Flood damage forces gallery to close

Water pooling at the doors of the art gallery last week after a water line ruptured on 31st Avenue.
Image Credit: Vernon Public Art Gallery

VERNON - The Vernon Public Art Gallery is closed until further notice due to flood damaged caused by a ruptured water line last week.

Executive director for the gallery Dauna Kennedy Grant says water from a broken main on 31 Avenue washed into every single room.

“What makes matters even worse is that the water is considered dirty because it washed in elements from the street; silt, salt, and who knows what else from beneath the surface. That is why the required cleanup is so extensive,” executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant said in a release.

All artwork has been removed from the walls, all events and programming cancelled, and all merchandise in the gallery shop packed up while cleanup crews repair the damage.
The worst damage occurred at the front of the building, where the drywall and insulation has been removed to ensure there will be no moisture left behind, which could create mold issues if not dealt with. Fans have been blowing for days and regular activity at the gallery has come to a grinding halt.

The same morning of the flood, Kennedy Grant was meeting with Greater Vernon politicians to discuss the next step in heading to a referendum for a new art gallery
“The good news is no artwork was damaged as a result of the flood,” Kennedy Grant says.

The exhibitions have been safely stored while the flood restoration takes place. Administration and the gift shop will continue to open at a temporary location.

“We have a resilient staff at the gallery, they have tackled multiple leaks along with no heat this winter, and now they are working hard to get through this too.”

The Gallery is currently closed to the public until further notice.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

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