Monday, April 15, 2024

‘A bridge of empathy’: Art show raising awareness for Victoria’s unhoused happening next week


Beautiful art for a good cause!

This circus-themed, free art exhibit has been dubbed ‘The Greatest Show on Earth,’ and will feature dozens of driftwood, cardboard, and wire sculptures by artist Tanya Bub.

The displays will weave in and out of the Gage Gallery in Bastion Square from August 22nd to September 10th during gallery hours!

Through her art, Bub seeks to raise awareness regarding the prejudices faced by Victoria’s un-housed community, and hopes to  gather funds for Our Place Society, who support them.

“My goal is to give people an emotional experience with the hope of creating a bridge of empathy that changes the way they feel about people in our community who are experiencing homelessness,” said Bub.

To kick off the exhibit, there will be an open-house, free meet-the-artist reception on August 22nd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Gage Gallery in Bastion Square.

(Tanya Bub’s invitation poster)

Attractions will include central pieces like Sitting with Grace — described as a large, fascinating sculpture made from paper, wire and up-cycled garbage, of an unusual human figure that takes the form of a throne.

Bub has taken the sculpture to various locations where people in the un-housed community congregate, with a focus on Pandora Street. 


According to Bub, the sculpture served as an ice breaker and conversation starter. People were encouraged to sit on the throne, ask questions and contribute to the piece with a message or drawing. 

“I was deeply moved by the openness and generosity of the community. There are so many artists and poets among them,” Bub said.

“I was made to feel welcome and appreciated for who I am and what I have to offer. My wish is that the larger community in Victoria extend the same courtesy to them.”

Sitting With Grace will be among the other art at the exhibition as well as a documentary detailing the sculpture and its purpose — it’s available for screenings by-donation.

The project was a collaboration with Our Place Society with Director of Communications, Grant Mackenzie, acting as liaison, and Haus of Owl creatives Ross Welan and Eric Hinch, who made the documentary.

Carla, a member of the Pandora Avenue community, posing with ‘Sitting with Grace’ (Our Place Society)

Other show attractions will include a driftwood foot archer and two trapeze artists suspended from the gallery ceiling, a life-sized giraffe and 9 foot tall giant made entirely from found cardboard, driftwood animals such as a tiger, lion and baby elephant, and much more!

Additionally, if you have any unused art supplies, Bub invites the public to drop off unused art supplies at the gallery during her show. 

Donated supplies will be distributed amongst the Our Place community!

We hope to see you there!

‘The Greatest Show’ on Earth Art Exhibition

  • Where: Gage Gallery, 19 Bastion Square — open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • When: 
    • Opening reception: Tuesday, August 22nd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Show duration: Tuesday, August 22nd to Sunday, September 10th during gallery hours

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