Category Archives: Past Exhibition

Exhibitions offered by the University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries from 1964 to present.

What the Land Holds

March 19 – June 16, 2021

Legacy Downtown Sidewalk Gallery| 630 Yates Street
Lekwungen territory

Tuesday – Saturday, 4:30pm – 10:00pm
Located outside on Broad Street side of Legacy Downtown

Curated by Nicole Achtymichuk (UVic BSc ’20, Young Canada Works Curatorial Intern)

What the Land Holds is a contemporary video art exhibition that examines the land as integral to Indigenous histories and futures, and as a site of ongoing colonization and alienation. The land holds layers of interpretation that establish places of inclusion and exclusion. The land holds what humans have created, blurring the lines between natural and artificial. The land holds stories and teachings, and returning to these is essential to our continued survival on the land.  

This is the inaugural exhibition in Legacy’s new Sidewalk Gallery, a space designed to activate and inspire community collaborations and to make art more accessible to the public.

Image: Amanda Strong and Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Mia’ (still), 2015. 

Life Stories

December 2, 2020 – April 10, 2021

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.
Lekwungen territory

Visit the online exhibition to explore the artworks, films and event programming at lifestories.uvic.ca

Curated by Dr. Erin J. Campbell, UVic, Professor, Art History and Visual Studies (BA, MA, & PhD, University of Toronto). Co-curated by Jaiya Anka, UVic Art History and Visual Studies PhD Candidate (UVic, MA ‘17); Holly Cecil (UVic, BA ’16, MA ’19). Related Repose Installation by Elly Heise (UVic, MFA ’20).

With artists: Nina Raginsky, Frank Pimentel, IITTAASHTEXAALIASH Winona Plenty Hoops, Ulli Steltzer, Maxwell Bates and more.

Art shapes our life stories, our sense of self and our relationships, as we journey through the life stages: Beginnings, Childhood, Coming of Age, Maturity, Later Life, and Passages. Life-stages imagery and objects may inspire memories and reflection, offer comfort, joy, and healing, and foster a sense of belonging. However, such imagery can also be a source of cultural stereotypes, engender marginalization, cause pain, and create feelings of loss.

Paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, ceramics, and furnishings from the university collections evoke a plurality of experiences across the life course. Artist Elly Heise’s installation Related Repose in The Bed Room highlights the intertwining of memory, materiality, and life passages. Interwoven with the artworks are voices of writers, artists, scholars, and curators offering diverse perspectives on significant stages informing our lives.

Image: Jack Wilkinson, Girl In Blue Flowered Nightgown. Oil on canvas, 104 x 78.5 cm, 1972-1975. U996.25.57. Gift of Dr. Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic.

Supported by a grant from: Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. 

Life Stories Soundscapes

December 3, 2020 – March 15, 2021

Legacy Downtown Sidewalk Gallery | 630 Yates St.
Lekwungen territory

Tuesday – Saturday, 4:30pm – 10pm 

University of Victoria Anthropology of Sound students found inspiration in the Life Stories exhibition for their final projects. Each student created an original soundscape or a sonic composition to accompany an object from the exhibition. The students are pleased to share their work with the Legacy Gallery visitors and they hope their sonic interpretations will spark memories, sensations and new interpretations of these works of art.

Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Associate Professor in Anthropology

It has been said that the task of an anthropologist is to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. From quiet, contemplative moments to frenetic, otherworldly scenes, each student has created a memorable sonic arrangement that draws from the diverse range of human experience over the life stages. The soundscapes serve as a unique sensory companion to the Life Stories exhibition, and mark the first time that Legacy has utilized the liminal space of the sidewalk for exhibitions.

Nicole Achtymichuk, Young Canada Works Curatorial Intern 

With support from:

To Fish As Formerly: A Story of Straits Salish Resurgence

Image: Temoseng aka Chasz Elliott, SHELIS – Life, 2020.

June 17 – November 21, 2020

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.
Lekwungen territory

Watch the opening prayer and territory acknowledgement for this exhibition by Songhees Elder Frank George. Special thanks to Frank George for making this possible. 

