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Graham Gilmore, Joi Arcand, K.C. Hall, Nicole Dextras, Don Mabie, Shane Koyczan

November 16, 2019 – February 23, 2020

Opening Event: Friday, November 15th (7-9pm)

Curator: Arin Fay



The WORD group exhibition investigates text as the subject matter and also the vehicle for meaning and method through the work of artists: Graham Gilmore, K.C. Hall, Nicole Dextras, Joi Arcand, Don Mabie, and Shane Koyczan via: neon, graffiti, trading cards, painting, video poetry, photography and environmental sculpture. The intent is to illustrate how art allows for inexhaustible iterations of expression via myriad disciplines, aesthetics and artistic interpretations.

Don Mabie (AKA Chuck Stake) will give a short artist talk at the opening event and introduce those in attendance to his work and the history of Artist Trading Cards.

Artist Bios:

Nicole Dextras

Nicole Dextras is a graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art in Vancouver, Canada, where she was a sessional teacher from 2003 to 2013. Her art practice is rooted in the environmental art movement, where our fragile existence is presented through transformative installations that mark the nature of time. Dextras has exhibited her work in Canada, the USA and in Asia. She has staged public interventions with models wearing her Weedrobes in Paris, Fullerton CA, New York and Montreal. Recent solo exhibitions include The Dystopian Museum curated by Wynne Palmer at Digital Carnival: FIRE, 2019 in Richmond BC, the Method Gallery in Seattle in 2017, the Truth and Beauty Gallery in Vancouver in 2016 and Lycoming Gallery in Pennsylvania in 2015. Recent publications include: The Strength and Power of Nature’s Fragility by Selena Buckingham for Junkies Magazine, Melbourne, AU, 2018. Future Fabrication for Surface Design Magazine by Richard Elliott, along with being awarded the Craftivism Award in 2017, Sustainability by Monica Herrerias, for Cronica Ambiental, Mexico City, MX in 2017, Artists and the Garden by Sam Phillips for The Royal Academy of Arts Magazine, London UK in 2015 and Art and Ecology Now by Andrew Brown for Thames & Hudson, London UK in 2014. Her work was on The Exhibitionist TV series produced by CBC in 2019 and recently in two half hour documentaries on both Carte de Visite program on the TFO Network in Ontario and Chacun Sa Route for TVA in Quebec.

K.C. Hall

K.C. Hall was born in Bella Bella, BC, and was raised in East Vancouver since he was two years old. He is the grandson of hereditary Chief Irene (Wakas) Brown. At a very young age, KC always had an interest in illustration. In high school, KC developed a passion for handwriting, lettering, and graffiti. After graduating from high school, he began creating work on a larger scale, including paintings and drawings. In February of 2012, KC studied with Nisga’a artist Robert Tait in the Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts Program at Native Education College in Vancouver, BC. The course inspired KC as an artist since he was introduced to Northwest Coast formline, and he instantly fell in love with the visual language. In 2016, KC designed and presented a blanket to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge while the royals were on a visit to BC. Currently, KC is creating work that combines both his style of graffiti and the art of his people and formline design, while still following the traditions of both intricate forms. In 2017, Lattimer Gallery hosted an exhibition titled Hálúɫ (Fresh) which featured the work of KC and fellow Heiltsuk artist Dean Hunt.

Joi T. Arcand

Joi T. Arcand is an artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory, currently residing in Ottawa, Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff, AB); ODD Gallery (Dawson City, Yukon); Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon); Wanuskewin Heritage Park (Saskatoon); Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina); Gallery 101 (Ottawa). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Karsh-Masson Art Gallery (Ottawa); McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton, ON); The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (Asheville, North Carolina); Woodland School at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art (Montreal); Ottawa Art Gallery; PAVED Arts (Saskatoon); and grunt gallery (Vancouver). Arcand has been artist in residence at Wanuskewin Heritage Park (Saskatoon); OCAD University; Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art; the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; and Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (Dawson City, Yukon). She has served as chair of the board of directors for PAVED Arts in Saskatoon and was the co-founder of the Red Shift Gallery, a contemporary aboriginal art gallery in Saskatoon. She was founder and editor of the Indigenous art magazine, kimiwan (2012-2014), and most recently curated Language of Puncture at Gallery 101 (Ottawa).

Shane Koyczan

In a realm where poets rarely intersect with stardom, the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics introduced us to Shane Koyczan. With a collective “wow” across Canada and beyond, we found the poet of our generation. And we weren’t even looking for one. The world took notice when Shane’s influential, anti-bullying, To This Day Project video went viral in early 2013 with over 14 million views and counting. Powerfully engaging and authentic in attitude, his explorations are relevant to our times in the way that Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Downie and Leonard Cohen are to theirs. But unlike the musicians that he’s often compared to, poets rarely infiltrate pop culture. Koyzcan emerges in a new wave of 21st century poetry that dares to belong to the people and speak directly to them in their own voice.  Shane, is best known for his award winning spoken word performances. With his rhythmic verse in high gear, he navigates his audience through social and political territory with a furious honesty and a tender humanity that has brought audiences to their feet in New York, London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Stockholm, and Los Angeles, to name a few. He has received 5 star reviews for his performances around the globe.  Winner of the US Slam Poetry Championship and the Canadian Spoken Word Olympics, Koyczan is truly an extraordinary talent that has blown the dust off of the traditional designation “poet”.

