Studio Showcase and Benefit at 236

Hidden from view behind Unit/Pitt Projects’ gallery, are the workspaces of over 50 artists, designers, writers, and curators who play an essential role in the cultural landscape of Vancouver. Come November 14th, a selection of their work will be on display to the public in the gallery. Adapting a new symbiotic model which provides administration and start-up funds for the development of artists’ studios as well as affording an artist-run gallery with exhibition space, Unit/Pitt Projects has set out to build a long-lasting creative community at 236 East Pender that provides stable, safe, secure, and affordable workspaces for some of the city’s many cultural producers.

After signing a 15 year lease and taking over the building in May 2013, we immediately started renovations on the building, opening up studios for rent in September of that year. Grasping this opportunity was not effortless: it took long hours of hard work from everyone involved, including our joint venture partners from 221A, and our interns and volunteers; it took some careful control of expenses, and sacrifices here and there; and as always, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our community: artists, curators, studio tenants, donors, cultural workers, and everyone else.

We would like to take this opportunity, one year later, to showcase the work that has gone on behind the closed doors of the studio spaces at 236 E Pender. We will be hosting an exhibition, silent auction, and retail sale in the gallery space to celebrate. The work that will be available for purchase runs the gamut from artist’s books, limited edition prints, handmade t-shirts, to paintings, drawings, sculpture, collage, and 3D printed goods.

This showcase and benefit will take place on Friday November 14th, 7-11pm, in the Unit/Pitt gallery space at 236 East Pender Street. 50% of the sale of each individual artwork will go to the artist, with the other 50% going to building upgrades for the studio spaces. Refreshments will also be available. The exhibition will be open to the public until Sunday, November 23rd. Come out and support this flourishing artist’s community! Check our Facebook event or our Instagram feed for updates, previews, and details.

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Be There: The Monochrome Shop Closing Party


Are you still unsure whether “Asian Wood, Indian Yellow” or “Portrait of a Young Girl” would look best above your fireplace? Are you still wondering which friends to give comic sans zeros to for Christmas, and how many they should each get? Well, it’s time to decide. The Monochrome Shop is closing its doors.

Come celebrate with us and join the artists for a casual discussion about selling, reluctance, and other motivating ideas behind the project, followed by refreshments and various kinds of exchange.

Free limited edition print available for the first 50 people through the door. Everything else, still for sale.

Saturday October 11. 7-11pm.

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Unit/Pitt presents Wrong Wave 2014: Art Rock? Reprise

wrongThree nights of art rock!
Festival pass, $20 in advance.

Thursday October 16 at The Fox Cabaret
July Fourth Toilet – Death Prizm – Late Spring
$10 at door, or buy festival pass
Doors: 7:30

Friday October 17th at the Western Front
the grain of the voice an evening with Frog Eyes – Nicholas Kgrovich – Eden Veaudry
$8 at door, or buy festival pass
Doors: 7:30

Saturday October 18th at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre at SFU Woodwards
Mecca Normal – Fake Tears
$5 at door, or buy festival pass
Doors: 7:30

This year’s festival of artists who rock and rockers that art, spans three nights at three venues, kicking off at The Fox Cabaret on Thursday October 16th to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Vancouver art rock legends, July Fourth Toilet with local acts Death Prizm and Late Spring.

WWJ4wideflatWith its first performance in 1994, July Fourth Toilet have made it their mandate to never perform the same show twice. Show themes for this multi-piece, multi-instrumental co-ed bargain basement technicolor variety revue have included thirty second songs and medleys, as well as tributes to tea, candy, Davy Jones and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, September 11th, 2012, a 25th Anniversary Show after only a year of being around, and legendary songwriter Paul Williams (with Paul Williams enjoying the show from ten feet away). Named by Gregg Turkington and John Singer of the anarchic and confrontationally comedic two piece Zip Code Rapists, July Fourth Toilet ritualistically combines and transcends pop song craft, versatile musicianship, performance, non-musicians, and pure improvisation to create their unique and inimitable sound and persona.

