Sunday, June 8, 2008


For those of you who have no idea what BIMPE is, it stands for "Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition", and it is a fabulous showcase of printmaking artists from around the world, currently on at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island in Vancouver until June 22 (then it moves to Dundarave Print Workshop from July 8 - August 3). If you are in the area, please go see these prints in person. The styles, techniques and world-class skills are overwhelming, and require quite a lengthy visit to truly appreciate these delicate miniature works of art.

Dave & I attended the opening, which was from 6-8 pm on Friday, June 6. It was packed. I have never seen that many people at an opening at the Federation before; it was absolutely incredible. At one point, people were lined out the door to come in. And not only was it packed with admiring viewers, but people were actually pulling out their wallets and putting money down for their favourites. Other than the fact that these are all incredible pieces of art, they're also extremely portable, charming, and very affordable (many for less than $100, most between $100 - $150), and as they're not framed, they're easy to take home on the airplane!

My friends Kathy and Katka came down to see the show, and another printmaker (Beth Sobel) from Wet Canvas made the trip up from Bellingham with her husband & in-laws. I found the work of one other printmaker (Lynn Macintyre) from Wet Canvas, but as there are just so many pieces, and the labels were pretty tiny, that if I didn't know to look for you, I am sorry if I missed your work! Please write a comment - I'll be going back on Wednesday (June 9) to volunteer at the gallery, so I'll be able to look again more closely.

I had the honour of being introduced to Jim Westergard, winner again of a BIMPE Honourable Mention, and one of my wood engraving idols. His work is full of whimsy and charm, and he is very passionate about his chosen medium. I was so happy that he made it to the opening - he lives in Red Deer, Alberta, and drove (via Nelson, to pick up his wood engraver buddy, Gene Leavitt, who was also represented at BIMPE this year) all the way out here basically just for the opening. Jim also introduced me to Karen Kunc, a woodblock printmaker from Nebraska, who is in town at Malaspina Printmakers as their artist in residence for June. Although she did not apply to BIMPE, you can see her solo exhibition "Visualizing the Urban/Rural Divide" at Malaspina until June 15.

After the opening, the die-hards of the lot wandered over to New Leaf Editions, the hosts, coordinators and masterminds of BIMPE, for a barbeque and feast, accompanied by Dead Frog brew: a wonderful and generous spread put on by Peter & Katie of NLE. Thanks guys!!


Erin Candela said...

Thanks for blogging about this! I'm an artist who has a piece up at the show, but didn't get a chance to visit as I'm in Toronto. I'm so pleased to hear the opening was crowded and successful! I'd love to see more pictures if you have any. :) erin candela

Unknown said...

Congratulations Erin!