Don Mabie AKA Chuck Stake

Donald Edward Mabie was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1947. From 1964-1969 he attended the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), where he studied advertising and painting under John Kenneth Esler (1933-2001), David Samila (1941- ), and George Melville Wood (1932- ). After graduating in May 1969 with a Fine Art Painting diploma, Mabie continued his studies with post-graduate work at Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In 1970 he married artist and ACAD instructor, Wendy Toogood (1947- ). While Mabie has been involved with performance art, rubberstamp art, artist book works, copyworks, installation, buttonworks, and computerworks, he is primarily known for his mixed-media drawing and mail art, which he has been involved with since 1972, the year he created Chuck Stake Enterprizes in Toronto. The company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1997. Mabie has been actively involved with Artist Trading Cards, which was initiated by Zurich artist M. Vánçi Stirnemann and promoted by Stirnemann and fellow artist, Cat Schick. After attending an Artist Trading Card trading session in Zurich, Mabie brought the idea back to Calgary, with a session at the New Gallery in 1997. The sessions continue to be held across Canada and around the world. Mabie is currently an instructor at ACAD in the first year studies program. In May 2001 he received the ACAD Board of Governors’ Award of Excellence for his lifetime contribution to the arts in Alberta and in June 2002 he was awarded a 75th Anniversary ACAD Alumni Award of Distinction.

Graham Gillmore

Through his visual use of language, Graham Gillmore shows us that communication can both connect and distance at the same time. His text often examines conflicting sources of knowledge: science and religion, as well as personal and universal human experiences. Gillmore’s work is collected by the MoMA, the Ghent Museum, Gian Enzo Sperone, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, RCA Records, The Royal Bank of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and numerous other institutions worldwide. He has been featured in publications such as Canadian Art, W Magazine, Art News, ArtForum, L.A. Weekly, C Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine. He lives and works in Winlaw, BC and Toronto, ON.

Exploring the word as image and the image as word, Graham Gillmore’s work balances between treacherous antipodes: pathos and wit, defiance and charm, and more basically, the anguish of experience and the rapture of its aesthetic expression. The twisting knife of a smartass remark, the threatening anonymity of a clinical evaluation, and the famous-lastwords potential of pillow talk are articulated in his oeuvre with a chromaticism their ruthlessness seems to beg. Employing puns and punch lines both lewd and mawkish, and referencing cliches, board games, rebuses, barroom banter, and graffiti, his paintings are by subtle turns playful, earnest, and caustic. At times surrounded by bubbles that are interlinked via intestinal networks of lines, the letters and syllables he depicts take on lives of their own, as though reverberating in the mind suggestively, or suspiciously, connoting an overwhelming variety of possible meanings that appear to jostle for recognition. Expressive of a charged synthesis between distinct types of mark- letter and stroke- his works appear as the visual equivalents of utterances, whether poignant or pointed… or of how we receive and interpret these. Many paintings seem to emphasize tone ( as it denotes both voice and color ), implying at once the intensity of the experience a given message or phrase insinuates, and the private stamina required to endure its meaning on the one hand, or its ambiguity on the other. Thus while rage, disgust and disillusionment seem to propel it, his art is also tempered by a humor that is all the more expansive, even forgiving for this, and which acts as the grace note essential to beauty. Visually, Gillmore’s paintings vacillate between a sleek neon intensity bordering on the lurid, and a bumbling home spun quality recalling a troubled adolescent’s secret notebook. At times broadcasting the artificial vibrancy of candy or cosmetics, his palette suggests how the moth might see the flame. The quasi-confessional quality of certain paintings, meanwhile, intimates any urban sophisticate’s biography, suggesting the universality of both our humiliations and our kneejerk laughter at those of others. With that instinctual excoriation turned on himself, it appears that the artist achieves a pervasive sympathy with the human quandary, one that in its lacerating irony is all the more sincere. (Thomas Breidenbach)

Kootenay News: Read All About It

November 2nd – February 16th, 2020

Gallery B – Guest Curator: Greg Nesteroff




“The Miner is printed on Saturdays provided the staff is sober.” — Masthead, 1893

Since the Nelson Miner published its first edition in June 1890, Nelson has always had a newspaper (and often more than one) to chronicle its evolution. In the late 19th and early 20th century, a thriving community and an active press went hand-in-hand. Multiple papers were a sign of prosperity. If the lone newspaper went broke, it did not bode well for the town’s future. This exhibit will present the story of Nelson’s print media, from a weekly hand-cranked paper to a bustling daily with a circulation larger than the city it served, to today’s online publications. It will look at pre-eminent figures in Nelson’s newspaper history, including John Houston, Bert Currie, Francis Payne, Art Gibbon, Doris Bradshaw, and Nelson Becker, along with notable journalists who got their start here or passed through town en route to prominence elsewhere. The exhibit will present original pages from each decade, along with photographs and ephemera. It will look at the changing role of newspapers in the community and changes in the industry itself — both technologically and journalistically. Where once Nelson’s papers carried items about promising mining claims and ads for blacksmiths and pack trains, today they are replete with news of the burgeoning cannabis industry and ads for ski shops and car dealerships. Nelson’s newspaper archive also forms the largest and greatest source of historical information about the city and its environs, although it must be studied with a wary eye. Changing social mores dictated what was covered and how it was presented — and what was ignored.









