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Must-Sees This Week: January 5 to 11, 2017

Lots of great art exhibitions and events are taking place across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. Visit our Exhibition Finder for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.


Amie Siegel, whose cinematic video and film installations have drawn wide international acclaim, gives a talk at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre on January 11 at 6 p.m., ahead of an opening reception for her exhibition at the Audain Gallery. That show includes her work Quarry, which traces marble from its initial extraction to its final destination in Manhattan apartments. Toronto- and LA-based artist Talia Shipman had a big year in 2016, with a major sale of a wall-sized installation at Art Toronto, and is beginning 2017 strong, too, with a solo exhibition at Back Gallery Project, which will display her photographic series Meet Me In The Middle; it depicts a post-apocalyptic world where consumerism still reigns.


Jeanette Johns’s first solo exhibition at Lisa Kehler Art and Projects, which takes the moon, train tracks and stairs as subject matter but puts them to poetic ends, opens on January 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. Ace Art Inc. hosts a First Friday reception on January 6 at 7 p.m., where visitors will have a chance to see the current show, “The Body Holds What It Knows,” a showcase of the MAWA Foundation Mentorship Program 2016, which looked at “bodies as sites of knowledge, both personal and ancestral.”


Naomi Dodds’s BRIDGE, an interactive installation that “examines the construction and completion of a custom-built drawbridge,” goes on view at InterAccess at January 11 at 7 p.m. At Dupont Projects, Peter Bowyer’s objects and drawings, which combine minimalism and a droll sense of humour, go on view January 7. The idea of “home” is considered by five artists and designers in “Where is home?” which opens January 6 at Xpace Cultural Centre. “A New Garden,” an exhibition of new work by London artist Sky Glabush, opens at MKG127 on January 7 at 2 p.m.


“Canada Eh?” offers a rumination, as the title suggests, on symbols of Canadian national identity—a topic that will undoubtedly get a lot of attention and debate during the sesquicentennial—and opens at Museum London on February 5 at 1 p.m.


The Gallery / art placement inc. kicks off the new year with a group exhibition that will include paintings by Cameron Forbes, who was awarded an honourable mention in the 2016 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and has recently returned to Saskatoon after finishing an MFA at Concordia University.


The female form, bright colours and flat surfaces will be on view in a show of Erin Hollingshead’s oil and acrylic paintings, “I Never Want To Grow Up,” which opens at Corridor Gallery this week. Between January and April of 2016, a group of emerging artists including Stephanie Yee, Merle Harley, Alex van Helvoort, Nick Dourado, Esmé Hogeveen and Jesse Mitchell met to discuss themes of “Limits,” “Survival” and “Habit” as part of the Gonzago Institute; now, the results of this experiment are on view in “FLIM FLAM” at the Khyber Centre for the Arts, beginning January 6 at 6 p.m.


Painter Daniel Hutchinson doesn’t want to depict finished spaces or objects—instead, his work tries to capture environments in flux; see the results in an exhibition of Hutchinson’s work at the Assembly, opening January 7.


The Grimsby Public Art Gallery has a big week ahead; their Second Sunday series, which features exhibition tours and activities, begins on January 8. During the event, you have a chance to catch the gallery’s current shows: Silva Talmassons’s “Coast to Coast,” which has an opening reception January 8 from 2 to 4 p.m., and Jordyn Stewart’s “Public Ice,” which is on the south lawn.


Contemporary Op art gets a showing at Herringer Kiss Gallery, with Rhys Douglas Farrell’s colourful, hard-edge combinations going on view on January 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. A soundwork titled River Alms by artist and musician Chandra Melting Tallow will be available at the Arts Commons +15 Soundscape beginning this week (with a reception to follow later on February 27 at 6 p.m.), as a part of a 2016–17 season in the +15 Soundscape that focuses on soundworks created by Indigenous artists. Tara Cooper gives a talk at Alberta Printmakers on January 6 at 7 p.m. about her current exhibition, “God Love Brigus II,” which was based on a three-week residency she recently had with Landfall Trust at a 200-year-old cliffside cottage in Brigus, Newfoundland.


The Gallery at Casa begins 2017 with a reception on January 7 at 7 p.m. for a series of shows: Janice Rahn’s Composition in the Shape of a Pod, which uses a dried poppy seed for inspiration, goes on view in the Main Gallery. In the Concourse Gallery, Rick Gillis’s paintings, which combine memory and metaphorical imagery, goes on view in “The Age of Man.” Bonnie Patton’s paintings, which explore memory and language, have a showing in the Passage Gallery.


Let’s get small! A showing of small-scale print works, formally the “Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition” travels to SNAP Gallery, where it opens on January 7 at 2 p.m. A group exhibition at dc3 Art Projects, which includes artists Brad Necyk, Ingrid Backmann and Sean Caulfield, among others, explores the serious topic of head and neck cancer in a range of media, and opens January 5 at 7 p.m.


The Oxygen Art Centre takes a self-reflexive look back over their past 14 years of programming with “Memory Palaces,” which opens on January 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. with a number of special guests. The show will have a lot of ground to cover: the OAC has presented 14 years of educational programming, 11 years of seasonal programming, 200 courses since 2002, 38 exhibitions since 2005, 27 month-long artist residencies since 2005 and more than 150 events.


Fluorescence, a multi-channel video-installation inspired by the relationship between sight and touch by the Toronto collaborative Soft Turns (Wojciech Olejnik and Sarah Jane Gorlitz), opens at Evans Contemporary, beginning January 6 at 6 p.m. “Extra Baggage,” Omar Badrin’s showing of autobiographical textile and sculptural work, opens with a reception at Artspace on January 6 at 7 p.m.


Galerie de l’UQAM starts off 2017 with an in-depth look at revered Montreal artist Françoise Sullivan, bringing together many works from several decades of production—some of which are being shown for the first time. The opening on January 10 at 5:30 p.m. will include a dance piece, Je parle, choreographed by Françoise Sullivan and performed by Ginette Boutin.

Philippe Caron Lefebvre’s “Mimetic Yoke,” which includes images, drawings, collages and sculptures in a range of material, opens at Galerie Nicolas Robert beginning January 7 at 3 p.m. Toronto artist Michael Vickers has a solo showing at Patrick Mikhail Gallery that combines large-scale installations, floral arrangements and imagery based on MEG and MRI scans created in Dr. Karen Davis’s neurology lab at Toronto Western Hospital, beginning January 7 at 2 p.m.

Quebec City

Valérie Potvin has a solo exhibition opening at Galerie 3 on January 6 at 5:30 p.m.


The Agnes Etherington Art Centre offers a free family care drop-in on January 8, where young children can make art with qualified educators while their parents view exhibitions at the gallery. Opening on January 7 and worth a look are “the hold: studies in the contemporary collection,” “The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings” and “Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964.”

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are chosen from opening and event announcements sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art openings, exhibitions and events, visit

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