Audain Art Museum hires new curator 

Arts news briefs: Barbed Choir kicks off summer session; hands-on workshop offers lesson on indigo dyeing

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF JESSICA GNYP, 2018 - New Hire Kiriko Watanabe has been hired as the Audain Art Museum's new Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky curator.
  • Photo courtesy of Jessica Gnyp, 2018
  • New Hire Kiriko Watanabe has been hired as the Audain Art Museum's new Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky curator.

The Audain Art Museum has a new curator.

On Monday, June 11, Dr. Curtis Collins, the museum's new director and chief curator, announced that Kiriko Watanabe has been appointed as the Gail & Stephen A. Jarislowsky curator.

"Kiriko brings an energy and passion for cultural production in Canada that will support the museum in achieving its vision of being a centre of excellence for the art of British Columbia," Collins says in a release.

Watanabe was born and raised in Japan and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology and a Master of Arts degree in critical curatorial studies from the University of British Columbia, according to a press release. Since then, she's worked as assistant curator at the West Vancouver Museum, earned a Metro Vancouver 2010 RAIC Advocate of Architecture Award of Excellence from the Royal Institute of Canada and curated many exhibits on British Columbia art, architecture and design.

"From the time I came to Canada as an international student, I have been fascinated by Indigenous arts and culture, particularly their commitment to honouring and protecting the earth and all living things," Watanabe says in the release. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help foster an awareness and understanding of the arts, culture and history of this beautiful province."

Watanabe will begin her job on July 17.

Barbed Choir starts summer session

Whistler's rock 'n' roll choir is gearing up for its summer sessions.

Starting on June 24, Barbed Choir will be heading down to The Point Artist-Run Centre for their weekly singing meet ups from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The meetings are on a drop-in basis with no registration or singing experience required.

Examples of songs they've tackled range from Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" to David Bowie's "Space Oddity." Recently, they also travelled up to Pemberton for a pop-up choir session at the library where they sang Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'."

For more, visit them on Facebook at

Try dyeing

The next workshop to take over the Alta Lake Station House is The Art of Indigo, taking place on June 16 and 17.

Led by longtime artist Kim Maitland, participants will get a chance to roll up their sleeves for a hands-on experience. They'll learn how to set up a natural dye vat and get their fabric ready for dyeing.

"Working with different folding, clamping and tying techniques, students will create unique patterns (with) various pieces of 100 per cent cotton," according to Arts Whistler.

While they'll have their choice of dyeing a large scarf, beach throw and tote bag or pillow cover, students should also bring a personal item they'd like to spruce up with dye.

All skill levels are welcome "as long as they're happy getting a little messy," the description says. (It's also for those 16-years-old and up.)

The two-day workshop—which will run from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.—will cost $200 for Arts Whistler members, plus $75 for supplies, or $225 for non-members, plus $75 for supplies.

To register, or for more information, visit


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