Gu Xiong – The Unknown Remains

August 24 – November 3

Gu Xiong – The Unknown Remains

Gallery A & B – Curator: Arin Fay

Gu Xiong’s practice centers on the creation of a hybrid identity arising from the integration of different cultural origins and migrations. His work encompasses sociology, literature, geography, economics and politics, as well as the dynamics of globalization, through which he constitutes an amalgamation of multiple cultural histories and seeks to create an entirely new identity.

Touchstones was awarded a substantial Concept to Realization Canada Council grant to support the research and creation of this project. A publication will also be produced as part of this project with writing contribution from Gu Xiong, Andrew Hunter and Arin Fay.



kiltie band: 100 year anniversary

March 2 – May 19, 2019

Gallery B Curator: JP Stienne

There cannot be anything that evokes Scotland more than the sound of a Pipe Band.  Its this sound, along with the kilt-clad members of the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band that will usher in the opening of Kiltie Band: 100 Year Celebration. The exhibition curated by Jean-Philippe Stienne, Archivist and Collection Manager at Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, opens in Gallery B on March 2 at 2 pm and features photos and memorabilia from the museum’s archival collection.

Visitors can expect a fascinating look back at the rich history of Nelson’s own Highland Games – which were an annual fixture for 50 years – see photographs from Burns’ Night celebrations, parades and public events from the archives and admire the uniforms and instruments.

In 1919 members of Clan Johnstone met in Nelson and founded the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band.  The oldest pipe band in the BC Interior has been bringing a taste of Scotland to the Kootenays ever since. With around 15 per cent of people in Canada being of Scottish descent, this exhibition showcases how Scottish culture continues to play an important and colourful part of the wider community.


March 3 – May 26, 2019 Gallery A With an international reputation for large scale sculpture spanning more than four decades, The Tablets represents the Saskatoon-based sculptors’ first full-fledged gallery installation. The Tablets presents a collection of metal assemblages of richly textured bronze and brass panels constructed from  an array of salvaged materials; an homage to memory and monumentality, language and culture

The works were loaned by The Art Gallery of Swift Current on behalf of Mr. John Mann.

Visit the artist’s website at



May 25 – August 4, 2019 Gallery B Curator: Arin Fay

Memory is vital to our understanding of our lives, yet flawed, misremembered and coloured with individual experience. Forgotten and confused details are what create the absence of content in Brenda Draney’s artistic style. Draney’s exhibition Medium of Exchange is a beautiful example of the illusory nature of her work, which will be on exhibit at Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History this summer.

Brenda Draney is Cree from Sawridge First Nation, Treaty 8, with a strong connection to Slave Lake. Her work is collected and shown across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Embassy of Canada Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Sobey Collection, and the Shorefast Foundation. She shows in Banff, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. She won both the 2009 RBC Painting Competition and 2014’s Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize in Edmonton and was short listed for the 2016 Sobey Art Award at the National Gallery of Canada.



Bob Boyer, Benjamin Chee Chee, Robert Houle, Alex Janvier, Katia KaK’wa Kurtness, Ann McLean, Kimowan Metchewais, Susan Point, Rick Rivet, Helen Wassegijig and Linus Woods June 8 – August 1, 2019 Gallery A Curator: Michelle McGeogh Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History brings Beyond Recognition: Aboriginal Abstractions to Nelson this summer, an exhibition that adds another chapter to the story of Indigenous art in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.

The art showcased in Beyond Recognition was created by 11 artists past and present; from across the country and spanning decades. Bob Boyer, Benjamin Chee Chee, Robert Houle, Alex Janvier, Katia KaK’wa Kurtness, Ann McLean, Kimowan Metchewais, Susan Point, Rick Rivet, Helen Wassegijig and Linus Woods are renowned, celebrated artists using the canvas to open dialogue and contribute to the evolving idea of Aboriginal Art in North America.

“Although these artists’ practice is seen as being informed by abstract expressionism, the narrative role this genre takes on in the hands of Aboriginal artists transforms it into a truly North American Aboriginal art form that pays homage to its Indigenous roots.” (excerpt, Michelle Mc Geogh)

Michelle McGeough is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, and is an Indigenous art historian, artist and curator who focuses on Indigenous cultural production and research methods.

The exhibition is on loan from the Indigenous Art Centre and the Collection of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.