View the Online Tour and Curators’ Discussion

Curated by XEMŦOLTW̱ Dr. Nicholas Claxton, UVic, School of Child and Youth Care (UVic Alumni, BSc ’00, MA ’03, PhD ’15) and Katie Hughes, UVic Department of History, graduate student (UVic Alumni, BA ’06, Graduate Professional Certificate, Cultural Heritage Studies ’17).

With artists: TEMOSEN Charles Elliott, J,SIṈTEN John Elliott, Chris Paul, Dylan Thomas, Sarah Jim (UVic Alumni, BFA ’19), Temoseng, aka Chasz Elliott and Colton Hash (UVic Alumni, BSc ‘18).

To Fish as Formerly tells the story of the SX̱OLE (the Reef Net Fishery) through contemporary art, traditional knowledge and historical documentation. The exhibition shares the story of the efforts of generations of W̱SÁNEĆ people who are revitalizing the belief systems, spirituality, knowledge and practices inherent to the SX̱OLE.

To W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) people, the SX̱OLE is more than a fishing technology. Challenged with no substantial salmon bearing rivers in the territory, the W̱SÁNEĆ and other Straits Salish peoples developed a unique and sophisticated fishing technology that formed the basis for their way of life. Though the Douglas Treaty of 1852 promised that the W̱SÁNEĆ would be able to “fish as formerly”, the SX̱OLE was systematically reduced by colonial systems and finally was banned altogether in Canada in 1916. In recent years, XEMŦOLTW̱ Nicholas Claxton is undertaking community-based work that has brought new life to the restoration of the SX̱OLE that continues today. Through collaboration and reconnection with their U.S. based Xwelemi (Lummi) relatives, the W̱SÁNEĆ people fished using traditional reef net technology for the first time in more than 100 years.

This program is generously funded in part by the Salish Weave Collection.


Teacher’s Guide

Chris Paul, “Reef Net”, 2020.

The exhibition Teacher’s Guide and associated Slide Presentation are free to download and use as reference in the classroom.


Online Programming

To Fish As Formerly | Artist Interview Series

What role can art play in eco-cultural revitalization?

Learn more about the artwork and artists featured in To Fish As Formerly in this interview series featuring local emerging artists Temoseng aka Chasz Elliott, Sarah Jim, and Colton Hash. Hear how art can be a research tool, connect us with community knowledge, and allow us to explore new perspectives.

Check out all three interviews on our YouTube channel.


Online Tour and Curators’ Discussion

To Fish As Formerly: A Story of Straits Salish Resurgence

with curators XEMŦOLTW̱ Dr. Nicholas Claxton, UVic, School of Child and Youth Care 
and Katie Hughes, MA Public History, UVic, 2020.

Thursday November 12 | 7-8 PM
Online via Zoom

View the recording of this event here.

Join us for a tour and curators’ discussion of the exhibition To Fish As Formerly: A Story of Straits Salish Resurgence. Gillian Booth, UVic Legacy Galleries’ Curator of Academic and Community Programs, will conduct a 25 minute online tour through To Fish As Formerly followed by a Curators’ Discussion with XEMŦOLTW̱ Dr. Nicholas Claxton, UVic, School of Child and Youth Care and Katie Hughes, MA Public History, UVic, 2020.

Whether you have already seen To Fish As Formerly or are unable to visit in person, this program offers an insightful overview of the exhibition and a unique opportunity to participate in a discussion about W̱SÁNEĆ eco-cultural resurgence with curators Nick Claxton and Katie Hughes.

To Fish as Formerly tells the story of the SX̱OLE (the Reef Net Fishery) through contemporary art, traditional knowledge and historical documentation. The exhibition shares the story of the efforts of generations of W̱SÁNEĆ people who are revitalizing the belief systems, spirituality, knowledge and practices inherent to the SX̱OLE.

This event features a pre-recorded tour followed by a live discussion and Q+A period.


