Sometimes life’s little inconveniences lead you to the door of opportunity.
One morning I had made the bus trip from Vernon to Lake Country to take pictures of my collaborative mural project with some of the George Elliott Secondary School students that hung proudly on the wall beside the Creekside Theatre. I decided a beverage at the nearby Coffee House would be a good starting point, and it was there I noticed my phone was missing.
Wanda Lock, the Curator for the Lake Country Public Art Gallery, recognized me and after chatting she lent me her phone to see if I could relocate mine. Luckily, it had been turned in to the bus driver on duty. All I had to do was wait for the next bus loop.
This gave Wanda and me a chance to talk. She said she'd just been thinking about a possible First Nations focused exhibition to showcase our art in a meaningful form of reconciliation and mutual respect.
This led to the exhibition called Atklokem: the place where wild carrots grow.
Sometimes these little inconveniences lead you to the path of golden opportunities.
David Wilson Sookinakin
LC Art Gallery Curator Wanda Lock:
As part of the Lake Country Art Gallery’s exploration of community I recognize the importance of providing opportunities for a discourse related to the Syilx, the Indigenous people of the Okanagan, and to facilitate discussions about the history and future of the people and this land.
My responsibility as the Curator at the Lake Country Art Gallery continues to evolve as the role of the artist morphs and responds to social and cultural needs. The Curator is an enabler, making space and giving voice to artists while at the same time researching and pulling together exhibitions that are stimulating, exciting, and thought-provoking to the public audience.
The role of a Curator is not a static one. It is prudent to invite others into the gallery space and to step aside when others can offer more qualified and different perspectives. And who can open up the conversation, break it apart and rebuild ideas. By inviting supporting curators into the Lake Country Art Gallery, we can stay relevant, reflect the times, move forward, and make space for other voices. This process then allows us to respond to conversations that are happening around the Okanagan Valley.
We must give voice to Okanagan artists and curators who create work intended to inform and challenge us. These exhibitions make us think about the history of the land and those who have come before us.
The Lake Country Art Gallery welcomes David Wilson, to serve as a supporting curator, for this exhibition. Atklokem featured work from Barb Marchand, Mariel Belanger, Sheldon Louis, and David Wilson.