Elegant affair opens Kelowna Art Gallery photographic exhibition

Ready to GO! Carmen Harris and the Kelowna Art Gallery
Ready to GO! Carmen Harris and the Kelowna Art Gallery's marketing man Kris Johnson get ready for next weekend's gallery opening—Elegance & Eloquence.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith

When third-year UBCO visual arts student Hanss Lujan picks up his camera next Friday, Kelowna will look simply mad!

With more than a little of that Mad Men, ’60s-style flare, the party he is photographing should prove stylishly fun.

The fifth Go Party—a gallery opening to launch the new Gabor Szilasi exhibition—will be an Audrey Hepburn/Elizabeth Taylor kind of affair and the young photographer set to take photos of the costumed guests is expecting to see the red carpet treatment roll out.

“I just want to showcase how everyone in Kelowna has a little bit of elegance,” said Lujan, whose style tends to the trashy chic, according to his regular muse, opera singer Carmen Harris.

With four exhibits on display including Szilasi, Barbara Astman’s Dancing with Che: Enter through the Gift Shop, the front room’s high school and middle school work (Art in Action) and the latest Dysfunctional Chairs, Jasmine Reimer’s 1000 lbs. 3 days, there should be plenty to look at even if one discounts the costumes guests are expected to wear.

“This doesn’t have to be costly,” said Kris Johnson, the Kelowna Art Gallery’s marketing and events coordinator. “There’s Value Village, Tweaked and Yummy has agreed to help outfit people.”

For this photo shoot, Johnson chose a free outfit pulling his great grandfather’s suit—the one he wore to his grandparents’ wedding—out for a stroll through the gallery’s halls.

The entire evening is built to accentuate the Szilasi exhibit, a photographic event designed to accentuate the elegant beauty of the everyday.

Szilasi is a Montreal-based photographer whose show, The Eloquence of the Everyday, offers five decades of work with images from Hungary to rural Quebec and Montreal.

Szilasi became interested in photography in the early 1950s and went on to document the Hungarian Revolution in Budapest before fleeing the communist regime in 1956. Since immigrating to Canada in 1957, his career has largely focused on capturing images of townscapes, cityscapes, architectural views and portraiture.

The Eloquence of the Everyday includes early images of Hungary in the 1950s, as well as some made since 1980. The photographs of rural Quebec date principally from the 1970s, while the selection from Montreal span the late 1950s to the present day.

Professional and hobby photographers alike will easily connect with the simple yet moving imagery in Szilasi’s work.

And, as at any good party, there are prizes (or at least an auction) with local businesses like Twisted Tomato, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, Aura Beauty, Bordello’s Italian Pizzeria and Ogopogo Bed and Breakfast kicking in silent auction items.

Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members, available at the gallery, Mosaic Books or online (www.kelownaartgallery.com). Local jazz café creator Anna Jacyszyn will provide entertainment. The event runs Friday, May 13 from 7 to 10 p.m.





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