light in the rafters

Choreography and Performance  Alexis Fletcher
 Visual Design and Technical Director  Sylvain Senez
Music | James Beckwith Maxwell performed by Couloir
August 9th, 7pm | Artist talkback to follow Alexis Fletcher & Tiko Kerr
August 17th & 24th | 2pm and 7pm
Admission $10

Photo credit; Michael Slobodian

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All performances 20 minutes in duration. We encourage you to stay after the performance to meet the artists and explore Tiko Kerr’s exhibit Reframed: Painting and Collage.
Alexis Fletcher is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer and producer living and working on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples.  During her 14 year career with Ballet BC she has been fortunate to work alongside many luminaries of contemporary choreography, and share her art worldwide. She has also co-created a multidisciplinary performance space and series with her husband, Sylvain Senez, at their home in Vancouver entitled The Dance Deck at Casa Om.  Currently, she is exploring her voice as an independent performer and choreographer. Alexis is fascinated by how exploring the movement potential of the human body becomes a way of accessing the inner landscapes of our spirits and psyches, and believes that dance is a unique vehicle with which to share, research, and discuss our humanity.
“I believe that curating dance or any live performance inside an art gallery allows a different proximity – and therefore perception and exchange – between the dancer, the works of art, and the vievers than does a traditional theatre space. For these live performance events, we are creating an atmosphere with the moving body, music, and theatrical design, which encourages our viewers to view the art from a place of reflective and thoughtful silence.”
Alexis Fletcher (@alexisstarfletcher)

















Karleen Gardner (Moderator)

Karleen Gardner is Director of Learning at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). She also heads up the Center for Empathy and Visual Arts. MIA envisions taking a leading role in collaborating with museum colleagues as well as researchers, scholars, content experts, and other influencers to research and explore practices for fostering empathy and global awareness through the power of art and to share these findings with the field. In our increasingly divisive world, polarized by issues regarding politics, racial inequities, marriage equality, global warming, income disparities, and immigration policies, it becomes clear that our failures to understand other people’s feelings are exacerbating prejudice, conflict, and inequality. “If we wish to develop not only a more equal society but a happier and more creative one, we will need to look outside ourselves and attempt to identify with the experiences of others.” This critical skill is called empathy, which “has the power to transform relationships, from the personal to the political, and create fundamental social change.


Tiko Kerr (Panelist)

In Canadian visual artist Tiko Kerr’s 30 year practice, his interest has been primarily in perception and the emotive response that the image can actuate.  Kerr’s focus is chiefly in painting, drawing, paper collage, print-making and assemblage, although he finds teaching, lecturing and social advocacy enormously rewarding as well.

Kerr’s exhibition of paintings and paper collage is on currently at The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art and he is in mid process of executing a 91 foot long outdoor mural which has been commissioned by the BC Children’s Hospital.

Zoe Kreye (Panelist)

Zoe Kreye creates interdisciplinary art projects that explore transformation, embodiment and collective experience. Working in the realms of sculpture, performance, dance, drawing and somatics her projects take shape as installations, workshops, rituals and journeys. Materially she works close to the body using clay, cloth, foam and gestural lines. She create artworks through transcendent experiences, then invites publics and performers into the installations to embody, disrupt and explore the transformative capacity of sensation, narrative and ritual. She holds an MFA in Public Art and Social Practice from the Bauhaus University Weimar, BFA in Sculpture from Concordia University Montreal. She co-founded the Berlin artist collective Process Institute and is currently based in Vancouver and teaches studio and Social Practice at Emily Carr University for Art & Design.


Birthe Piontek (Panelist)

Born and raised in Germany, Birthe moved to Canada in 2005 after receiving her MFA from the University of Essen in Communication Design and Photography. Birthe’s art practice explores the relationship between memory and identity, with a special interest in the topic of female identity and its representation in our society. Her main focus is photography but she also utilizes other art forms such as installation, sculpture and collage to investigate to what degree our complex identities can be visualized. Birthe’s project The Idea of North won the Critical Mass Book Award 2009, and was published as a monograph in 2011. Her most recent work, Abendlied (Engl. Evening Song), received the Edward Burtynsky Grant in 2018 and was published in April 2019. Birthe is an Assistant Professor in Photography at Emily Carr University of Art & Design and is a member of the artist collective Piece of Cake Project.


















Join artist Tiko Kerr and draw with scissors
Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art
Saturday, July 20, 2019 (General Public)
Saturday, July 27, 2019 (Parent & Child)
1:00pm to 3:00pm
A small donation at the door is appreciated
email us to reserve
Vancouver artist Tiko Kerr’s vision continues to evolve – and his most recent works begin as paper collage studies that inform his larger acry lic/oil paintings. Although considered an abstract form of art, collage uses pictorial representations of recognizable objects that, when placed next to one other, create a new collective while losing their original autonomous meaning. The intuitive process of cutting out liberates Kerr’s own creativity, and he manipulates images into new narratives.
“Lately I have worked with amalgamating images and concepts in a collage-like mode in order to create new visual interconnected associations blending abstract and figurative images into my work.”
All materials supplied.









REFRAMED: Painting and Collage by Tiko Kerr May 8 to August 30, 2019

If you would like to book an informative tour of this exhibition please register here.

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The Smith Foundation is honoured to be the proud new owner of a 100 year old Steinway & Sons baby grand piano. Donated by Kathryn Allison in memory of her mother Barbara Allison, a friend and student of Gordon Smith.

The donation of the Steinway piano is in memory of my mother, Barbara Allison. She trained as an opera singer, but when she became a single parent, she went back to school to become a teacher. She met Gordon Smith when she took his Fine Arts Teaching Methods course at UBC. They became great pals and he encouraged her to nurture every child’s creativity, not just the prodigies. Gordon Smith inspired my mother’s teaching practice, and made it possible for me to paint murals all over my bedroom walls. She relented, only because he approved!

Kathryn Allison
Lixia Li plays the 100-year-old Steinway & Sons baby grand piano gifted to the Gordon & Marion Smith Foundation by Kathryn Allison. Photo by Cindy Goodman.