It’s Mother’s Day on May 12th, but we like to celebrate the incredible moms (and mother figures) in our lives the entire month whenever possible, and not just on one day. Need some ideas on outings Mom would love? There are all kinds of fascinating art exhibits taking place that you’ll both love – read on for more.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Burnaby’s Deer Lake Gallery is featuring emerging artist Ketty Haolin Zhang, a 1.5-generation immigrant who has spent half her life in China and half in Canada. In The tide is higher or lower, she couldn’t tell you which, the artist combines video work and velvet paintings with mixed-media sculptures. Zhang’s experience as an artist in residence in Mexico City influences her work, and she is clearly curious about the relationship between closeness and distance. Instead of flowers for Mother’s Day gifting this year, why not buy your art-loving mom a membership to the Burnaby Arts Council and Deer Lake Gallery? This way she can enjoy the benefits of membership by being able to vote at the Annual General Meeting, participate in BAC events, programmes, exhibits, host events at the venue and more.

Jason McCrea’s debut show at Vancouver’s Ashdale Gallery is titled Afterburn and is a collection of new large-scale works. His subjects are inspired by his own life and active imagination, and the title of the show urges us to simply keep going in these troubling times.  His encouraging message is “no matter how small, what lights us up inside and inspires us is more important than ever.” Rather than wait until Mother’s Day on the 12th, why not treat mom to the opening night of this exhibit? The Artist Reception takes place Friday, May 3rd (RSVP on the link above) which is always a swishy affair rubbing shoulders with other art lovers including McCrea himself. Or bring mother to the Artist Talk on May 4th, a lovely way to spend some time that afternoon, perhaps with lunch before or afterward in a nearby restaurant. 

At Whistler’s Audain Art Museum the Otherwise Disregarded exhibit is part of the Capture Photography Festival. Adad Hannah, Jake Kimble, Michelle Sound, and Jin-me Yoon collaborated as artists to explore the transformative power of art to encourage creativity, challenge notions of justice, and the connection between the mind, body, and our society. Photographic and video works move the viewer in an immersive manner. Here’s a thought: Since you’ll be in Whistler with mom to catch this exhibit, take note that one of the sponsors is the Scandinave Spa. Why not book you and your mom in for a massage followed by some thermal therapy and make a day of it? A little art at the Audain, a little spa time, plus that mountain air – this would be a gift your mom will never forget.

Surrey Art Gallery’s Arts 2024 has taken place for over forty years as an annual open-juried exhibition, in partnership with the Arts Council of Surrey.  Artworks are selected by a team of community jurors who look for artists who demonstrate originality and skill, and anyone can enter. Visitors to the gallery can vote on their favourite to select the People’s Choice award. Once you’ve strolled through the exhibit, make a deliberate stop with mom into the Gift Shop in Surrey Arts Centre which sells artworks by local artists from the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands. Stroll, browse, ooh and ahh, and then let mom choose a favourite piece. Surprise! – it’s your treat for Mother’s Day. Let her select from pottery, handcrafted jewellery, limited-edition prints, hand-blown glass, artisan soaps, paintings and more.

New Westminster’s Community Art Gallery has a new exhibit called Walking with SYM.  Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza, better known by his initials SYM, mentored aspiring artists in the Philippines and Canada.  SYM’s philosophy on art is “To express with the whole force of my capacity, vitality, and intensity of expressiveness… bold and dynamic technique with profound intention to create and produce a work of art that is strong yet gentle to the human senses.” Make it an extra special Mother’s Day and stop for lunch and a glass of prosecco, pre- or post-art exhibit, in this stunner of a building, at Piva Modern Italian.  

The Port Kells Art Club Group Exhibition is held in the Township of Langley Civic Center and showcases the work of thirteen featured artists. This not-for-profit club was formed in 1962 and still features on-going programs that foster creativity and a continued sense of community. In the spirit of art for Mother’s Day, why not enroll mom into an art class? ‘Drawing with Kelly Ulrich’ takes place May to June, where students will learn skills using ink, graphite and coloured pencil, charcoal and more. Fun class, fun teacher. 

There are many ways to get to these by transit. Visit TransLink’s Trip Planner to find your way.

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