Before Tuesday of last week, I had no idea what kind of work went into installation art, especially one that has 110 items to hang. The first day of set up was spent calculating and measuring walls, hardware, letters, and gaps. We asked for multiple opinions, made last minute trips to IKEA, and I learned how to use a drill and level. Using the lift was fun and getting that first wire hung was a pretty monumental feeling. It had begun.
I literally could not have done this alone. Alisha, the Curator of the Emerge Annual Exhibition, along with the Executive Director & Curator Laura, and the Assistant Curator Kate were absolute lifesavers.
Watching my vision come to life on the walls of the gorgeous Reach Gallery was an absolute dream and being a part of such a celebrated event was a true honour. When Laura spoke about the emerging artists of the Fraser Valley, I felt like I was a part of something real and felt rooted in my new community in a whole new way.
The event was attended by 120 people and the conversations I found myself in ranged from answering questions about the time frame of the letters, all the way to asking if we were somehow related because of my grandparents last name (there are a lot of Wiebe’s in Abbotsford). Seeing so many fellow artists, collegues, family, friends, customers and complete strangers enjoy the letters was quite something, and I could feel Grama and Papa smiling down.
Adam & my love story was highlighted in a pretty unique way as well. Along with the 110 love letters that Grama wrote to Papa, I had my old cell phone on display with a glimpse into some text messages that Adam and I sent to one another while I was in London. By presenting these modes of communication side by side, it really asks the viewer to consider human-to-human connection both now and then.
Having Adam there, along with our growing little baby bump made it even more special knowing that this baby will be coming into the world surrounded by love not only in this community, but also in the generational lineage that he/she is being born into.
I could feel the love on Thursday, and have felt sparkly ever since.
photos taken by the talented Sharon W Huget & Connie Hackett