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.
Curated by Dr. Darlene Clover (Faculty of Education, Leadership Studies) with Kathy Sanford, Project Co-lead and Graduate Assistants: Karin Zylstra, Zuzanna Szkudlarek and Tracey Murphy
In response to the Government of Canada’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, this exhibition addresses missing narratives of the lives, struggles and creative acts of women who have for decades overtly and covertly disobeyed, resisted, challenged and subverted patriarchal and colonial authority and power, and gender injustices and constraints.
The multi-media exhibition profiles a selection of the activist practices, objects, stories, artworks, imaginings, writings, photographs and other works of women from Vancouver Island, British Columbia and beyond. It draws on ‘disobedient’ works housed in the University archives, created arts-based workshops, and from the studios of contemporary artists.
Click here to read a short article about the exhibition and to view photos of the exhibition openings at the Victoria Arts Council (2017) and the Legacy Maltwood (Oct. 2017).
Opening Reception Disobedient Women Thursday, October 19 | 5 – 7pm
Join us for the opening reception featuring performances – drumming, songs, skits and words- by some of the disobedient women in the show including the Raging Grannies. West Coast League of Lady Wrestlers, and Indigenous women drummers.
Workshop Oppose/Propose: Intersections Between Art and Activism Saturday, November 18th, 2017 | 10:30am – 4:30pm | Facebook Event Page
Is there something you have always wanted to see changed, but don’t know where to start?
Join artist activists Kemi Craig and Kim Croswell to work through ideas and share in discussion about how to oppose problematic social forces and build alternatives through collaborative actions. This activities-based workshop will offer artistic strategies to overcome internal resistance, create dialogue toward possibilities, and engage in creative deconstruction/reconstruction. This day is for anyone who sees opportunities for change and wants to apply inspired solutions. We will be using smartphones, so please bring one with full battery power, and approximately 500 MB to 1 GB of storage space, or room for 3 minutes of film. If you do not have access to a smartphone, please bring a small printed photograph.
Curated by faculty members with graduate students Jaiya Anka and Atri Hatef
Using diverse historical and contemporary cultural objects, members of the Department of Art History & Visual Studies show how history, learning, and community interweave to support the mission to teach inter-cultural understanding through the study of world arts.
Image credit: EVA CAMPBELL, UNTITLED, 1992-93, MIXED MEDIA & OIL ON CANVAS. FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES
We live in a visual world where images define our lives. Yet, are we in danger of taking the visual for granted? This lively panel discussion argues that with xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and censorship on the rise, art has more to offer society than ever before in human history. The panel accompanies the exhibition “Learning Through Looking – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Art History & Visual Studies at the University of Victoria.” Part of Ideafest.
Glenn Howarth was a pillar in Victoria’s arts scene from the late 1970s until his death in 2009. He was an innovative creator and inspired teacher searching for ways to communicate the artistic process and the perceptual functions of the eye and brain that contribute to visual perception. He was also responsible for innovations in computer graphic art in the early 1980s working on the Telidon system as an artist in residence in the Engineering Department at the University of Victoria campus with Dr. Ernest Chang. In 1983 he represented Canada in the Sao Paulo Biennale with some of this work and also presented it locally at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and UVic’s Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery.
The Averted Eye Sees draws on UVic’s significant collection of Howarth paintings from the Michael C. Williams estate, as well as Howarth’s writing, sketches, ephemera, and digital archive, part of the regional artists archive initiative of UVic Libraries Special Collections and Archives. It also includes a fascinating case study on the challenges of ‘retro-computing’ in recreating Howarth’s early experiments in digital artwork.
Curator’s Tour + Reception
The Averted Eye Sees: The Life and Work of Glenn Howarth
Join us for a curator’s tour and special showing of archival materials to celebrate local artist and educator Glenn Howarth and his lifelong obsession with visual perception. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, prints and Howarth’s pioneering work in digital art (recently restored by the UVic Libraries), for which he received international recognition at the 1983 Sao Paulo Biennale and at Expo 86. Highlights of Howarth’s extensive personal archive including journals, letters, sketches and photographs will be seen at this one-time event. Reception to follow.
