Kevin Weaver didn’t know what adventures were ahead with his new job as director for a downtown Vancouver gallery. A local non-profit called Friends of the Arts started the Art on the Boulevard gallery in 2006. The volunteers wanted to see art flourish in Vancouver. Eventually, they wanted a gallery director to run it full time and called upon Kevin to be the lucky guy. He was running a gallery in the Pearl District at the time and was chosen as a well-qualified candidate for the job.
He absolutely loves working with artists and his fervor is art. “I believe that art is an essential part of our lives and the more people I can connect to art, the better,” he says. “Artists are hardworking, devoted people. Each one is a small business. So every time a customer buys a piece of art, they are helping two small businesses – the gallery and the artist – and I love that aspect.” Fast forward eleven years, and Kevin is the sole employee and the heart and soul of the gallery. He has a few volunteers step in and help out when he has time off or a large event, but he is the smiling face you will see there every Tuesday through Saturday.
People like Kevin change the face of art and come across artists who do the same. They seek a deeper meaning to their art as it applies to their lives. So many believe that art is just something people gawk at on their walls, completely dismissing its true meaning.
“I think one of the proudest accomplishments is the amount of artwork the artists from the gallery have donated to various non-profit fundraisers over the years,” Kevin shares. “I get approached quite often for donations and I’ll reach out to artists and ask them for donations and I’m always genuinely impressed by the response. I would say that we have received well over $100,000 worth of artwork donated to help raise money for a variety of different non-profits here in our community. The artists I work with are very generous people, and those donations help our community in so many different ways. That’s something I’m incredibly proud of.”
Kevin is an advocate for treating every customer and artist with kindness, honesty and respect. That way, the people do not lose sight of the love that is supposed to come with art.
“Artists put a lot of time, energy, passion and money into perfecting their craft,” he sayss. “Not all art is going to speak to you and that’s okay, but it’s good to remember that each piece created has a story behind it. If you don’t like it that’s okay, but it’s good to acknowledge the devotion and passion an artist has put into that work of art. Artists are hardworking folks who are putting a piece of their own soul out to be judged by the public when they display their artwork, and while critiquing artwork is perfectly fine and normal, just remember to do it without being too harsh on the artist as they have feelings and you never know who is within earshot of your critique.”
The list of Kevin’s favorite artists are always getting longer. With every place he travels to he finds a few more that are highly esteemed. “Last fall when we were in Edinburg, Scotland at the National Gallery, I got to see a lot of amazing Scottish artists. William MacGregor and William McTaggart were definitely two new favorites. The entire museum was filled with gems (Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent to name another one). It’s always fun wandering into galleries.”
The art scene has grown exponentially in Clark County and it creates a great fellowship and common ground for men and women from all walks of life. Outside of Art on the Boulevard, Clark County is flourishing with all kinds of galleries, murals, sculptures, and varying artistic opportunities. So stop by and see Kevin next time you’re downtown. He keeps the heart in Art on the Boulevard and always has quality pieces on display that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Art on the Boulevard
210 W. Evergreen Blvd Suite 300
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
First Fridays: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.