Cornerstone - Vancouver Corner Store - juan contreras

CORNERSTONEARTIST STATEMENT 

I have seen many corner stores vanishing under new city developments.  When I saw the decay of a corner store at Gilmore & Union Street in Burnaby I felt a deep nostalgia for my childhood.  My grandparents and granduncles had corner stores, being in those spaces made a great impact on me. I vividly remember the noisy and crowded atmosphere, I can hear the laughter and feel the smells, and especially the aroma of big boxes filled with mangoes.  Shopping malls, mega-commercial grocery centres, and power centres with stand-alone big-box format stores have dominated the shopping landscape for the last thirty years. With this we have seen a shift in retail landscape away from local communities and neighbourhood shops, the emergence of 7/11s and other chain convenience stores have contributed to the decline of the neighbourhood corner stores.

In the article, A reincarnation of the corner market in Vancouver  Frances Bula mentions that 180 possible corner groceries were identified and, not surprisingly, the mass majority on a high street or arterial avenue, in a non-residential zone.  Of these 180 possible stores, only thirty-five were located within residential zones. It is interesting to note that the majority of residential corner groceries were located on the east side of the city and especially towards its northeast corner. 


these 180 possible stores, only thirty-five were located within residential zones. It is interesting to note that the majority of residential corner groceries were located on the east side of the city and especially towards its northeast corner. 

Identity and a sense of belonging are formed with the persistent experience of the places we inhabit.  What effect does it have in a city the disappearance of unique places of exchange like the corner store, where there are no only goods being exchange, but also stories and ideas? Corner stores are, without a doubt, cornerstones of our communities; by documenting the ones that still stand I pay homage to my past while calling attention to changes we need to make to create a more inclusive future, where daily interaction in our communities and neighbourhoods can again be a welcomed reality. Reference: A reincarnation of the corner market in Vancouver, Frances Bula Vancouver – Special to The Global and Mail, Published Friday, May 24, 2013, 9:10 PM EDT. DETAILS OF THE ARTWORK. Digital Capture ( 11x17 inches print, 14x20 inches, framed) Injects printing on archival matte paper. Digital prints with archival-quality pigment-based inks.

Limited edition and signed by the artist.

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