They’ve had 80 members ranging from the ages of 8 to 80 over the years. Their second album “July Fourth Toilet Presents Balls Boogie Featuring Me and Bobby McGee Plus: Kentucky Whore and Many Others!” got Julian Cope’s vinyl award for June, 2009.


Late Spring was formed in 2013 by local art school grads turned rockers. They are Casey (formerly of Kick Evrything), Nik, Ryan, and Nat Mutter. Their sound combines raw and dirty with melodic dream pop elements. They are recording their first single this autumn.

death prizm tornado

Death Prizm is 777 arcs of light (rainbows) across a Desert sky. Navajo prints,in the lazy afternoon, “L.A. crime drama-watching” readers,thinkers and lovers, all over the world. Rejoice. Experimental tape loop and synthesizer origins have evolved into a million pin-pricks of blood; Cascading into a river of cacophonous guitar,cello,abandoned mattresses,and deathbed crooning. Hailing outta’ “Substance Abuse” country…

This isn’t Post-Rock; This is post-Music.

Death Prizm
Megan Johnson: Bass, Werner Thomas: Vocals, Jay Hehn: Drums
Leanne Chapman: Cello / Keyboards, S Chalmers: Guitar

Venue: Fox Cabaret 2321 Main Street
Doors: 7.30
TIX: 10$ at door or eventbrite, festival pass $20 at eventbrite

Friday October 17th, Western Front, the grain of the voice

edenveaudryFriday night at the Western Front features three local musical acts, each drawing out myriad qualities of the voice in song; Frog Eyes, Nicholas Kgrovich, and Eden Veaudry.

Frog Eyes was formed in 2001 by Carey Mercer with his wife, Melanie Campbell. Mercer sings with a range in breadth and intensity framed and lifted by his image rich lyrics of loss, and the potential of revolutionary movements, among others. Lyrics, for Mercer, sit atop of the music to help interpret the sounds. It has been an epic year for Mercer: he released his sixth record, Carey’s Cold Spring, a beautiful and harrowing work, now on Toronto-based label Paper Bag Records. As well, he published his first collection of prose, Clouds of Evil, all while battling throat cancer. Back in good health, Mercer and Frog Eyes began touring the record this past summer. Mercer’s latest performance in Seattle was a chamber string ensemble backed version of Frog Eyes songs arranged by composer Jherek Bischoff, highlighting the versatility of Mercer’s writing and the strength of his voice.

Nicholas Krgovich is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with NO KIDS, GIGI, P:ANO and MOUNT EERIE. He has been releasing records under various monikers since P:ANO’s acclaimed chamber pop debut “When It’s Dark And It’s Summer” in 2002, and most recently to the singular pop dreams released under his full legal name NICHOLAS KRGOVICH. With songs that owe as much to the Great American Songbook as to perennial favourites like Sade, Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile, Krgovich creates a dreamland where palm trees cast impossibly long shadows, courtyard swimming pools glow at night, and washed-up movie stars haunt the streets looking for love. His local release on JAZ records last year, Who Cares? draws out the delicate beauty of his singing voice and the power of the song laid bare, accompanied by sparse guitar and piano. He has a brand new album,On Sunset, out 9/23 on Krgovich’s own NK World Service and Tin Angel.

Eden VeaudryEden Veaudry‘s practice incorporates textiles, video, drawing and sound. Recent exhibitions and performances include Conference On the Wave at CSA Space in Vancouver (2014), Shape Painter at the Audio Foundation in Auckland NZ (2013) and Joining the Periphery at VIVO Media Arts Centre in Vancouver (2012). Veaudry will perform new sound and video work. Her sound explorations are concerned mainly with the limits of the modulated voice through pedals, which she meets visually through images of her apartment and studio, containers and objects of her life and work, abstracted through layers of video processing.

