Visual Arts


Friday, June 17, 2016, 7:30 pm to Saturday, July 30, 2016, 5:00 pm

Bioart is coming to Victoria! Jennifer Willet (Windsor, ON) presents Natural Science a touring exhibition that undermines traditional hierarchies between the natural and un-natural worlds. Specimens intermingle in unusual ways challenging the protocols of traditional laboratory work. The project is inspired by art and science research conducted in a portable lab constructed in the Rocky Mountains during a residency at the Banff Centre. This unique collection of bioart research serves to re-imagine the role that biotechnology plays in our shared natural history. 


Friday, November 15, 2019, 12:00 pm to Saturday, December 14, 2019, 5:00 pm

Friday, Nov 22, 7-9pm
Artist talk/performance:
Saturday, Nov 23, 2-4pm
Exhibition Statement:
The word “mass” implies an unknowable amount, just large enough to be vague. It is a gathering of subjects: overwhelming, amorphous, shifting. Or, the weight of an intangible concept (reality?).  Mass defines physical space — something that can be discovered through equations. Fulfilling many different roles in the syntax of language, mass is always both a thing and an idea; it is something we are a part of. Something that we can give or receive. We can hold it or watch it slip away or feel it welling up inside us, watch it from the window. A force, an object, or an idea.

Arahmaiani: Breaking Words

Sunday, March 17, 2019,
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 17 from 3:00PM - 5:00 PM, Open Space presents Arahmaiani's performance "Breaking Words."

Arahmaiani is an Indonesia-based artist whose research and practice has shaped contemporary artistic production in Southeast Asia. While her work incorporates various media such as painting, video, dance and installation, she is primarily known for her performance work that addresses the impact of imperialism and industrialization on current political conditions. For the past eight years, a particular focus of her work has been in environmental issues in the Tibetan plateau region, where she has been actively collaborating on-site with Buddhist monks and villagers to foster greater environmental consciousness through an array of ongoing community projects. Combining political criticism, spirituality, and identity, Arahmaiani has defined herself as a prolific artist and activist.

(Un)Symposium: Akademy of human & Performance Art Aktions

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 10:00 am to Saturday, October 14, 2017, 5:00 pm

Have you ever experienced someone in front of the Bay Centre downtown earnestly washing the sidewalk, or walking a blank chalkboard back-and-forth, or eating the contents of their jacket pockets in an exaggerated, seagull like fashion?  If so, did you wish that you could also let go of your self-respecting dignity and dive into the world of performance art? Now is your chance.
Open Space Arts Society is host to a week of performance art events that will explore the intersection of visual arts-based performance art practice and experimental theatre. Stemming from similar historical roots, these two areas of artistic expression use the human body as an artistic medium. Artists Margaret Dragu (Vancouver) and Jörn J. Burmester (Berlin) will lead a 5-day workshop-like “(Un)Symposium” that will turn traditional conference models on their heads and open up possibilities for how unique human actions can be instruments of cultural, political, and social creation. 

Creative Placemaking Workshops

Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 6:00 pm

Workshop 1: Tuesday, June 20 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Workshop 2: Thursday, June 22 from 3 to 6 pm
Finally: A chance to share all you learned creating a tree house or building a fort in the back yard.
Toronto-based artist Jennie Suddick and urban planner Sara Udow will be considering forts and tree houses to look at how communities can engage with city planning to meet the needs of citizens. To do this, they’ll be asking about people’s dream tree houses, both real and imagined, part of a hands-on series called Creative Placemaking Workshops at Open Space.

Commercial Alley 2014: Troy Lovegates

Monday, August 4, 2014, 5:00 pm to Sunday, February 15, 2015, 5:00 pm

VICTORIA, BC – A joint initiative is turning a downtown alley into a place for artistic and creative expression by local artists. The City of Victoria is partnering with Open Space Arts Society to establish a new outdoor art gallery in Commercial Alley, located between the 500 block of Yates Street and Bastion Square.
Commercial Alley’s rst installation goes up mid-June and consists of a custom-designed, four-panel artwork by renowned street artist Other (a.k.a Troy Lovegates). To be installed on the west wall of the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, the artwork depicts four patterned, black-and-white gures punctuated by bold red shapes. The expertly executed portraits are characterized by their brooding, emotive faces—each with an expression that ranges from the sinister to the somber and forlorn.

One Way or Another

Friday, January 13, 2017, 7:30 pm to Saturday, February 18, 2017, 5:00 pm

One Way or Another highlights the failure involved in the quest for excellence. The project originated with a trilogy of videos that use classic video games as a platform to investigate human struggle. Within this trilogy a character blunders through a series of obstacles that constantly defy her. These impediments are indicative of forms and concepts that drive Dickie's artistic practice: logic inspired, insurmountable forms that are turned into absurd objects of physical comedy. The structures from the videos have been brought to life through sculptures that focus on endless patterns. Together, the sculptures and videos create an immersive environment of humorous persistence. Questioning the value of human progress and highlighting the struggle for bigger, better and more.​

the absence of the origin of its likeness

Friday, November 4, 2016, 7:30 pm to Saturday, December 10, 2016, 5:00 pm

Has this photograph been digitally altered? Did the scene it show actually occur? Since the photograph’s invention, people have been enamored by the image’s resemblance to its subject. But changes in the field of photography like digital imaging and editing have brought this into question. In the absence of the origin of its likeness, artists Laura Dutton and Arnold Koroshegyi examine these issues, using both analogue and digital technologies, to destabilize traditional readings and open up new avenues for making and looking at photographs. 

Commercial Alley 2016: Daniel Ellingsen

Saturday, August 27, 2016, 6:00 pm to Saturday, August 19, 2017, 5:00 pm

The City of Victoria’s partnership with Open Space Arts Society has transformed Commercial Alley’s busy thoroughfare into an accessible, outdoor public art gallery for the past four years. Open Space and the City of Victoria are delighted to announce Daniel Ellingsen as the Commercial Alley artist for 2016. Born in the UK, Ellingsen has lived and worked across Canada for the past thirty years, exhibiting in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Toronto. He currently lives in the City of Victoria, and recently finished his MFA at the University of Victoria, where he presented his solo exhibition, Die Strandloper.

Raymond Boisjoly is an Indigenous artist of Haida and Québécois descent. His work focuses on the representation of aboriginality, language as a cultural practice, and the ways in which these issues are materialized and experienced.


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