Author Archives: curator

Creating Con[text]

Jack Shadbolt, Biomorphic
Jack Shadbolt, Biomorphic

March 13 – June 15, 2013

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer, Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest

Creating Con[text] activates works of art in the University of Victoria’s Michael Williams Bequest Collection through the oral history research of Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer and her graduate students. Over the course of a number of years Dr. Butler Palmer and her students have gathered an extensive array of interviews with people associated with the late downtown businessman and art supporter Michael Collard Williams and the artists he collected.  Featuring paintings by Angela Grossman, Jack Shadbolt and Emily Carr, eminent British Columbia painters whose careers span more than a century into present day, the exhibition allows the stories of artists, dealers, collectors, and viewers to infuse the works of art with more deeply understood meaning.

Similar Exhibition:

To Reunite To Honour To Witness

Phyllis Tate, Untitled (1959)

Phyllis Tate, Untitled (1959)

May 8 – June 15, 2013

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Dr. Robina Thomas and Dr. Andrea N. Walsh

The vibrant and powerful paintings in this exhibition were created by children who attended the Alberni Indian Residential School in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The works were created in an extra-curricular art class run by artist Robert Aller.

Over 50 years later, residential school survivors who attended the school and created these paintings are working together with UVic faculty and staff to document the role of art in residential schools through individual stories and works of art.

The paintings in this exhibition provide an exceptional and rare opportunity to witness the power of children’s creativity during residential schooling, when their voices were actively silenced by assimilationist government policies. The exhibition asks viewers to consider the role of this art today at a time when Canada is attempting reconciliation around this history with Indigenous peoples.

Harmonious Interest: A Celebration of Victoria’s Chinese Heritage

Robert Amos, Untitled (Victoria's Chinatown) [detail]
Robert Amos, Untitled (Victoria’s Chinatown) [detail]

February 1 – May 13, 2013

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Curated by Caroline Riedel and Margaret Weller

Harmonious Interest draws on the archival and artistic holdings of the university with a selection of material from the Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association. This association, founded in 1884, is a key community anchor and advocate for the Chinese in Victoria. Other important social, religious and cultural organizations such as the Chinese Freemasons Association (1876), the Tam Kung Temple of the Yen Wo Society (1911) and the Chinese Public School (1899) are represented in photographic collages by artist Robert Amos.

The important work of Dr. David Lai (Geography, UVic), known for his role in the revitalization of the buildings of China town and the Gates of Harmonious Interest, as well as other scholarly studies on Chinese communities in British Columbia are also referenced. As a whole, this exhibition is intended to show the role of some of these key organizations in community building and advocacy for Chinese people in Canada.

This exhibition was produced as part of the Victoria Symphony’s Chinatown Celebration project.

Similar Exhibitions:

Karl Spreitz

Karl Spreitz scouting locations for the BC FIlm Commission in Stewart, B.C.

Karl Spreitz scouting locations for the BC FIlm Commission in Stewart, B.C.

Online Catalogues

There are two online catalogues of Karl Spreitz’s work. Karl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection (2013) features many of his films, essays, transcripts and biographies of Spreitz and his collaborators.  Karl Spreitz Film Collection (2001) has an inventory of his works, a glossary of film terms and information about Spreitz’s work.

More About the Exhibitions

The Karl Spreitz Film Collection at the University of Victoria consists of more than 100 reels of 16mm film in various stages of production. Many of these films were produced by Spreitz in collaboration with other artists and friends such as Colin Browne, Vicky Husband, Anne Mayhew, Michael Morris and Herbert Siebner and are both personal and documentary in nature.

Covering a period of more than three decades, the content of the films describe the working process of local artists, historic events, and political and environmental issues. The collection is of tremendous historic value both in terms of film production in British Columbia, subject matter, and as a partial record of Spreitz’s career.


Syn•Optic: Art Education Faculty


Image by Dr. Mike Emme, 2013

March 13 – May 4, 2013

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

From the studios of 23 University of Victoria art education instructors in the Faculty of Education comes a rich and diverse exhibition of images and objects in traditional and new media. These works reflect studio lives that serve as foundation for the collaboration and exchange of ideas between these artist/educators in their daily work with students engaged in creative problem solving, studio-based visual research and art exhibitions of their own. The classroom and the studio are interconnected sites of research for this creative community where teaching informs studio practice and studio informs teaching practice. This exhibition invites visitors to experience those dynamic interactions.

