December 7 2022 - April 1 2023

OPEN ⋮ REALITY engages making at the intersection of physical and digital realities – a hybrid space of reciprocity and a bridging of potentials. OFFERINGS take shape as virtual and face-to-face participation, making, skill-sharing and conversations. ACTIVATIONS intersect and intermingle between art, identity, culture, technology, and society. PROPOSING different ways of knowing is possible through collaborations between artists, technologists, communities and students of diverse ages and abilities – giving time and space to multiple processes. CURIOSITY about art and technology pushes boundaries and makes space for playing with how we imagine and express creatively across disciplines and in the space between. LIVED EXPERIENCES ARE BEAUTIFUL INSTIGATORS. TRANSFORMATION IS ART.

What was real yesterday is no longer real today, and the future holds new realities. In his book ‘Phenomenology of Perception’, philosopher Marcel Merleau Ponty postulates that perceptions founded on involvement in the world informs an understanding of the transformative nature of reality. His writings emphasize the body as the primary site for knowing the world. The installations, performances, and MakeArt Community Projects + Workshops in the OPEN ⋮ REALITY program expand the nature of perceived reality though the experiences of the sensing body.

REAL REALITY (RR) – Residencies | Collaborations | Site Installations | Performances | Community MakeArt Projects + Workshops
7 DECEMBER 2022 – 1 APRIL 2023

The embodied + visual art practice of Geneviève Johnson ‘connects audience-participants to themselves, their environment, and others in the present moment while exploring parts of the unknown within.’

Bran Mackie’s material practice weaves a network of perception using ‘the collection and distillation of found objects to examine the ways in which the liminal spaces we inhabit connect and inform our experiences to the material world.’

Sarah Clark’s arts-based research projects translates her practices of – drawing, movement, and contemporary data collection methodologies into “Slow Data” to explore ‘the perceptual disconnect between our inner and outer worlds.’

5 JANUARY 2022 – 1 APRIL 2023

Inspired by the reality of the art gallery’s evolving architecture, the community of STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Electronics, Arts + Mathematics) Youth built a LEGO and stop-motion installation that offers a nexus for exploring place, identity, and belonging.

NINA WEDBERG THULIN | THE SOURCE PROJECT – Residency | Collaborations | Accumulating Site Installation17 JANUARY – 1 APRIL 2023

During this international residency, Nina Wedberg Thulin from Stockholm, Sweden carries all her ‘questions from former works’ while becoming ‘a beginner starting from zero’.“When in Comox – I will be “open to “new ideas, [the] influence from nature and people – or anything that happens during my stay.”

WE DON’T KNOW – Public Space Installation – 19 JANUARY – 3 FEBRUARY
DON’T KNOW – Exhibition | Community Maker Space | Installation – 4 FEBRUARY – 1 APRIL 2023

Multi-media installations – exhibition – maker space that reconstructs boundaries between gallery and viewer. Michael Fernandes is a Governor General awarded Canadian artist and educator. His multi-media projects create situations that actively solicit participation from the viewer to activate exploration of the intersections of private life with public space.

Facebook Album (Opening Event)

Facebook Album (Workshops with Highland ENTER Students)


The Comox Valley Art Gallery would like to acknowledge 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 Works | Community Collaborators: School District 71 Print Shop, ABC Printing + Signs


Resource reading:
Merleau Ponty, Marcel. Phenomenology of Perception, Translated by Donald A. Landes, Routledge, 2012.

Image: courtesy of Angela Somerset


  • We Don't Know

    The first installment of a multi-part project by artist Michael Fernandes.

    January 19 - February 3 2023
  • Real Reality (RR)

    Residencies, collaborations, site installations, + performances with Geneviève Johnson, Bran Mackie, Sarah Emery Clark.

    December 7 2022 - January 28 2023
  • Integrating Reality: Building from Inside Out – STREAM Incubator III

    STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Electronics, Arts + Mathematics) an inquiry-based, hands-on learning program.

    December 7 2022 - April 1 2023