The finish line is in sight for the CAVE, an experimental contemporary art gallery scheduled to open in October in downtown Vancouver on 108 E. Evergreen.

This is no ordinary art gallery.

From the street, your eye first catches the charm of late 1930’s architecture. Once inside, the CAVE opens wide as if to embrace you while sporting angles and interesting rooms, including an upper level. The nearly 1,800 square foot gallery reveals a certain layered texture to the setting, which invites endless possibilities to showcase high-level art – the kind of art that makes you stop in your tracks in order to feel the magic it creates for your mind, heart, and soul.

“The flow of this place is amazing,” said artist Kathi Rick, and one of the founding members of the CAVE. “It has a life of its own.”

The Cave is a longtime dream of local artist Anne John. She and Rick along with the efforts of artist Cynthia Heise have turned that dream into a reality. The aesthetic, said John, is important and, while visual, will also provide breathing space around the art.

“The space kind of had its own spirit,” said John of her first visit to the building. She explained the venue was once a modeling agency and hadn’t been used or rented for seven years before her son, a developer, mentioned the space was available. It did sort of look like a cave, she said, before remodeling it into what is now. The CAVE stands for Contemporary Art of Vancouver – Experimental. This means the gallery is exciting and innovative – a real experience.

“We are looking for a wow factor – we want the space to be a bit of art in itself, said John, and the art we bring in here to enhance the space while the space enhances the art.”

The artistic trio at the CAVE’s helm hope patrons and artists alike will find themselves entertained and engaged in conversation while experiencing the art shows and presentations.

“This is not a traditional art gallery,” said John. “Art creates its own energy, and we want to stretch people’s imaginations in what we present.”

The opening show in October called “Abstract Realities” will feature the works of John, Rick, and Heise. Moving forward, expect interesting themes, invited artists, sculptures, and more. “We are laying out the possibilities of what art can be,” said Rick. “We have so many ideas.”

Rick said they want to spark in people different levels of thinking about art. “It’s not about looking at art on the wall,” said Rick. “We want to blow that out of the water to create a different artistic experience than people are used to getting – we want to engage all of your senses.”

— Jackie Genis