The unexpected art lover

In March I spent a couple of hours with art lover Jim Johnston as he visited OTIC, an aural installation that explores the nature of sound at New Westminster’s innovative New Media Gallery. I shot these photos to accompany an article in Tenth to the Fraser magazine.


Jim Johnston doesn’t look like a patron of the arts. He wears a sweatshirt, baggy pants and a faded and frayed ball cap. A shopping bag is his constant companion.

For years Johnston ran a produce stand at the old Public Market at New Westminster Quay. He currently works at a comic book store.

Every day he makes a point of stopping in to the New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre to absorb and ponder the latest exhibit. Sometimes he just stays for 15 minutes. Some days he lingers for hours.

But every visit “you feel better for being in here,” he says. “Just to see this, to see something, to be transported.”


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