Windows into Art was an exhibition of contemporary art installed in vacant windows and storefronts in downtown Vancouver, Washington, from June 4 through July 5, 2010. It was an alternative means of viewing art—in an urban setting on public sidewalks—where anyone can discover art and come to it on their own terms. Windows into Art turned the street into a museum and connected people with art.

kathi rick and Anne John’s multimedia installation at the Koplans Building. Photo: Cam Suttles

A wide range of media represented

Co-curators K.C. Madsen and Dene Grigar selected artists for diverse use of media and differing artistic sensibilities. Artists had the option to provide existing works or create site-specific installations. The result was a diverse array of artworks and experiences for sidewalk viewers.

With the generous support of downtown Vancouver building owners and property managers, Windows into Art took place in seven different buildings with a total of 18 window exhibition sites.

The idea of showing art in vacant windows wasn’t new, but what was exciting about this exhibition was the kind of art represented and the number of storefronts in the downtown urban core who were willing to participate in making this exhibition a unique and amazing event.

Avantika Bawa, foreground, with friends at her Columbian building installation. Photo: Dene Grigar

About the project

Windows into Art was conceived and launched by artist K.C. Madsen who has been working on new ways to exhibit contemporary art in the Northwest. This project is just one component of a longer-term vision for a uniquely organized regional contemporary art space.

Windows Into Art 2010 flyer

Project team

Participating property owners and managers

  • PREM Group/Bank of America
  • Ed Ashieris/Schofield Properties
  • Russ Bruner/Vancouver Ballroom
  • Billy Dean Leasing/Imperial Capital Bank
  • Keith Koplan/Koplans Building
  • The Phillips Group Inc.
  • Lee Rafferty/Spanky’s
  • Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office

Walk and Talk

Artist K.C. Madsen and Dr. Dene Grigar, program director of the Digital Technology and Culture program at WSU Vancouver, led a free curatorial walk and talk through downtown as part of the Windows into Art exhibition. The walk will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 30 at North Bank Artists Gallery, 1005 Main St., Vancouver. (view invitation)

Artist Christina Broussard-Pearson documented the Windows into Art project in a blog that was a part of her WSU Digital Technology and Culture Program internship project.

QR code readers enabled instant access to artist or building information

While visiting Windows Into Art, viewers could receive in-depth information about the artist, work, or the building with their smart phones and a free downloadable Bee Tagg reader. A Bee Tagg is a barcode that can be scanned with most smart phones.