Local artist and educator, Christopher Friesen takes a chance on the free market economy with Side Hustle, which lets the public set the price of his work. / Submitted Photo

Local artist and educator, Christopher Friesen takes a chance on the free market economy with Side Hustle, which lets the public set the price of his work. / Submitted Photo

Side Hustle, a new art exhibition in Mission, lets public set the price

Art is about taking chances, according to artist Christopher Friesen

The Rock Family Gallery, located in the Mission Arts Centre is hosting a unique new exhibit.

Side Hustle is an exhibition of paintings about money, economy, and the state of the reality of the working person.

In this exhibition, artist Christopher Friesen examines a subject that is not often discussed because it is assumed rather than truly understood. He uses art historical references, key dates and key terms to enter into a dialogue about what is money.

Side Hustle references the necessity to work beyond your 9-5.

In what some would call a radical move, Friesen lets the art viewer set the prices on his paintings.

The theme of this body of work is about understanding the nature of the economy through a dialogue with money. That said all the work in this exhibition will be priced according to the free market economy.

The individual makes the decision based on worth through a voluntary exchange, the price they are willing to pay to acquire a piece. The price of every piece in this exhibition will be determined by the individual (no reserve) and sold for the amount determined to be the highest at the end of the exhibition.

“The intrinsic value the artist brings to the work is labour, an aesthetic vocabulary and the conceptual meaning a piece of art has through its originality,” said Friesen.

“Even though this series of work has some semiotic indicators like the flag, spray paint graffiti, iconic stencils, at its core is the language of screen printing. Like the increased printing of U.S. currency, I have used print-making in this series as a mark-making device and not a means of numbered reproduction. Every piece in the exhibition is an original that exists from components and contains gesture and aesthetic decisions unlike the traditional print-making process where flaw free reproduction is valued.”

Friesen is a painter, community advocate and an educator. His work has been shown extensively throughout Western Canada in public and commercial galleries, and has work in international public, private and corporate collections.

His teaching focuses on painting, drawing and different modes of cultural discourse ranging from specific formal painting concerns to community engagement through mural projects.

He is an Associate Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley in the School of Creative Arts.

Side Hustle runs in the Rock Family Gallery at the Mission Arts Centre (33529 First Ave.) from July 27 to Aug. 14. Gallery hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

You can meet the artist in the gallery on Saturday, July 31 from noon to 4 p.m.