Venue: Western Front 303 East 8th Avenue
Doors: 7.30, show at 8 pm
TIX: $8 at door or eventbrite, all festival pass $20 at Eventbrite

Wrong Wave 2014 wraps up on Saturday October 18th with two acts to the power of two, at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre at SFU Woodwards co-presented by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement.

meccanormal photo by Sean RaggettMecca Normal is described by music writer Douglas Wolk as“Arguably the greatest rock band without a rhythm section ever, the duo of acid-voiced singer Jean Smith and guitar hero David Lester must be seen to be believed.”

Jean Smith and David Lester formed Mecca Normal in 1984 with the express interest in changing the world. Writer Jean Smith turned her zine Smarten UP! -a How to Change the World Publication- into a record label to release the first Mecca Normal record in 1986.

Mecca Normal have and continue to influence and advocate changing the world through poetry, music, art, film and literature with thirty years on the scene and thirteen records under their belts. Mecca Normal is known as a fore-runner and inspiration to the riot grrrl movement in the 90s. As part of the regional D-I-Y scene at that time, Mecca Normal co-founded the Black Wedge – anti-authoritarian poets and minimalist musicians “setting wild hearts free, spreading the damn difficult word of how to combine poetry with activist resistance culture”.

In 2010 Smith and Lester launched The Black Dot Museum of Political Art with a four-person exhibit in Olympia.

Much anticipated is Mecca Normal‘s 2014 Fall release, “Empathy for the Evil” on M’lady’s Records, produced by KRAMER and recorded in Miami by Rat Bastard, out September 30th.

Fake Tears

Fake Tears is a synth pop duo from Vancouver, with veterans Larissa Loyva (Kellarissa; p:ano) and Elisha Rembold (Lost Lovers Brigade; Shimmering Stars). They have been singing and playing their respective MicroKorgs together for 3 years, drawing inspiration from the beach, matters of the heart, night clubs, and robots.

Venue: SFU Woodwards Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, 149 West Hastings, Rm 2555

Doors: 7.30

TIX: $5 at door or at eventbrite, all festival pass $20 at Eventbrite

Wrong Wave began back in the 1980s at the original Helen Pitt Gallery and was revived in 2011 by Unit/Pitt (formerly the Helen Pitt Gallery). The festival celebrates the long Vancouver tradition of Art Rock; artists who rock, and rockers who make art.

Wrong Wave 2014: Art Rock? Reprise features the drawing on three posters by three artists in the festival’s featured acts; Jean Smith of Mecca Normal, Robert Dayton of July Fourth Toilet, and Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes.

check and for further details and updates

Tickets available at doors and at EventBrite

Programmer: Sydney Hermant

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New Line has Arrived at The Monochrome Shop!!

Negative Comic Sans Zero
The monochrome shop is excited to introduce its newest product line, Mark Cunningham’s Negative Comic Sans Zero charcoal drawings. Mark will be spending time in the gallery producing as many of these as he can before the end of the project. Each drawing is a one off, is 9″x12″, and can be purchased for $50 unframed or $100 framed.

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Ithaca Smith’s Artist Talk: “On Blue in Green”


Sleepy Daddy

Detail of “Sleepy Daddy” by Ithaca Smith, featured in the video “Blue in Green”

On Wednesday September 17th, Ithaca Smith gave an artist’s talk at Unit/Pitt Projects regarding her collaborative video piece with Andrew Smith, “Blue in Green”. The work itself is a 22:24 minute black and white single channel video loop, which also accesses dance and painting as disciplines. Listen in to the recording of Ithaca here, as she speaks about the pleasures of amateurism and intimacy, muscle memory in both painting and jazz improvisation, and engaging in the practice of the monochrome.

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This week we’re coming back from the summer break by SELLING OUT! Yes, OUR BUYER WENT WILD, and we’re OVERSTOCKED. Nobody will undersell us on this AMAZING SELECTION OF MONOCHROME PAINTINGS. So get here early on Friday, September 12.

