Article by Vancouver Sun’s Kevin Griffin
ART SEEN: Art galleries move into historic 1931 building on East Hastings
Fazakas Gallery and Wil Aballe Art Projects are now in the Heatley Block, 688 East Hastings. Fazakas is on East Hastings while WAAP is accessed from the rear. Photo: Kevin Griffin
When LaTiesha Fazakas started making a documentary about Beau Dick, she thought, oh, it might take a year. Now, six years into it, she’s on track for a theatrical release in the spring of 2017.
Although the long process has been occasionally aggravating to Fazakas, she now thinks the timing is just about right given Dick’s growing national and international reputation. The full-length documentary on the Kwakwaka’wakw artist is called Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters.
After the documentary is shown at various festivals, the film will be have a special release at Cineplex theatres across the country.
Fazakas, who owns Fazakas Gallery which represents Dick, said the documentary’s title refers to both Dick as a person and an artist.
“I always felt that it was such a treat to introduce people to Beau Dick,” Fazakas said. “He’s so amazing — you’ll just love him.”
The Maker of Monsters comes from being up front about naming what Dick often does with his work.
“I wanted to have the intention to be a bridge between cultures,” she said, “to really show how we as Canadians come together with First Nations people.
“We have more in common than we don’t. I kind of like dispelling the fear of the monster under your bed — the fears we have when we become racist with the other.”
The five-minute trailer is on YouTube.
It features Beau Dick talking and carving. Here’s one of the Dick’s best lines: “Sometimes it’s better not to think and just feel when you’re being creative.”
The grandchildren of Beau Dick playing on his Tsonoqua mask at Fazakas Gallery on East Hastings at Heatley. At 1.5 metres in height, it’s the largest mask Dick has carved from a single piece of wood. Photo: Linnea Dick.
Artist Beau Dick in 2012. Photo: Jenelle Schneider/PNG.
The Heatley Block was built in 1931. Photo: Kevin Griffin
The documentary includes Fazakas, gallerist Douglas Reynolds and artist Roy Arden. Arden has known Dick for years ever since they were in high school together at Sir Winston Churchill secondary in Vancouver.
The documentary is co-directed and produced by Fazakas and Natalie Boll.
Fazakas spoke to me by phone from her gallery’s new location: in June, Fazakas Gallery moved from Manitoba and Columbia on 6th Avenue to the historic Heatley Block at 688 East Hastings. She’s on the main floor and Wil Aballe Art Projects underneath. WAAP, formerly on Frances by Clark, is accessed from the rear.
“Wil and I had been talking over the last year about the possibility of sharing a space,” Fazakas said.
“We liked the dynamic and different discussions and juxtapositions of having two different galleries — and also for financial reasons.”
For more than 40 years, the Heatley Block was the home of Spartacus Books.
The two-storey wood-frame building was built in 1931 by Samuel Plastino, an Italian immigrant and hotelier.
With Monica Reyes’ Back Gallery Project a short walk away, there are now three contemporary art galleries in the same block on East Hastings.
Fazakas Gallery and Wil Aballe Art Projects are now both in the Heatley Block, a two-storey wood frame building constructed in 1931. Photo: Kevin Griffin