When life gives you salmon, make art — at least that’s what Smithers Art Gallery (SAG) did.
When the gallery had an artist cancel their scheduled exhibit earlier this year, it was all hands on deck to find a replacement show.
Luckily SAG manager Nicole Chernish said there was just the exhibit in Terrace, which began its second year of the annual Skeena Salmon Art Show, which celebrates salmon and the unique role they play in the culture of the surrounding area.
Chernish said it’s really cool to see what Terrace has been doing and Smithers hoped to emulate a bit of that energy.
“They’re starting to transform their downtown and their public spaces with art which is really, really interesting,” she said.
We needed to find something to replace [the cancelled exhibition] and I thought, oh my gosh, the Skeena Salmon Show is happening right now, what a perfect kind of collaboration between the two organizations.
Chernish said she thought the show would be a great fit not just because of the artwork, but because of how important fishing and salmon are to the culture of the area.
She also mentioned a number of local artists were featured in Terrace’s show this year, such as Perry Rath and Facundo Gastiazoro.
Chernish approached the Terrace Art Gallery with the idea and both the galleries decided to go for it.
“We chatted with them and they said, ‘you know what we’ve been thinking about how we could tour the show or what we could do that’s a little bit different.’ They weren’t quite ready and we weren’t quite ready but we thought let’s see what happens.”
So Chernish brought down as many of the pieces as she could (Terrace’s art gallery is over two times the size of SAG) and set them up in Smithers.
She also put out a call to artists from the area who might want to participate in the show and said a number of additional artists not featured in Terrace’s show this year came out to SAG’s iteration of the event.
Chernish said she was really happy with how the show turned out and hopes Smithers can grow its own Salmon Festival in future years.
Organizers with Terrace’s Skeena Salmon Art Show were also present for the exhibit’s opening on Oct. 18
“They really wanted to get more participation by Smithers artists in the salmon show in Terrace as well so they were quite thrilled to have the opportunity to see those artists, meet those artists and encourage them to be part of it next year.”
The show runs until Nov. 9.
Artist Marjorie Spisak is also being featured in the SAGs mini gallery.