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Must-Sees This Week: November 14 to 20, 2013

There are lots of great exhibitions opening this week, and terrific art events happening too. Here are our best bets.

A must whether in Vancouver or out is the November 15 symposium Traumatic Histories, Artistic Practice, and Working from the Margins organized by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC’s Chan Centre. Organized to accompany the Belkin’s current exhibition “Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Residential Schools,” the symposium will be livestreamed across the country. Elsewhere, the Contemporary Art Gallery opens two solo exhibitions on November 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. Turkish artist Meric Algun Ringborg‘s new large-scale commission, which takes the English dictionary as its starting point, will wrap the gallery’s exterior, while American artist James Welling’s early body of experimental photographic work will be on view inside the gallery. Centre A also presents the interactive participatory work A Chorus of Lungs by Leila Sujir and Maria Lantin, opening reception November 15 at 7 p.m., while “Back to the Door,” a group show featuring Becky Kolsrud, Kalup Linzy and Elizabeth Milton, opens at Artspeak on November 15 at 7 p.m.

Toronto and Montreal team up in “Leisure,” part of an exhibition exchange between Erin Stump Projects and Battat Contemporary. The show features ESP artists Naomi Yasui and Maggie Groat at Battat, opening November 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and it will be followed by a corresponding exhibition of works by Battat artists in Toronto. Down at the Arsenal, Galerie Division presents “Understories,” a solo exhibition of underwater images by Isabelle Hayeur opening November 16 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Several new Toronto art spaces open their doors November 19 from 5 to 9 p.m. as part of Artscape Youngplace (aka the old Shaw Street School). The new Koffler Gallery space there opens the group exhibition “We’re in the library,” while Typology launches a solo show by Lyla Rye, a hallway gallery hosts “Unarchive”—based on research into local school archives—and installations by Seth Scriver and others take over the school stairwells. Prominent international artists Theaster Gates and Wu Tsang lecture in the city this week, Gates at AGO on November 20 at 7 p.m. and Tsang at TPW on November 17 at 7 p.m. Over the years, author R.M. Vaughan has contributed provocative critical essays to Canadian Art and other publications. Now several have been compiled a new book, Compared to Hitler, which launches November 20 at 8 p.m. at Buddies in Bad Times along with a panel on critical writing.

Lower Mainland
Governor General’s award winner Margaret Dragu presents her first gallery-based solo exhibition ever at the Richmond Art Gallery this week. Titled “VERB WOMAN: the wall is in my head/ a dance of forgetting,” the exhibition opens November 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. Elsewhere, the Surrey Art Gallery is hosting a discussion “Peripheral Visions: The Centrality of Landscape on the Fringe” on November 16 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. It focuses on landscapes particular to the suburban experience.

Galerie Saw Gallery kicks off the fifth edition of the Art Star Video Art Biennale this week. Under the theme of Witness and Testify, the program begins with a screening of Road Movie by Public Studio on November 14 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Past RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalist Jennifer Lefort opens an exhibition of new abstract paintings at Ottawa’s Patrick Mikhail Gallery, entitled “Red+Yellow+Blue | If Ever There Was” on November 15 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Later in the week on November 21, head to Cambridge Galleries in Queen’s Square for a performance related to Derek Liddington’s every moment can be traced back to the first time I felt the warmth of the sun on my face, in which a crane operator attempts to sculpturally mimic the rise and fall of the sun. Liddington’s exhibition also opens at the gallery proper on November 22 at 7 p.m.

Dawson City
An exhibition of scale models, sculptures and serigraph prints by Chris Foster arrives at the ODD Gallery, where it opens November 14.  The show, “Frontiers in Real Estate,” is so portable that Foster packs it into small crates and tours it across the country via Canada Post.

“Storm and Spirit,” a symposium on German Expressionist art, takes place on November 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Exploring aspects of German Expressionism between the years 1900 and 1925, it expands on themes in the WAG‘s current exhibition “Storm and Spirit: The Eckhardt-Gramatté Collection of German Expressionist Art.”

These picks were selected from press material provided to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art exhibitions, openings and events, please visit

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