Nick Claxton teaches at UVic in the Department of Child and Youth Care. His research is centered on the revitalization and resurgence of Indigenous knowledges through community-based and land-based healing. Nick’s doctoral research focused on the revitalization of his community’s traditional fishing practice. His doctoral research project focused on the revitalization and restoration of the SX̱OLE during which he worked to pull together the disappearing knowledge of the SX̱OLE, reinvigorate cross border cooperation between the W̱SÁNEĆ and their Xwelemi relatives, and coordinate the community-based creation and fishing of the first SX̱OLE on Canadian waters in 100 years. This project involved reconnecting with many elders, youth, and community members. It marked the beginning of a longer-term journey of resurgence and intergenerational resilience that continues.

Katie Hughes is a recent graduate of the Public History MA program in the UVic History Department and a museum professional. Her graduate research focussed on sharing the W̱SÁNEĆ story of the revitalization of the SXOLE with the public. Collaborating with Claxton, Katie’s research involved working with a broad range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, elders, and artists to develop content and artworks for the exhibition. Drawing from Indigenous cultural and oral histories and colonial historical sources, Katie focused on capturing the history of the Reef Net and it’s resurgence in the exhibition text, artworks and objects. Katie is currently on maternity leave from her position as Community Engagement Coordinator at UVic Legacy Galleries.

Gillian Booth is the Curator of Academic and Community Programs at UVic Legacy Galleries. Gillian brings 15 years experience working as an art gallery educator. Her work entails developing challenging and engaging public and academic programs that expand on exhibition themes. She collaborates with Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff to develop and deliver K-12 and post-secondary Gallery tours related to Indigenous education using First Peoples Principles of Learning and BC’s new curriculum. Gillian is interested in how museums can support societal change through meaningful public engagement that challenges societal norms and institutional power structures.

TUKTUUYAQTUUQ (Caribou Crossing) Maureen Gruben

Image: Maureen Gruben, Superseded, 2020.

June 17 – November 14, 2020

Visit the exhibition website. 

‘Tuktuuyaqtuuq’ is the Inuvialuktun name of Maureen Gruben’s (UVic Alumni, BFA ‘12) home on the Arctic coast (known in English as ‘Tuktoyaktuk’). It means, ‘Looks Like a Caribou.’ The tuktu/caribou are integral to Inuvialuit life, providing food, clothes, tools, stories.

In TUKTUUYAQTUUQ, Gruben works with multiple facets of the animal: the translucent heart sac, the intricate patterning of bone seams on skulls that are reminiscent of waterways curving through the land. In her careful attention to life-sustaining physical elements, Gruben also traces the caribou’s vast immaterial presence in her culture.

Urban Regalia: Westshore Stories

Image: Design by Yolonda Skelton. Photo by Baylee Woodley.

January 18 – April 11, 2020

Legacy Downtown  | 630 Yates St. | Inner Gallery |Lekwungen territory

Button blankets by Westshore Colwood Campus students. Curated by UVic Art History and Visual Studies students. A project of the Legacy Chair.

Button blanket robes are textile regalia worn in Northwest Coast feasts and ceremonies. Urban Regalia: Westshore Stories carries the vision of Gitxsan button blanket maker, fashion designer, and teacher Sugitt Lukxs — Yolonda Skelton from her studio to her students at the Westshore Colwood Campus. Westshore students tell stories from their lives and from making connections to the land using ovoids, u-forms, s-forms, melton wool fabric and buttons. UVic Art History and Visual Studies students curated this exhibition as part of their learning about oral art histories. Urban Regalia: Westshore Stories represents shared learning experiences and emerging connections between UVic and Westshore classrooms.

| Legacy Art Gallery + Fine Arts

FLUID: Portraits by Blake Little

Image: Blake Little, Leo and Nathan; David; Brynn, ©BlakeLittle2019.

January 11 – April 11, 2020

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.
Lekwungen territory

Guest curated by Wayne Baerwaldt.

