A New Arrival on Dunbar Street:
It is always exciting to see new businesses open in Dunbar Village. It indicates business owners, like residents, appreciate the area and want to be a part of, and invest in, this vibrant community. The north end of Dunbar is experiencing changes, and the arrival of Visual Space Gallery in December 2014 is part of this evolution.
Professional photographers Peter Eastwood, Noriko Nasu-Tidball and Yukiko Onley are the joint owners of Visual Space Gallery. Their goal was to open a gallery to exhibit photography, painting and sculpture, which are available to purchase.
Previously Eastwood and Onley had teamed up and run a gallery in the Olympic Village neighbourhood; however, they had to seek a new space when their lease expired. One day last fall Eastwood happened to be driving along Dunbar Street and spotted a for lease sign, situated beside their new neighbours, 4Cats. He thought it was the perfect location for art installations with its high ceiling, deep floor plan and west-facing storefront. He alerted Onley and their new business partner, Nasu-Tidall, about his find.
The partners have found neighbouring merchants and residents to be extremely receptive and welcoming. This owner-operated gallery gives clients an opportunity to talk directly to Eastwood, Nasu-Tidball and Onley.
Their intention is to break down the stereotype of intimidating and stuffy galleries and make this a very approachable and welcoming place for people to visit.
In addition to the main gallery, Eastwood has cleverly taken a page from some independent London galleries, which use every inch of square footage. With this in mind, he has created a lower level gallery at the back entry of the business to maximize the display area.
While art installations are the primary focus, Visual Space Gallery will also host small concerts and receptions. As well, the gallery is available for artists to rent to show their work. In fact, the trio have already discovered there is a flourishing artists’ community in the Dunbar area as a number of them have dropped in to say hello.
The owners have also discovered there is an interest in gallery rentals for small weddings. The long room is ideal to set up chairs and create an aisle, and after the ceremony it works nicely as a reception area.
All three photographers are very active. Eastwood specializes in travel photography. Nasu-Tidall and Onley’s work includes portraits, live dance and theatre photography and wedding photography.
Eastwood was born in England. Encouraged by his mother who worked for Sunbeam Photos, he became an avid photographer at an early age. In his teens he started with a Kodak Brownie and quickly discovered an interest in portrait photography. His varied career included spending 17 years in Hong Kong where he opened a successful hairdressing company called HQ. It was during this time that Eastwood’s photography career took off as he created advertising campaigns for his business. After selling HQ he began freelance photography for some of Asia’s top photographers and advertising agencies.
Onley was born and grew up in Osaka, Japan. She relocated to Vancouver in 1976. She has been surrounded by art for much of her life. Her grandmother was a master of the tea ceremony and of flower arrangements, and one of her aunts was an accomplished painter in Japan. Onley’s early training was as a painter. Her long association with Canadian artist, Toni Onley, both during and after their marriage, has been a significant influence on her work. In 1989, painting led to photography. She is known as one of the finest portrait photographers on the West Coast.
Nasu-Tidball was born in Susami, a small town in Japan where her parents worked as a banker and a kimono storeowner. Her uncle was an executive at Mainichi Graph magazine, a photojournalism periodical. Nasu-Tidball grew up surrounded by this documentary style of photography that was partially responsible for inspiring her future career. She moved to Canada in 1990 and took up photography in 2009, beginning with a SLR camera. She studied and worked with different photographers, which led to meeting Onley and Eastwood.
From April 10 to 21 Visual Space Gallery will be mounting an exhibit by Peter Eastwood entitled Sri Lanka After The Tsunami: Stories of the Survivors. The mediums of photography and film capture Eastwood’s time spent in this region that is very close to his heart. The stories behind the faces are at times heartbreaking, but also often filled with hope, deep spirituality and a renewed respect for the power of the seas. At the same time he will launch his book, which shares the same title.
Upcoming exhibits include Art by David Lemon (April 24 to 26), brand new works by Lil Chrzan (May 7 to 11), and Art Sale by Pnina Granier (May 15 to 21).
Visual Space Gallery’s website is constantly updated as new exhibitions take place. Pop by, meet Eastwood, Nasu-Tidball and Onley and enjoy Visual Space Gallery that has become a welcome addition to Dunbar Street.
Visual Space Gallery
3352 Dunbar St
Vancouver BC V6S 2C1