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News / Life / Clark County Life

Vancouver exhibit celebrates green spaces, clear water

Benefit for Watershed Alliance through April

By Monika Spykerman, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 6, 2023, 6:02am
8 Photos
"Downpour" by Parmalee Cover.
"Downpour" by Parmalee Cover. (Contributed by Art at the CAVE) Photo Gallery

Green and blue are the Pacific Northwest’s defining colors (with a fair amount of gray from October to May), and that’s how we like it. Indeed, our verdant expanses set with shining freshwater gems are the subject of many artistic works.

Art at the CAVE gallery in downtown Vancouver is celebrating our green spaces and liquid abundance with a two-for-one show — “Greenbelt” and “Crystal Clear Water” — of works created in response to an open call to artists in the community. Proceeds from art sold during the show benefit the Watershed Alliance of Southwest Washington, a nonprofit organization that works with community volunteers to protect and restore Southwest Washington’s waterways and natural areas.

“What’s a greenbelt without water?” curator Sharon Svec said. “They both kind of go together. They’re separate but also one.”

The “Greenbelt” exhibit features two- and three-dimensional art that’s, well, green. Svec likens it to “forest bathing, but in an art gallery,” with representations of green and growing things that are both realistic and abstract and sometimes a little humorous. The “Crystal Clear Water” exhibit features works that depict water with a variety of interpretations and a surprising number of artistic angles, from macro to micro.


What: Opening reception for the “Greenbelt” and “Crystal Clear Water” exhibits.

Where: Art at the CAVE, 108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver.

When: 4-8 p.m. Friday. The artwork will be on display through April at the gallery, which is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Admission: Free.

Information: Contact Sharon Svec at 618-559-9153 or gallery@artatthecave.com, or visit artatthecave.com online.

“It’s really compelling, the different perspectives that people are taking on water, looking at it from beyond the earth’s atmosphere from space to looking at drops on the windowpane,” Svec said. “It’s really lovely to see all the different things that people think of when they think of water and its connection to our life and our survival.”

Altogether, around 50 works of art are featured in the two exhibits, which will be on display through the end of April. The show’s opening reception is 4-8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Art Walk, when guests can meet the artists. The artists will also give talks 1-2:30 p.m. April 15. Svec said that representatives from the Watershed Alliance will be at both events to speak about the nonprofit’s work and mission.

Artists’ Talks are every third Thursday at the gallery. They’re always interesting, Svec said, but she really enjoys the talks that are held in conjunction with open-call exhibits because the artists have such varied insights. Usually there’s time for 10 artists to speak for about five minutes each. The talks are posted on the gallery’s website, but Svec said it’s hard to beat the in-person buzz.

“In an hour or an hour-and-a-half’s time, the visitor gets these quick but thorough dialogues about the artists and their inspiration and how they went about creating their piece,” Svec said. “It’s a fast-paced but fulfilling event.”