As people who identify as trans, gender fluid, non-binary, Two Spirit, and other diverse gender identities face complex and challenging societal responses, the act of representing oneself can be a brave act of defiance. FLUID, a new photographic portrait series by Los Angeles-based artist Blake Little, sets out to collaborate with diverse local, national and international trans and gender fluid people to capture and reflect some of the concerns and potentials of how they choose to represent themselves through photography.

Supported by the Chair in Transgender Studies. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.



Teacher’s Guide

This FLUID: Portraits by Blake Little exhibition Teacher’s Guide is free to download and use as reference in the classroom.


Events & Programs

Film Screening & Artist Talk: Framing Agnes with Chase Joynt

Sunday, April 5th | 2-4 pm Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory | Facebook Event Supported by the Chair in Transgender Studies

Join trans culture writer and filmmaker Chase Joynt for a discussion about the role of fantasy and fiction in the telling of (trans) histories along with a screening of his recent short film, Framing AgnesFraming Agnes premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and is being expanded into a feature film with support from Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. Joynt joined UVic’s Department of Gender Studies in July, 2019 after his term as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. Copies of Joynt’s first book, You Only Live Twice—a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award that was also named one of the best books of the year by The Globe and Mail and the CBC—will be on hand and available for purchase.

About Framing Agnes: In the late 1950s, a woman named Agnes approached the UCLA Medical Center seeking sex reassignment surgery. Her story was long considered to be exceptional and singular until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017. Framing Agnes features preeminent trans culture-makers breathing new life into those who redefined gender in the mid-century.

Starring Zackary Drucker (She Gone Rogue, Transparent), Angelica Ross (Pose, American Horror Story), Silas Howard (By Hook or By Crook, A Kid Like Jake), and Max Wolf Valerio (Max, The Testosterone Files).


Open Celebration: FLUID Portraits by Blake Little

Saturday, January 25 | 2 – 4pm | Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory |Supported by the Chair in Transgender Studies

Join us for the opening reception of FLUID featuring a performance by local spoken word artist K.P Dennis.

Woven, Embroidered and Stitched in Tradition: Women’s Textile Labour in 20th Century Asia

Feb 8 to May 24, 2020

Legacy Maltwood | at the McPherson Library – Mearns Centre, UVic campus, Room 025 and at UVic Libraries Special Collections and University Archives Room A005 

This exhibition is part of a three day symposium, “Gendered Threads of Globalization: 20th Century Textile Crossings in Asia Pacific.”, March 27-29, 2020. Full symposium details here *** Please note, this Gendered Threads of Globalization Symposium was postposed.

Curated by Claire Aitken (AHVS undergrad student) with consultation by Hitomi Harama, local kimono and Japanese culture expert and Yorika Terada (AHVS undergraduate student). Project supervised by Melia Belli Bose, Associate Professor of South Asian Art History with Caroline Riedel, Curator of Collections, UVic Legacy Art Galleries.

This exhibition showcases a dazzling array of luxury textiles from the University of Victoria’s collection and on loan from private collections. These pieces, exquisitely crafted in China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, shed light on women’s roles as makers, consumers, and connoisseurs between the late 19th century to today. This era witnessed monumental shifts in the production, accessibility, and commodification of garments globally. In the process, particularly women’s skilled textile labour was devalued. This exhibition draws attention to not only women’s heritage textiles throughout Asia, and their modern adaptations, it also closely considers their traditional makers and consumers.

Image: Gypsy Wharf-Sojan Badiar Ghat (Detail: Dulali reaching for a lotus flower).
Design by Surayia Rahman, embroidered by artisans of Arshi in Dhaka, Bangladesh, (2006). Photo courtesy of Kantha Productions LLC, (c) Maritime City Photography. Used with permission.

| Legacy Art Galleries + Art History & Visual Studies


Media coverage

UVic news: Textiles in focus at Legacy’s interrupted exhibition


  • Photo by Leon Fei

Object Biographies: Artists’ Lives through their Archives

Image: Robin Hopper, cobalt glaze tests (detail), Courtesy of University of Victoria Libraries Special Collections and University Archives

September 19 to Feb 2, 2020

Opening Launch: September 26 | 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Legacy Maltwood | at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library

Curated by Bradley Clements with Caroline Riedel

A printing block. Glaze samples. Pouches of pigments. Why are these items in UVic’s archives, and what can they tell us about the lives, relationships, artworks and practices of the artists who owned them? Bringing together materials from UVic’s Special Collections and University Archives in partnership with the Legacy Art Galleries, Object Biographies is a glimpse into the lives of artists through their archives.


