The Terrace Art Gallery opened its doors on June 2 to unveil “Under the Surface,” a mixed-media installation by Terrace-born artist Tracie Stewart on display from June 2 to July 15.
“Under the Surface” creates an immersive experience for visitors with a rendition of the Skeena River flowing through the gallery space, allowing guests to interact with the installation. “It’ll be a play of light and shadows created with wood,” said Stewart. She explained that the wood is complemented by paintings echoing the exhibit’s theme on the unseen aspects of life and nature.
A cornerstone of the exhibit is a book co-authored by Teresa Klein titled “Loon and Moon.” The story is a reflection on relationships, transformation, greed, entitlement and the pursuit of balance in the world. The narrative’s inspiration came to her in 2017 in a dreamlike vision about a pearl being a piece of the moon that fell into the ocean, with the moon searching for it every night, Stewart said.
Preparing the exhibit was no small feat, taking between two and three years. The artist, who was born and raised in Terrace, has a strong connection with the community, having featured her work in the Skeena Salmon Art Show for the past two years.
Stewart plans to engage with her community by holding workshops that dovetail with the exhibit. She believes these sessions will allow more people to connect with the show. She said, “it’s really about lifting other people up because everyone has something to say and there are many ways of knowing and they’re all equal.”
The artist is excited about her new exhibit and hopes it will draw people into the gallery space and invite them to engage with her work. “There’s a lot of thought going into the deeper meaning of them,” she said about her paintings, adding that they are conceptual and result from extensive research.
This will be Stewart’s fourth river installation in a public gallery space. The river installations are crafted from natural materials and designed to reflect the waterway near the gallery, with special attention paid to the entry and exit points of the river’s flow. She compared the branching patterns within the river installation to veins and arteries in the human body, underlining our interconnectedness with the environment.
Stewart has exhibited her work across British Columbia, including the Fraser Valley, and internationally in Amsterdam.
The Terrace Art Gallery is located in the basement of the Terrace Public Library, at 4610 Park Ave., and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.