Street Campus in Nelson.

Ian Johnston

Refuse Culture: Archaeology of Consumption

March 27 – June 13, 2010

Gallery A

Ian Johnson
Bag Suite in Four Four Time
Ceramic and metal shelving
Installation detail

Refuse Culture: Archaeology of Consumption uses multiple installations, and installations of multiples, to consider the remnants and debris of human activity littering the planet’s surface. Each installation revolves around an object, or fragment of an object, taken from daily life. Cell phones, plastic bags, car bumper covers, compact fluorescent light bulbs; these everyday objects are seldom disposed of with the same degree of order, reverence or celebration with which they were created and acquired. By collecting these objects together, the works amplify a contemporary narrative of consumption. Cast in porcelain, the objects mimic the archaeological evidence left to us from preceding generations and ask the viewer to question how the future might interpret our culture through these collections of fragments.

Arthur Lakes: Geologist, Artist, Minister and Teacher

January 30 – April 4, 2010

Gallery B

Arthur Lakes
Mine Dredge East Kootenays
Watercolour/Pen and Ink
Donated from artist’s estate

From the permanent collection of Touchstones Nelson comes an exhibit of watercolour paintings by the multi-talented Arthur Lakes (1844-1917), a notable geologist, artist, writer, teacher and minister. Originally from England, he moved to the West Kootenays in 1912 from Colorado to be with his two sons who were working as mining engineers. Lakes produced a number of paintings during this time, depicting some of what he saw in and around the mines and countryside.

Snow and Ice: a History of Winter Sports in Nelson

Gallery A

Jan 23 – March 21, 2010


Danny McKay Ski Jumping at Ymir Road
Circa 1930’s

In celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Snow and Ice: History of Winter Sports in Nelson will highlight notable Nelson sports figures both past and present. Additionally, the exhibit will showcase sports items such as an Olympic jacket worn by Nancy Green, both from the Museum’s collection, as well from private lenders. A playful look at Olympic Mascots will be an interactive display in the exhibition, where viewers can try their luck at matching the mascot with its respective country. Touchstones Nelson will also be serving as a “live site” during this time, providing a public venue where visitors can watch the Olympic coverage.

  • Carol Reynolds : Painting the Town
  • I Was Here: Architecture and Personal History in Nelson
  • Brent Bukowski : Flow
  • Yes! – KSA at Selkirk College Year End Grad Show
  • SALT: the Distillation of Matter
  • An exploration into the nature of impermanence
  • Stanely G. Triggs : Changes Upstream
  • Kokanee Essential – Kootenay High: A photo-based history of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
  • The Art of Doukhobor Textiles
  • Lou Lynn: Retro-active
  • Peter Velisek: Malé události : Small events
  • Tanya Pixie Johnson
  • John Cooper Retrospective: golden years
  • Nelson’s Mid-Summer Bonspiel
  • David Eustace: Project for Calendar Studies: Days, Months, Years Artists in the Collection
  • Leigh Mayoh: The Grid
  • Alec Garner: Echoes of the Paddlewheel
  • Seeds in Disguise: The biology and lore of ornamental seeds
  • Drawing on Identity: Inkameep Day School Art Collection
  • Kootenay School of the Arts at Selkirk College
  • Graduating Class Exhibition: READY
  • Metamorphosis: Karen Redfern
  • Freshly Squeezed – Design is Everywhere
  • Kootenay School of the Arts Exhibition Series
  • KSA Faculty Exhibition
  • KSA Grad Exhibition
  • Seeds in Disguise (A ROM travelling exhibition)
  • Ursula Heller: Powerhouse
  • River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia
  • Haruko Okano – Arboretum Arborescence
  • Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: 2 Chairs
  • Florence Debeugny: PRECAUTION
  • Selected Works from the Irene & Andre Orbeliani Collection

Panels 1-4 of the award-winning 2015 Roll on Columbia exhibition.

Following the Muse: History of the Arts in Nelson, 1991 Touchstones Nelson Collection

Loggers, Mill owners and Communities: Forest History,1995 Touchstones Nelson Collection