Prince George

Two Rivers Gallery makes for one dynamic outing in Prince George, B.C.

Marvel at the architecture and touch the art inside Two Rivers Gallery

Two Rivers Gallery has the appearance of steep sand banks that climb up to a higher bank.
Two Rivers Gallery draws inspiration from the nearby Nechako River’s cut banks. — Photo courtesy Two Rivers Gallery

When exploring architecture in Prince George, B.C., you can’t go wrong with the Wood Innovation and Design Centre or the RCMP Headquarters, but if you’re looking to take in art along with eye-popping architecture, mosey on in to Two Rivers Gallery, a contemporary Canadian art gallery featuring Canadian artists. The building itself stands out because it is inspired by the nearby Nechako River’s cut banks—steep sand banks that climb up to a higher bank with trees on top of the hill that slopes down at the side of the river. 

“It’s very distinctive,” said executive director Carolyn Holmes. “The building has big arches that echo those cut banks. We also have a dry river bed running in front of the building, which harkens to the Nechako and Fraser rivers.”

Wooden expression

Once inside, gallery-goers will notice architect Barry Johns’ effort to make the building as unique to Prince George as possible. 

“He put little things throughout the building that would remind us of where we are,” said Holmes. “As a climate-controlled building, it can’t be made out of wood, so we’ve tried to integrate it in other ways throughout the building. He’s put wood in really important places, the places your hands and feet will touch.”

These details include wooden floors, stairs, door handles, railings that look like deadfall in a forest and a chimney flue that’s reminiscent of a beehive burner.

A red piece of cloth is draped off the wall onto part of the floor. A cabinet is propped up in the middle of the room. A mesmerizing portrait separates two odd photos.
(Dis)Connect is currently on display and will be until July 7. Artists explore the way we connect as human beings through paintings, video art and installation pieces. — Photo courtesy Two Rivers Gallery

There are several exhibitions to check out when visiting Two Rivers Gallery. The Rustad galleria features local and regional artists. The main exhibitions are up for three months at a time. (Dis)Connect is the current display and goes until July 7. Artists explore the way we connect as human beings through paintings, video art and installation pieces. 

Interactive, imaginative art

Two Rivers Gallery is much more interactive than a typical art museum. Imaginative minds can gather together in the MakerLab during classes and workshops to use all kinds of technology to stretch their creative muscles. Volunteer mentors teach others what they know using a variety of tools such as wood turners, lathes, laser cutters, 3-D printers and 3-D doodlers, pens that draws in three dimensions. 

“This is not just an art gallery where you learn to paint and draw,” Holmes said. “We’re a community centre for creativity.”

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