Guest curator Jenelle M. Pasechnik was the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Russell Graduate Internship in Curatorial Studies, which supports the preservation of art created by BC artists.
Book histories often focus on authors and readers. Yet publishers and printers play key roles in both the art and business of book production. This includes the material form and aesthetics of the book, the acquisition of rights, the shaping of the text, editorial history, and canon formation. Showcasing materials from the University of Victoria Special Collections and University Archives, this exhibition traces the role of publishers and printers in literary history from early production in scriptoria to 21st-century BC small presses. Come learn how early publishers remade the codex in the sixteenth century, who owned and regulated the right to print, how 18th-century printers made Shakespeare, what drove Dickens to become his own publisher, how Lady Chatterley’s Lover escaped the censors, why serial publication mattered, and how literary archives shed light on relationships between publishers and authors.
Image Metal type, Special Collections and University Archives, UVic Libraries, photograph by John Frederick.
Curated by Naomi Shields and Emerald Johnstone-Bedell
Self-Propelled showcases Spreitz’s wide-reaching range of photography, films, and book and magazine publications, as well as his friendships and connections to other Victoria artists.
Spreitz uses whimsy and paradoxical imagery to challenge the conventions of mundane life. This self-driven, multi-talented connoisseur developed an authentic artistic style that echoes his character and life experiences. Anti-authority satire, human mechanization, and formal compositions derive from his Austrian upbringing, athletic training, and film and photography career. This selective retrospect presents various artwork, film, photographs and ephemera documenting Spreitz’s life and cultural contributions.
This exhibition marks the centenary of the start of of the “Great War” with a cross cultural focus on the visual and material culture of World War I. The exhibition includes books, prints, and personal objects drawn from the Legacy Art Galleries, the UVic Libraries (Special Collections and Archives), and private collections in Victoria. These objects present visual manifestations of the war in the theatres of conflict in Europe and the Middle East as well as the production and consumption of art and literature in Canada between 1914 and 1918. Visitors will also see unique examples of European and Middle Eastern “trench art”, a term which refers to objects made by soldiers in times of conflict as well as those made of spent artillery shells and other military equipment by civilian artisans after the cessation of hostilities. Another central part of the exhibit is the so-called “J.M. Diary.” The curator is inviting the public to solve the mystery of who illustrated this fascinating first-hand visual account.
Help solve the History Mystery!
History mystery of Great War diary. View the diary here
A two-volume leather diary of the First World War is missing the name of its soldier diarist and the University of Victoria is hoping history buffs or family members will help solve the mystery.
J.M.’s World War I sketchbooks, signed simply “J.M.” and housed within UVic Special Collections and University Archives for more than three decades, contain approximately 130 sketches and drawings ranging from caricatures to sombre images of trench art, by a British soldier based in France and Belgium in 1917 and 1918.
“It’s a history mystery worthy of its own exhibition,” says Dr. Marcus Milwright of UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies. He is the curator of the Arts of World War I exhibit which opened Nov. 7 at UVic and says he knew right away there was one item in the collections he “just had to use. But there’s only one problem: I have no idea who it actually belonged to.”
UVic has no record of where the diary came from, only that it was purchased from a private seller. UVic Libraries has been trying for some time to solve this mystery as well and is hoping the war’s centennial will spark new leads. Milwright’s theory is it was sold by a family member, possibly through an estate sale following the death of J.M.’s daughter.
“The dedication says, ‘To my daughter, Adele’,” adds Milwright. The images “look to me like book illustrations, so it’s probable J.M. was a trained painter or illustrator.”
If anyone knows anything about J.M., Adele M. or the diary, please contact Milwright at email@example.com.
Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
In the wake of the Great War, from the detritus of imperial collapse there emerged a new political order of nation-states. Amongst the newly established entities there appeared an independent, sovereign Ukraine. From the outset, Ukraine was the object of invasion and its survival was in doubt. Nevertheless, in the search for legitimacy, extraordinary efforts were made to affirm the state’s sovereign, national character. This was to be accomplished by consciously connecting with Ukraine’s historical past both to invoke precedence and to encourage a narrative of political continuity. The symbols introduced in the currency of Ukraine during this revolutionary period were examples of this process.