Urban Regalia: An Exhibition in Two Movements

Photo by Peter Jensen, Sugiit Lukxs Designs, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week 2017.

Contemporary Fashion by Sugiit Lukxs Designs

September 28 – December 21, 2019

Inner Gallery | Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.| Lekwungen territory

Urban Regalia is an exhibition that unfolds in two movements at the Legacy Gallery Downtown. Curated by Carolyn Butler Palmer (Associate Professor, UVic Art History and Visual Studies), the first movement Contemporary Fashion by Sug-ii-t LukxsDesign features Gitxsan designer Yolonda Skelton’s work, which mixes the aesthetics of Gitxsan button blanket robes with a twist of Audrey Hepburn’s style. The second movement opens in January 2020 and will be curated by Dr. Butler Palmer’s students and feature the button blankets of Ms. Skelton’s students at Westshore Centre for Learning and Training-Colwood Campus. 


Opening Celebration & Artist Talk

Thursday, Oct. 10 | 7 – 9pm | Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory

Join us for the opening event and artist talk with Yolanda Skelton and Audrey Lundquist. Light Refreshments. 

Image: Photo by Peter Jensen, Sugiit Lukxs Designs, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week 2017.

We Carry Our Ancestors: Cedar, Baskets and Our Relationships with the Land

 Ulli Steltzer, Alice Paul, 1975, Gift of Ulli Steltzer.

September 28 – December 21, 2019

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory

Curated by Lorilee Wastasecoot (BC Arts Council Curatorial Intern)

We Carry Our Ancestors weaves together generations of Indigenous women through cedar basketry. For the first time ever, Legacy Art Galleries will exhibit Nuu-chah-nulth and Salish historical baskets from the collection alongside portraits of weavers including Alice Paul, Rosie Ross, Mary Jane Jackson, Mathilda Jim, Julianna Williams, Liz Happynook, Lena Jumbo and Ellen Jumbo by documentary photographer Ulli Steltzer. Contemporary baskets by Salish artists Angela Marston and Brenda Crabtree, among others, will also be exhibited. Through new and intensive community research, this exhibition honours the resilience of women who have carried their cultures forward by passing down the art of cedar basketry to future generations.

Image: Ulli Steltzer, Alice Paul, 1975, Gift of Ulli Steltzer.


Programs & Events

Cedar Weaving Workshop With Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ weavers Rose & Brian Wilson

Saturday, October 26, 2019 | *Drop in between 10am-3pm (or while supplies last)
Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory |Faceboook Event

COST – Admission is always free | Weaving kits are between $15-$30. All proceeds go to the artists. Come overload your senses with the touch and smell of cedar while listening to weaver Rose Wilson and her son Brian from Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation share how they process, harvest and weave with cedar. Weave your own cedar bracelet, headband or small basket. No previous weaving experience necessary.


Curator Tour

Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 1pm
Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory | Faceboook Event

Join us for a tour, discussion and tea with curator Lorilee Wastasecoot to respectfully close We Carry Our Ancestors.


