Counting Down the Best of Vancouver's Independent Art Galleries

(February 20, 2014)

Art and culture are present at every turn in Vancouver. The city is filled with talented artists and international works. Perfect for art exploration, Vancouver is home to many great independent galleries that inspire minds and spark conversation. These galleries are always a great way to spend a day. With so many to visit, there is always something to see, and there are always new exhibitions showing. The options and variety are part of what makes art so powerful. No matter what type of art speaks to you, there are galleries filled with pieces that tell stories to anyone wanting to listen. With such diversity in culture and media, counting down the best galleries really comes down to personal preference, but here are five of Vancouver's top independent galleries.



Access Vancouver's Artist-Run Gallery

Access is a non-profit artist-run gallery that supports presentations of diverse views and creative practices. Through experimental risk-taking, the works at Access are meant to engage visitors in controversial conversations about contemporary art. Access supports presentations of creative practices from local, national and international artists, curators, and cultural practitioners. You can find them at 222 East Georgia Street.

Catriona Jefferies Shows and Supports Vancouver-Inspired Artists

Catriona Jeffries Gallery represents internationally prominent artists whose practices have been inspired by Vancouver's conceptual art histories. The gallery is recognized internationally for its ongoing, rigorous contribution to contemporary art discourse, representing its artists in prominent private and museum collections, both in Canada and internationally. Check them out at 274 East 1st Avenue. 

An Asian Experience at Centre A

The "A" is for Asian at this independent Vancouver Gallery. With a focus on Asian-Canadian artists, Centre A strives to make the community feel at home in this space. Centre A provides a platform for contemporary Asian art that educates and engages. Works at Centre A are meant to stimulate conversation and provoke thought. The gallery also hosts international artists, hoping to increase awareness of contemporary cultural practices in Asia. The gallery is located at 229 East Georgia Street.

A Huge Selection at Hill's Native Art

Started in the late 1940's, Hill's has grown to be known as the largest Northwest Native Art Gallery in North America. At any time, the Hill's gallery can have works from over 1,200 Native artists. The Hill's gallery has expanded to five locations in British Columbia; the Gastown gallery is its flagship location. The gallery has exhibited hundreds of works by emerging and international renowned artists. Visit their Gastown location at 165 Water Street.

Long-Standing Independence and Permanent Public Access

Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG) is Vancouver's longest standing independent gallery. This non-profit gallery is dedicated to research, exhibition, education, and the documentation of contemporary art and its practices. The gallery is committed to offering the public access, enjoyment, and engagement with contemporary art and the debates it creates. Admission to the gallery is by donation. You can find them at 555 Nelson Street.Art is everywhere. Restaurants, gift shops, street vendors, and graffiti all give us a look into today's art culture. Part of what makes art so wonderful is its expression of individuality. Visiting art galleries and museums is not only for the art elite, but is a great way for everyone to explore the world through art. There is something inspiring about taking the time to learn what speaks to you.

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