In 1978, I lived in Kitsilano. The Vancouver T-Shirt Open began as a community event and public art work. I invited friends, family and fellow artists to meet at Hastings Mill Park (adjacent to the beach in Kitsilano), wearing their favorite t-shirt. 65 people showed up and were photographed against a magnificent backdrop of the North Shore mountains.
This group portrait doubles as a portrait of the city: its people standing on a beach on a day of leisure, proclaiming their values, their sensibilities, and their relationships to each other: friends and strangers united in celebrating this everyday exchange brought about as a result of wearing t-shirts.
The imagery on the t-shirts changed from year to year, documenting evolving political, social, and cultural values. So the photographs and memorabilia associated with the Vancouver T-Shirt Opens are not only artworks, but also historical documents.