The goal of the Ukrainian Revolution, which aimed at national independence, was not achieved. But the legitimizing efforts increased the conditions by which society in Ukraine would become progressively aware and accepting of an identity consonant with the idea of the nation. It also infused the public’s imagination and consciousness with a sense of its own destiny. Once engaged, a national alternative became a distinct and real possibility – one, however, that would have to wait for a different time and moment to be realized.
Discover more about Margaret Peterson by visiting the project website, click here.
Watch a short video about Margaret Peterson featuring Patricia Bovey | Robert Amos | Nick Tuele | Anne Mayhew | by Justine Drummond, click here.
This special curatorial project was developed in partnership with the University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries and UVic’s Special Collections and University Archives with funding support from the BC Arts Council. The project allowed for a co-op intern to select and develop a project to present new interpretations and scholarship utilizing primary research material and original works of art held at the university. Under the mentorship of the Legacy Art Gallery Director, Curator of Collections, and the University Archivist, the student created an exhibition and public program that highlights a major Canadian artist and furthers an important initiative of the University of Victoria, namely the building of the local artists’ archival holdings. This exhibition is one of the first of a series working with the artists’ archives at the University of Victoria.
Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
Art of the Book 2013 both embodies and defies the traditional definition of what a book can be. The content ranges from calligraphy to blackout poetry, while the books take on imaginative forms such as luggage-style tags or DNA’s double helix. Drawing from ancient techniques, the artists have represented a full history of book making, including the modern e-book. Organized by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, this 30th anniversary juried exhibit features award winning work from some of the best makers in Canada and the United States.
A companion exhibit of the 31st annual Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada is featured in the adjacent McPherson Library Special Collections Reading Room from October 28 – November 29.
On November 25, 2013 an opening reception was held to great success. Two local CBBAG members gave a guided tour of the exhibition and Caroline Riedel spoke about the exhibition.
Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
Curated by Emerald Johnstone-Bedell and Lesley Golding
This exhibition at the Maltwood Prints and Drawings Gallery offers an in-depth look at the work of five contemporary Northwest Coast artists: Francis Dick, Charles Elliott, Richard Hunt, Tim Paul and Moy Sutherland. Drawing on works from the University of Victoria’s extensive Northwest Coast print collection, this exhibition demonstrates how the artists use traditional stylistic elements and cultural references to express contemporary experience.
These five artists represent the three main culture groups of Vancouver Island: Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw and were selected for their innovative work as well as their longstanding influential relationships with both the university and the local community.
Highlights of the exhibition include Richard Hunt’s An Eagle [and golf course], which injects both humour and unexpected imagery into a traditional formline composition, and Francis Dick’s Comes a Woman, which addresses female spirituality. Additional themes include environmentalism, the Christian faith, cultural revival, commercialization, mentorship and personal relationships. The prints are accompanied by quotes from the artist providing insight into the inspiration and creative process associated with the work.
James Joyce in “Shakespeare and Co.” bookshop, Gisèle Freund, by permission of the Estate of Gisèle Freund /IMEC Images L’Institut Memoires de l’edition contemporaine, Paris. Special Collections, University of Victoria
May 21 – August 12, 2013
Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
Curated by Dr. Stephen Ross and Dr. Jentery Sayers
This exhibition uses James Joyce’s modernist masterpiece Ulysses to introduce visitors to the broad contexts of modernism such as the rise in celebrity culture, decolonization, and an expanding global awareness, even as it brings to light both the everyday content and the avant-garde stylistic dimensions of the novel.
This project is a collaboration between English graduate students, the Modernist Versions Project, the Maker Lab in the Humanities, and the University of Victoria Libraries and Art Collections. It draws on material from university and private collections to place Ulysses in a cultural context that extends across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, demonstrating the novel’s – and modernism’s – ongoing relevance. Students were challenged to conceptualize text and ideas in visual media, and to think about the long and varied afterlives of key cultural artifacts – especially where they are unintended and unanticipated by the artifact’s creator.