By Bus – Sacred Cedar: History, Art and the Land

Land Based Workshop with Sarah Jim and Tiffany Joseph

Saturday, Oct. 19 | 9:15 am to 2:30 pm  | *return time is approximate | Faceboook Event 
REQUIRES REGISTRATION
To register, please email legacy@uvic.ca | *Space is limited
COST – $20 Students / $30 General Public/UVic Staff & Faculty | *Please bring cash 
***Please arrive at 9:15 at Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory 
Curator Lorilee Wastasecoot will give a short introduction and tour of the exhibition We Carry Our Ancestors: Cedar, Baskets, and Our Relationships to the Land. 
_____________________
10:00am – The bus will travel from Legacy Art Gallery Downtown to Todd Inlet or SṈIDȻEȽ to support the SṈIDȻEȽ Resiliency Project by contributing to the land restoration and cultural revitalization work of Tiffany Joseph and Sarah Jim. We will gather and spend time on the land to talk about how XPȺ, which is SENĆOŦEN for cedar, is sacred and has been central to the way of life to the W̱SÁNEĆ people. Our co-hosts, Sarah Jim and Tiffany Joseph will talk about the significance of cedar through history, art, and contemporary relationships with cedar and explore the restoration strategies they contemplate in their work at SṈIDȻEȽ.

Tiffany Joseph is of ancestry is of Sḵx̱wu7mesh (Fresh Water people) and W̱SÁNEĆ (Saltwater people, Emerging people) peoples and she is a SENĆOŦEN Language & Culture Revitalization apprentice. 

Sarah Jim is an emerging artist from W̱SÁNEĆ. Her ancestry is mixed but her roots are in Tseycum First Nation. She has developed her skills and interests further by attaining a BFA at Uvic. Due to her close relationship to the land, she has been making art that consists of local flora and fauna, Coast Salish elements, and dreamy landscapes. Sarah’s intense interest and love for W̱SÁNEĆ territory has taken her down a path that allows her to interact with the natural environment by learning about the native plants of the area and reflecting upon those interactions visually.

NOTE ***Please dress for the weather. We will be working outside so please be prepared for some physical activity with proper footwear, rain jacket and water bottle. 
***We will have lunch together on the land so please bring yourself a bagged lunch and any snacks that you may need.


Opening Celebration

Saturday, Sept. 28 | 4 to 6pm |Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory

Join us for the opening event of We Carry Our Ancestors. Light Refreshments.

Myfanwy Pavelic: Mirrored Selves Within and Without

Image: Myfanwy Pavelic, Raincoat (Self-Portrait), 1987, Gift of Dr. Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic.

This exhibition is presented in two parts: 

May 18 – September 15, 2019Legacy Maltwood | at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library

May 25 – September 21, 2019 –Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Victoria-born artist Myfanwy Pavelic (1916-2007) was fascinated with the inner and outer dimensions of being human. Imbued with prescient human insights, and largely self-taught, she created insightful and compelling portraits in pencil, collage, acrylic and oil. 

In an exhibition that spans her entire career, guest curator Patricia Bovey explores how Pavelic’s keen observation, empathy and knowledge of anatomy allowed her to capture her subjects’ inner essence – fears, vulnerabilities and strengths – consistently revealing the tensions between within and without. Her self-portraits honestly convey her own inner explorations and she used this experience to probe the depths of celebrities including acclaimed violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and renowned actress Katharine Hepburn. Multilayered in feeling and expression, her works exude dignity, beauty and the depths of joy, sadness and despair.

Opening Celebration & Curator Talk – Saturday, May 25 | 2 – 4pm With Guest Curator, Patricia Bovey

Curator Talk with Patricia Bovey

Thursday, July 25 | 7pm

Myfanwy in Context – This illustrated talk will address the significance of Myfanwy Pavelic’s art and situate her visual acumen and accomplishments with portraits within the context of several major Canadian artists including Emily Carr, Paraskeva Clark, Vera Weatherbie and Molly Lamb Bobak.

Image: Jim Tanaka, 2019.

From Self-portraits to Selfies: The Psychology of Representing Self

Thursday July 11 | 7pm | Legacy Downtown  630 Yates St. | Lekwungen territory

Join Jim Tanaka, UVic Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Brain Sciences, at the Legacy Downtown for an interactive evening exploring the connections between Myfanwy Pavelic’s self portraits and our present day notion of selfies. Drawing on current ideas of what makes a good selfie and whether they can capture a person’s true essence, Jim will discuss the psychology of self portraiture and why we take selfies.