Gloves Off - Opening Reception

Friday, August 30th at 6 PM - 9 PM

Hatch Art Gallery

Hosted by Hatch Art Gallery


14 of Vancouver’s own preparators and art handlers present: GLOVES OFF, an experimental DIY exhibition focused on the artists who build your favourite exhibitions in Vancouver. Art institutions hire artists as preparators (also known as art technicians) because of the special understanding of art that a personal practice allows. Preparators need to be able to build walls, build display structures, move art, pack art, hang art, paint walls, paint floors, soundproof spaces, blackout spaces, rewire spaces, set lights, calibrate lights, install vinyl, run media set-ups, and sometimes literally make the art that is showing. The project-based nature of preparatory work provides artists with the opportunity to work on their own practices while supporting themselves and maintaining a proximity to art in their day jobs.—yet this flexibility is oftentimes accompanied by job precarity and economic instability. Despite the many reasons that make preparatory work enjoyable, the job comes with unique repercussions. To keep up with the increasing rent prices in Vancouver, free time is often spent securing future contracts with various institutions. Preparators generally end up working multiple casual contracts with various institutions—leaving workers scrambling if any last minute changes are made to install dates or team size requirements. Ironically, if a preparator does manage to fill their schedule with multiple work-sites, it further adds to the list of institutions they cannot exhibit in due to "conflicts of interest." The physical and temporal demands of installing other artists' exhibitions act as an additional barrier to the already difficult task of pursuing opportunities to exhibit and network. This forces working-class artists to choose between having reliable work in their field that they enjoy, or the opportunity to grow their practice in their local scene. GLOVES OFF provides a platform for art technicians to display their work and gives audiences an understanding of the artists who perform the invisible labour in their favourite art spaces. To negate some of the barriers that preparators face when trying to exhibit their own work, GLOVES OFF was organized using an open-call format. Anyone who submitted and worked as a preparator was accepted. The exhibiting artists are: Brandon Cotter Philip Dion Nick Farrell Ian Forbes Shizen Jambor Jack Kenna Aaron Friend Lettner Jessie McNeil Chris Eugene Mills Kay Slater Nomi Stricker Tereza Tacic Theo Terry Ronan Nanning-Watson The exhibition runs from September 3-19 2019. Please join us at the Hatch Art Gallery on Tuesday, September 3rd at 6pm for the opening of GLOVES OFF. The Hatch Art Gallery gratefully and respectfully acknowledges that this event takes place on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). For more information, visit:

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