Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982 is an exhibition, website and publication that shines a light on a self-identified collective of socially and artistically motivated men and women who came of age on Vancouver's Main Street—once the dividing line between a predominantly Anglo middle-class west side and a multicultural working-class east side.

The Mainstreeters—Kenneth Fletcher, Deborah Fong, Carol Hackett, Marlene MacGregor, Annastacia McDonald, Charles Rea, Jeanette Reinhardt and Paul Wong—were an "art gang" who took advantage of the times, a new medium (video), and each other. Emerging from the end-stage hippie era, the gang drew from glam, punk and a thriving gay scene to become an important node in the local art scene. Their activities connect the influential interdisciplinary salon of Vancouver’s Roy Kiyooka in the early 1960s with the collective-oriented social practices that have emerged worldwide in the early years of the 21st century. Like the current "digital natives" generation, the Mainstreeters were the first generation to grow up with video cameras. The resulting documents focus on a decade of their lives, including forays into sex, love, drugs and art.

Mainstreeters: Taking Advantage, 1972-1982 is curated by Allison Collins and Michael Turner and is a coproduction of grunt gallery and Presentation House Gallery. Throughout the exhibition, Mainstreeter videos will be presented in storefronts along Main Street. The publication will be released in late 2015.

Learn more.