Past Exhibits


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The drawings featured in this exhibition were created by children of the Osoyoos Indian Band who attended the Inkameep Day School, near Oliver, British Columbia, on the Nk’Mip Reserve. Between 1932 and 1942 these students and their teacher, Anthony Walsh worked together to create drawings, paintings, stories and plays that honoured traditional Okanagan language and culture. The arts became a way for the students, aged six to sixteen, to depict their everyday realities and their evolving sense of identity, growing up in mid-twentieth-century British Columbia. Their world was complex, layering Okanagan traditions and stories, old and new ways of life, an evolving agricultural economy, and North American popular culture.


Seeds in Disguise

Explore the ordinary… Seeds are all around us: we eat them; we plant them; they parachute from dandelions; they catch in the dog’s coat or on your socks; they drop from the trees; and sometimes they even hang around your neck. This exhibition features ornamental seeds “disguised” as beads in jewelry, trinkets and ornaments.


Alec Garner: Echoes of the Paddlewheel

A collection of thirty-two oil paintings of the historical Kootenay sternwheelers, “Echoes of the Paddlewheel,” by Alex Garner (1897-1995) will be repatriated from the Glenbow Museum (Calgary) where they were donated approximately fifty years ago. Garner had a long and distinguished career as a painter primarily of landscapes, portraits and historical West Kootenay subjects. The exhibition will feature also feature paintings from local private collectors and paddlewheeler historical models by North Shore resident and model-maker, Bert Learmonth.


Leigh Mayoh: The Grid

A project that began September 1, 2006 and carried out for minimum of one year, lasting until at least August 2007. During this period, one sheet of drawings is produced at work during each workday. One square on the grid is filled with a drawing every fifteen minutes. No sheets are produced on weekends, since this is not a scheduled workday. The grid is laid out so that there are four squares per line, with each line representing one hour. No drawings are produced on days when no work is done. Therefore, lunch breaks or holidays are left blank. A blank sheet represents a statutory holiday or other time spent away from work. In this way, the sheets visually represent time worked. At the end of one year, 260 individual sheets will have been prepared – arranged five sheets in a group, each set of sheets will represent a workweek. Fifty-two sets of drawings will represent one year, to be exhibited chronologically.


Lou Lynn: Retro-Active

Retro-Active is an exhibition of sculpture that documents and celebrates the past 20 years of Lou Lynn’s art career. Her stalwart dedication to creative process has resulted in an exceptional body of work where she has masterfully combined her chosen materials in a manner that draws attention to their inherent qualities. The fragility, strength and optical properties of cast or blown glass forms, the durability of bronze and aluminum, and the historical signature of both, lend well to forms that hearken to times past. Inspired by simple forms such as a wheel or ulu, or the peculiar and whimsical qualities of rare hand tools, Lynn’s sculpture evokes utilitarian characteristics overlaid with the timeless aesthetics of formalism.


Artists in the Collection

By combining the Touchstones mandates of art gallery and museum, this exhibition is breaking new ground in Canadian arts and heritage practice. Witness the artist’s experience as both historical curator and creator as they combine artifacts with new works. Susan Andrews Grace and Carl Schlichting take you on a journey of discovery and inspiration.


Selected Works from the Irene & Andre Orbeliani Collection

The Irene and Andre Orbeliani Collection is a contemporary art collection comprised of over forty, two-dimensional artworks, primarily paintings and prints that were collected over a thirty year period from local artists who have made Nelson and the surrounding area home.

Irene and Andre Orbeliani resided in the Kootenays for almost half a century. They both came from families of artists and added to an already existing family art collection with the work they acquired here. They were strong supporters of Nelson having a public art gallery and bequeathed the Collection to the Nelson Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society (Touchstones’ legal identity) in 1999 as a founding collection for the new gallery that would eventually open in 2006 – the new museum and exhibition space Touchstones is today.

The exhibition featured approximately twenty paintings from the Collection


Florence Debeugny: PRECAUTION

PRECAUTION is a body of photo-based work by Vancouver artist Florence Debeugny. It was while photographing an abandoned shipyard that she first noticed CAUTION printed on yellow plastic tape and the omnipresent warning became evident to her. She then began photographing the many CAUTION signs adorning Vancouver industrial and commercial sites, documenting the lifespan of CAUTION tape as it was transformed from brand-new and shiny with its sharp black letters, posing a forbidding linear barrier, to a dejected-looking shapeless form, no longer able to stand at attention and perform its intended role.


2 Chairs

pun out of two ideas: What happens when an everyday item is changed into something familiar yet different?  What if one takes a very familiar object, like a chair – an object older than any other piece of furniture and whose design over the ages has integrated the beliefs, fashions and histories of the time – and does something different with it?  The exhibition 2 Chairs invited leaders within the studio furniture domain to ponder these ideas and produce two chairs in response – one functional and one conceptual.  


Haruko Okano: Arboretum Arborescence

Haruko Okano is an interdisciplinary artist from Vancouver, who was in Nelson this summer as the 2007 Artist-in-Residence at the Oxygen Art Centre, where she created new work during her one-moth residency. Touchstones hosted an exhibition of her past work, entitled Arboretum Arborescence, an installation of flue forms comprised of collected natural detritus that combine to offer a visual, odiferous and tactile sensory reference to the natural world. The exhibition at Touchstones featured Commentree, a community-engaging component that invited the community to respond to Arboretum Arborescence by adding personal commentary – the result was a smattering of spontaneous poetry on the floor beneath the piece.