Actually don’t get here until 8pm, because we won’t be opening the doors until then (part of #SWARM15). The Monochrome Shop, an installation, exhibition, and sales/performance by Andrew Smith, Ithaca Smith, and Mark Cunningham, runs until October 11.

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UNIT/PITT Society AGM, Thursday September 4, 6pm

Women anarchist militiaThe UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness, which operates UNIT/PITT Projects, will be having its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 4 2014, at 6pm. The meeting will be held at 236 East Pender Street. Members, new members, and observers are welcome.

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End of summer at U/P: Behind the Wall closing, Chief Dan George reading series, Projector Verse

behind-the-wall-closingWe’re at the end of a hot summer in Vancouver, with a burst of activity to end the month of August. First is the closing reception for Behind the Wall x In Front of the Wall on Friday, August 22nd at 8pm. This project built slowly, from a collection of personal objects, then video installation, and is now complete with recently-added works by Alex Heilbron, Lauren Marsden, and Monsters. This week is the only chance to see the finished exhibition, either at the closing party on Friday, or during gallery hours until the end of the day on Saturday, August 23rd.

projector-verse-august-24After that, on Sunday, August 24th at 1pm, Kootenay School of Writing is presenting another installment of Projector Verse. In this series, writers are asked to interpret and speak about an already-existing written work, which is projected on the wall while they talk. What is really striking about these afternoon events is the quality of the discourse; the people who attend ask smart, incisive questions, sometimes contesting each others’ arguments, and creating an atmosphere where interpreting a literary work is not an exercise but art in itself.

dan-georgeOn Thursday, August 28th, we’ll be hosting another literary event, part of the Chief Dan George Reading Series organized by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust. Elder Fred John, Wil George, Ray Hsu, reg johanson, Jen Currin, and Rachelle Rueben George will read works by Chief Dan George, and their own poetry, in an evening hosted by Stephen Collis and Christine Leclerc.

All that, plus the final evening of our Summer Screening Series on Wednesday, August 27. After that, we’ll be taking a very short break to get ready for the September launch of the Monochrome Shop, Wrong Wave 2014 in October, and a few other things.

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Behind the Wall talk, Lauren Marsden launch, reception, Sunday August 17

Behind the wall - listening party and project launch
This is the week that Behind the Wall x In Front of the Wall moves into its final phase, with more works arriving, a talk by the curators, premiere of an audio work by Lauren Marsden, the arrival of new works by Alex Heilbron and Monsters, the launch of a new book, and the closing event on Friday August 22nd.

The exhibition continues until Saturday, August 23rd, so there’s a limited amount of time to take this in. The curatorial discussion and Lauren Marsden project launch starts at 4 pm on Sunday; the closing event is at 8pm on Friday; public hours are Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 5pm.

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This week’s film: L’Homme Qui Ment by Alain Robbe-Grillet

The past two weeks of screenings of Marguerite Duras’ work have been fantastic, thanks to everyone who came out and shared their interest in both Nathalie Granger and India Song.  This coming week, we will be screening a film from one of her contemporaries, L’Homme Qui Ment by Alain Robbe-Grillet.

Much more well known for his novels, Alain Robbe-Grillet was the driving force behind the development of the New Novel (or Le Nouveau Roman).  His writing deals largely with the absence of meaning or a recognized truth, wherein there are multiple alternations of each story. The alibi, the excuse, the substantiation are the functions of his work. None of the proposed events within the story are guaranteed, and all are present.  Maurice Blanchot described the sensation of reading his work “as if we were seeing everything, without anything being visible. The result is strange.”

His obsession with violent crime and the erotic are paranoid and anxiety- and guilt-ridden, and his work is often highly problematic because of this.  He was a self-professed sexual deviant, who claims to write in order to gain control over his desires. His writing, as well as his films, are comprehensive examinations of the male gaze, which are taken on with the emergent dedication of a last resort.

Come out to 236 East Pender Street on Wednesday August 20th at 9pm for a short reading of his writing, and a screening of L’Homme Qui Ment.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.33.57 PM

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