in | at | on : RETURN TO WATER 2023

April 12 - May 27 2023

in | at | on : RETURN TO WATER

CVAG’s convergent program, in | at | on : RETURN TO WATER 2023, broadens perspectives through the sustained lens-based practices of three projects that bring into focus different relationships with water:

GO FISH Scott Smith + Nettie Wild. A three-channel video + audio experience that immerses the viewer. “Each year, hundreds of millions of herring return to the Salish Sea, their spawn painting a milky turquoise collar along its shores. For a few chaotic days, the Sea is transformed.”

as the wind blew: the ground beneath me | at the water’s edge | in its path – Sarah Crawley. Ethereal lens-based images portray investigations at the place where land meets the water’s edge. Utilizing pinhole photography, lumen printing, and video, the artist has explored embodied experiences of loss and vulnerability. 

Coastal Camera Obscura III  Donald Lawrence. A floating camera obscura in the waters surrounding K`ómoks — Goose Spit — and ephemera in Gather Place at CVAG are a locus for encouraging broad-ranging audiences to consider histories of the surrounding lands and of the interplay between art/science and learning/play while engaging in a micro-adventure.

Emerge | Return | Together NIC Student Incubator. Featuring Fine Arts + Digital Thematic projects in the HUB Gallery. The capstone projects feature digital and material investigations, centred in thematic approaches to: Return to Water and Emerging Forms of Togetherness.


The Comox Valley Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges that we are located upon the Unceded Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. CVAG recognizes the enduring presence of First Nations people on this land.

The gallery is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with artists, writers, guest curators, community partners, our volunteers, donors + members. CVAG’s convergent programming is made possible through the support of our funders: Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of BC, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Comox Valley Regional District, BC Gaming | Local Support: School District 71, Innov8 Digital Solutions, Lacasse Construction, Progressive Systems, Phi Architecture, Sherwin Williams, Safe and Sound Window Film, Pacific Audio Works, Shine-Eze Ltd., Muir Engineering Ltd., Izco Technology Solutions, Cumberland Village Work, West Coast Home Theatres, Industrial Plastics and Paints, MakeItZone  | Community Collaborators: School District 71 Print Shop, ABC Printing + Signs | Donors – GO FISH Capital Campaign – presentation equipment.

Artist Acknowledgements: Scott Smith + Nettie Wild – Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council | Sarah Crawly – the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council, funding from the City of Winnipeg, and thanks John Ervin | Donald Lawrence – Comox Valley Kayaks & Canoes, Dulux Paints Nanaimo, and the ongoing support of Thompson Rivers University



Onsite installations are open to the public during CVAG hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10AM – 5PM. All ages are welcome.

CVAG spaces are accessible and programs are barrier free (no cost) — DONATIONS are appreciated and contribute to ongoing community interactive programming.

PUBLIC HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS — we ask that visitors choose not to visit if they are experiencing symptoms of colds and flus. Hand sanitation dispensers are available at CVAG. Wearing a mask is at the discretion of the visitor.



    Each year, hundreds of millions of herring return to the Salish Sea, their spawn painting a milky turquoise collar along its shores. For a few chaotic days, the sea is transformed. GO FISH asks the question, if the herring set the table, who comes for dinner?

    April 12 - May 27 2023
  • as the wind blew: the ground beneath me, at the water’s edge, in its path

    Three bodies of work that explore grief, loss, and healing. Through the lens of artist Sarah Crawley.

    April 12 - May 27 2023
  • Coastal Camera Obscura III

    Offers an experience of an optical phenomenon and apparatus.

    April 12 - May 27 2023
  • Emerge | Return | Together - NIC Student Incubator

    Lens-based explorations of thematic projects by North Island College students from FIN 247 - Digital Photography.

    April 12 - September 30 2023