by: Irene Lo 

This past weekend in Vancouver, the art show, Polyphonics, was held at the James Black Gallery on East 6th, and although the name of that gallery might not ring a bell, Gropps might. Formerly known as Gropps Gallery Collective, the artist residence and show house in Mount Pleasant ran their first artist-curated event since the summer as JBG. An ambitious experience that took over not just the gallery but the heritage building itself, Polyphonics was not your garden-variety art show. 

The curator brainchild behind Polyphonics was JBG resident Zandi Dandizette. Undergoing internal changes this year, life in JBG wasn’t as stable as it once was, and it was this, among other reasons, the Emily Carr graduate took it upon herself to resume the monthly curated shows. Cultural spaces like JBG, where artists have a support system of boarding, studio, and gallery space, are few and far between in Vancouver when once they used to be fairly regular sights whether walking down the Drive or Kitsilano. One of these internal changes included a landlord with condo plans for the prime piece of land JBG is situated on although it’s said the landlord is in talks with the city to create a similar creative set-up in the new building. To gauge from last Saturday night, however, it was business as usual at the old Victorian where young artists went to drink beer and look at art.  

Using as a jumping-off point the theme of exploring the harmony of two or more textures in a melodious composition, Polyphonics displayed the work of many an Emily Carr student such as “We Found This Filter” by the collaborative team Yi Stropsky and Pius. Lighting up the main room, “We Found” involved projected images that changed back and forth, depending on how close you were to it. Up the wooden staircase, and in the library room right above the main room was another installation piece that involved the use of projectors that could also be played around with. 


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