Fort Gallery is partnering in a free wine, cheese, and art event on Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Fort Gallery in Langley hosts free events featuring local artists

Local artists, musicians, poets will highlight the monthly First Thursday celebrations.

Two free arts events are in the offing for Thursday in Fort Langley.

A new wine-and-cheese soiree is being held at the Coulter Berry Building on Thursday, with an exhibit featuring work of Langley artist Susan J. Falk.

The same night, the Fort Gallery is hosting its monthly First Thursday event, this time featuring Fort Langley poet Susan McCaslin and artists participating in the gallery’s current display, Winter Solstice.

McCaslin (www.susanmccaslin.ca) will be reading and presenting from her new volume of selected poems, Into the Open: Poems New and Selected. Released last fall, this is a compilation of her “best” works from the past four decades.

As for the art exhibit, it’s a compilation of work, too.

The Fort Gallery artists are celebrating the return of the sun in this group show that opened in December and concludes on Sunday, Feb. 4.

“The idea behind these coordinated events is to build community and get people involved and excited about Fort Langley’s local art scene,” Falk said.

She’s hoping to develop more spaces around Langley for artists to show their work, and feels that partnering with businesses on events such as the wine-and-cheese could aid in this quest.

“I have many students who would love the opportunity,” Falk said.

Organizers set the times of these two events so that people could attend both “and have dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants here in Fort Langley in between,” Falk suggested.

The art, wine, and cheese event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at the ReMax Little Oak Realty office in the Coulter Berry Building, #120 9220 Glover Rd.

Meanwhile the First Thursday event is from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Fort Gallery, 9048 Glover Rd.

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Coming up at the gallery

While this pair events are in the works for later this week, there’s also a new exhibit being organized for the Fort Gallery that will kick off next Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The upcoming show is another group exhibition, explained gallery manager Margaret Campbell.

The show will profile the pitfalls and promises of current day based on Leonard Cohen’s anthem lyric “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

“As most of us are realizing more deeply, we are living in challenging times,” Campbell said.

“We see the effects of climate change, violence around the world, and displacement of families and populations due to political chaos and war. We hear of ever hardening points of view, human rights abuses, and discrimination. We long to find ways to encourage our humanity, understanding, and caring. We long to see through the cracks to the light we know shines for us all,” she said, conveying some of the discussion among participating artists.

“One of the promises of art has been to reflect for us both our realities and our pathways forward. As George Bernard Shaw wrote: ‘You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul’.”

This next group show will consider these realities.

The exhibition will be on display until March 4, with an artists reception planned in conjunction with the March First Thursday event on March 1, starting at 7 p.m.

In addition to the First Thursday event, the gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m., and more information is available at 604-888-7411 or online.

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