An art gallery aims to be a multicultural hub in Ridge Meadows

The new art gallery/studio space hopes to re-connect the Ridge Meadows community as reopening after COVID-19 resumes

For many BIPOC artists, finding the right art gallery to exhibit your work can be daunting. But spaces like Treeroot Gallery make the task a little less stressful.

A new art gallery and studio space that hopes to re-connect the Ridge Meadows community as reopening after COVID-19 resumes.

The front half of the space is designated for art exhibits. The back half is a high-ceiling studio for classes and community gatherings. 

“The goal is to create a healthy community. It’s to connect the local community with global production, and to help facilitate a healthy relationship between the two,” explained Michael Bruins.

“I’m really hoping to connect more with the Katzie [First] Nation either through youth program or culture [and] have some bridges built there.” 

After his rental unit eviction a year ago, he envisioned opening an art space for himself and other artists.

Bruins is a painter himself. So, naturally, he wanted the gallery to exhibit his works. But, he also wanted other artists to organize and showcase their paintings, without third-party mediation. That is the format Treeroot Gallery is built on.

This format, he said, will hopefully allow local artists to connect with the Ridge Meadows community and build relationships. 

Opening exhibition with Day of the Dead

a colourful Mexican Day of the Dead altar is set up
Day of the Dead altar set up inside the Treeroot Gallery/Photo Supplied

The first exhibit at Treeroot Gallery is of the Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It’s a Mexican-Indigenous celebration and remembrance of those who have left the world. 

“Lizette is a Mexican artist and a jiu-jitsu student of mine. She approached me and said she would love to do an exhibit on the Day of the Dead and she was aware of what I was looking to establish and stepped forward. I stepped alongside and supported her and gave my gallery to her and she did the installation,” Bruins said. 

80 people attended the exhibit within its first week and it’s scheduled to run till November 6.

Bruins added that he has a lot planned for the space.

On Friday evenings, the gallery will host Game Nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturday, an early morning therapeutic yoga session will take place. And, on Sundays, the space will turn into an art sanctuary for exhibits.

He added that such spaces are integral to sustaining a healthy community and lifestyle especially as we are coming out of nearly two years of lockdowns and public gatherings restrictions. 

“Now more than ever, it is the time we can come together to reform the community and to also appreciate and nurture our own roots and that’s what this is really about. Reconnecting to where we come from and where others come from,” he said. “Healthy living is not just mind body and soul, it is also financial [possibilities] and relationships. We cannot be living a healthy life in isolation.” 

Bruins shared that his hope is for this space to challenge people to listen to each other and question their core beliefs.

You can find out more about the space here.  

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