Honoris Causa: Artist Honorary Degree Recipients

Jack Shadbolt, Hockey Owl
Jack Shadbolt, Hockey Owl

November 28, 2012 – March 9, 2013

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Mary Jo Hughes

Honorary degrees are granted by the University of Victoria to individuals who have demonstrated distinguished and extraordinary achievements. Over its 50-year history UVic has bestowed honours to many artists who have contributed not only to the field of visual arts but also to the community at large.

Honoris Causa is an exhibition featuring works by many of these artists who are represented in the University of Victoria Art Collections including E. J. Hughes, Carole Sabiston, Robert Davidson, Jack Shadbolt, Bill Reid, Ted Harrison, Pat Martin Bates and Susan Point, among many others. Celebrating UVic’s 50th Anniversary this exhibition recognized not only the work but the broad social impact that these creative individuals have had.

Click here to view the UVic 50th Anniversary page.

Understanding Place in Culture: Serigraphs and Transmission of Cultural Knowledge

Francis Dick, The Dragon
Francis Dick, The Dragon

October 18, 2012 – January 28, 2013

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Curated by Shelby Richardson

The Understanding Place in Culture online catalogue is available here. It features a curatorial essay, numerous works of art and information about the artists.

Museums and other educational institutions are often seen as sites of privileged knowledge production, spaces that have often excluded minority perspectives and realities. This exhibition presents a selection of prints from the George and Christiane Smyth and Vincent Rickard Northwest Coast Print collection that focus on representations of place and Indigenous knowledge production. The perspectives represented by these artists challenge the hegemonic practices of institutions, such as museums, by positioning the artists as the ethnographic authorities on their cultural expressions and knowledge.

The Collection at 50: Building the University of Victoria Art Collections

William Percival Weston, Arbutus Shedding Bark
William Percival Weston, Arbutus Shedding Bark

August 29 – November 24, 2012

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Professor Martin Segger and Caroline Riedel

In conjunction with UVic’s 50th anniversary this exhibition, guest curated by former director Martin Segger, celebrates more than five decades of art at the University of Victoria.

The three founding components that underpin today’s University of Victoria Art Collection mark the stages in the institutional establishment of he University itself. The formal development of the Victoria College Art Collection was prompted by the amalgamation of the Victoria Normal School of Victoria College at the Lansdowne campus in 196. The commissioning of public art to enhance new buildings essentially began with construction on the Gordon Head Campus in 1961. The death of Katherine Emma Maltwood in 1961, just two years before issue of the University of Victoria’s letter patent, prompted her husband John to act on her wishes quickly and the Maltwood Art Gallery at Royal Oak passed into the hands of the University in 1964. Each initiative was to determine in its own way the future development of the University’s now 27,000 item art collection.  – Martin Segger (Director and Curator 1973-2011)

The University of Victoria: A Community of Communities

University of Victoria Alma Mater Society President Paul Williams leads a large group of students down Douglas Street protesting fees increase on 18 October 1965.

University of Victoria Alma Mater Society President Paul Williams leads a large group of students down Douglas Street protesting fees increase on 18 October 1965.

August 22 – October 15, 2012

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

This exhibition features a selection of historic and contemporary photographs of life at UVic over the past 50 years. Taken from Ian MacPherson’s book ‘Reaching Outward and Upward: The University of Victoria 1963-2013, this exhibit promises a vibrant look at the people, places and events that make our campus unique.

Transformation: A Retrospective

Duncan Regehr, Untitled I
Untitled I, Duncan Regehr, 2010

June 13 – August 24, 2012

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Nicholas Tuele

View the online catalogue:

Transformation: A Retrospective Catalogue

For the summer months the Legacy Art Gallery Downtown presents a full retrospective of Duncan Regehr’s “Transformation” body of work. Through a wide-ranging presentation of media the viewer will become acquainted with the artist’s working method: to develop a series of paintings, sculptures, drawings and writings that project and explore a common theme or philosophy. By delving into the collective subconscious and the psyche, Regehr produces images of an intense personal nature, which invites reciprocal identification by the viewer.

Poetry Reading and Curator’s Talk, Saturday July 14 at 1:30pm – 3:30pm.

The Art of Jack Wise

Jack Wise, Mandala

Mandala, Jack Wise


June 8 – August 12, 2012

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Curated by Nicholas Tuele

Jack Wise’s work is deeply personal and spiritually profound. Known for his calligraphy, Chinese brushwork, and mandalas, which embody Buddhist cosmology or worldview, Jack Wise was a prolific artist and popular mentor and teacher. This exhibition features a selection of stunning and memorable paintings, prints, drawings and calligraphy by Wise, who spent a considerable part of his artistic career on the west coast. Most of the selected works are part of the permanent collections of the University of Victoria Art Collections and University Archives, given to the University in 2008.