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Arts in Review

Local artist coalition puts art on tap at The Reach gallery in Abbotsford

This latest event in the concert series transforms the quiet museum space into a rock club.

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Image: Christopher DeMarcus/The Cascade

By Christopher DeMarcus (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 23, 2013

Image: Christopher DeMarcus/The Cascade

Art on Tap places Fraser Valley rock groups within the painting-hung walls of The Reach.

“There are 37,000 people from the age of 18 to 35 living in Abbotsford. We have a great venue and a great opportunity to get young local artists together,” says Jenn Pride, coordinator for Abbotsford’s art gallery, The Reach.

Pride is a part of a group of artists, photographers, musicians, writers, and creative professionals called Young Contemporaries. The group puts on monthly events at the The Reach.

Many in Abbotsford don’t know that The Reach is both a world class art gallery and a public venue for all sorts of events. The Art on Tap series, for example, brings rock-and-roll bands into the art gallery. Best of all there are $5 beers.

“Too cool” says political science student Dylan Thiessen, “It’s great that this is happening.”

This latest event in the concert series transforms the quiet museum space into a rock club. Road cases and guitar amps sit conformably among the latest art exhibits while local indie rockers Oh Village play a nice balance of artistic rock, controlled by a tight and bombastic rhythm section.

“The Reach brings [paintings] to town, but it also holds events like this,” says Oh Village’s lead singer Scott Currie, “It’s great we have a fun place like this to play in Abbotsford.”

The second band, Toronto’s Boys Who Say No, play a dark form of synth-laden indie rock with hints of rockabilly and pop. The tones of lead singer Luke Correia-Damude’s hollow body Gretsch and drummer Frank Cox-O’Connell’s massive tom drums mix perfectly with the dark and haunting images from local painter Tara Spencer.

“Our inability to reach within the reality of others—to feel or see or understand as they do—leaves each individual inevitably nameless and unknown, even those closest to them,” reads Spender’s artist statement, next to her haunting images of anonymity on canvas. The combination of art and music are completely complimentary.

“This band is hooked up and going to blow up,” CIVL radio’s Aaron Levy says.

The gallery space provides the perfect interactive experience between artistic expression and observation. Its different exhibits lie in unique rooms of space and time. In one area is a display of paintings that contain WWII bomber planes, in the other is a collection of regional artifacts. The combination of art, music, and beer gives Art on Tap a unique and fun vibe that is better than your typical Vancouver night club.

“There is such a good chill vibe,” art lover Vicki Diaz says, “I feel like I’m at home when I’m here.”

Be sure not to miss the next Art on Tap. It’s local and it’s a lot more fun than one expects an art gallery to be. You can get a membership to the Young Contemporaries project which gets you in free, otherwise the cover is only $5.

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