THE GIRL NEXT DOOR: Pennylane Shen

Things to do in Vancouver  |  04.22.2014  |  

Each month, we introduce you to one of the talented lovelies that The Burrard is lucky enough to call a friend. As you know, local artists’ collective Phantoms in the Front Yard is holding its next exhibition, “Everyone I’ve Never Known” at The Burrard on Friday, April 25. The day-long show will feature miniature works by The Phantoms, all for sale for between $200 and $500, which makes them cheaper than your average Friday night, and will last a whole lot longer too. AND, if you happen to be in Vancouver on April 25, you can enter their social media contest to win a piece of your choosing on the night, along with a two-night stay in one of our modern retro hotel rooms.

But we digress. Curating this show is the multi-talented Pennylane Shen, who also has her finger in a whole lot of other art-pies, so she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to galleries and good-times. Take it away, Pennylane!

Pennylane Shen

Name
Pennylane Shen

Where do you work and what do you do?
I’m an associate curator of the Bau-Xi Gallery and an instructor at Langara College. I also run a business, Dazed and Confucius Consulting, that offers advisement to emerging artists and curating/promoting local exhibitions. Included in this business, is the management and curation of the figurative artist collective Phantoms in the Front Yard.

How did you find yourself doing this?
After working in the arts in Toronto and New York for nearly 10 years, I came back to Vancouver (my home town) and made it my base. It was important to me to foster the fine arts in Vancouver, both in the public and private sector, as I felt they were lacking at the time. I began working at high-end art galleries full time while actively coordinating alternative, emerging and non-profit exhibitions.

What’s on your art must-see list right now?
Myfanwy MacLeod: Or There and Back Again at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Or Fan Fiction at Gallery Jones.

Morning-after strategy?
Easy morning tunes (Ron Sexsmith, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn) + Fiction section of the New Yorker + Late brunch at a greasy spoon (Nice Café, Slickety Jim’s, Jethro’s).

Thing that you love about Vancouver?
That it’s a small enough city for individual voices to be heard; ideas to be visualized; events to be attended and supported.

Thing that drives you crazy about Vancouver?
That it’s a small enough city to be stuck in its ways; radical thinking is considered radical, and that growth moves at a snail’s pace.

Someone’s visiting Vancouver for the first time and has just 24 hours. How would you suggest they spend them?
Visiting the South Granville (Bau-Xi, Kimoto, Initial) and Brewery Creek galleries (Monte Clark, Winsor, Hot Art Wet City) and stopping at the local breweries in between (Brassneck, 33 Acres, R&B). Dinner in Gastown or Chinatown, and maybe dancing at the Biltmore.

Backpack or wheelie suitcase?
Both. The backpack is more versatile and convenient for day trips and exploring off-the-beaten-path parts of a city. The wheelie is incredibly necessary for bringing back delicate mementos and gifts.