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Must-Sees This Week: December 3 to 9, 2015

Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for upcoming shows, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder, or download the Canadian Art Finder in the App Store or Google Play for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.)


Mercer Union hosts a conversation with French curator and writer Caroline Hancock about her recent curatorial projects and ongoing interest in language, literature and translation on December 3 at 7 p.m. David J. Knight has created a site-specific sound piece, a whispering piano listened to, which may be experienced at 26artspace on Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m. opening December 5; he will also present a talk titled “Nusic: The History of Listening” and hold a conversation on archaeoacoustics at 3 p.m. that day. Paul Petro Contemporary Art hosts its annual “Christmas Spice” group exhibition, this year titled “The Primum Mobile: The ninth sphere of heaven and the abode of angels,” with an opening reception on December 4 at 7 p.m. The opening reception of “Kintsukuroi,” a new series of paintings on the Japanese art of repairing with gold or other precious metals, will be held at Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts on December 3 at 5 p.m. with an artist talk by artist Bruno Capolongo.


The Robert McLaughlin Gallery opens an exhibition of work by Ray Mead entitled “Living Within,” featuring figurative and still-life drawings and paintings on December 4 at 7 p.m.


The MacLaren Art Centre hosts a series of receptions this week on December 3 at 7 p.m. “Reading the Talk” brings together work by contemporary First Nations artists Michael Belmore, Hannah Claus, Patricia Deadman, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Keesic Douglas and Melissa General, who use a variety of practices to consider distinct Indigenous perspectives on the history of treaties in the land now referred to as Ontario. Alongside this is “Obscured Horizons,” an exhibition of mixed-media works by abstract Anishinaabe artist Robert Houle, Carl Beam’s photo-based print and painting works in “Fragile Skies” and pictographic painting work by Indigenous Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau.


On December 6 at 2 p.m., Michael Gibson Gallery holds an opening reception for two new shows: an exhibition of watercolours by landscape painter Dorothy Knowles and “Interlude,” an exhibition of photographs by Susan Dobson and Ned Pratt.


The Art Gallery of Mississauga celebrates the launch of the catalogue for current exhibition “Beyond the Pines: Homer Watson and the Contemporary Landscape” with a panel discussion on the intersection of aesthetics, environmentalism, art history and politics in landscape on December 3 at 6.30 p.m.


Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first Canadian solo exhibition of work by Korean artist Kim Beom opening on December 4 at 7 p.m. with an artist talk the following day. Exhibiting artist Laura Piasta speaks with visiting artist Liz Magor to discuss the work that comprises Piasta’s solo exhibition at Access Gallery on December 3 at 7 p.m. Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery presents renowned Kwakwaka’wakw/Tlingit artist Corrine Hunt’s exhibition of new jewellery and mixed-media with an opening and artist talk on December 5 at 2 p.m.


A tour of two experimental film programs, “Broken Altar” and “Dramatis Personae,” curated by Antimatter [media art] is coming to Deluge Contemporary Art on December 3 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.


Trevor Boddy will lead a walking tour of SFU’s Burnaby campus architecture in relationship with Alex Morrison’s exhibition “Phantoms of a Utopian Will” on December 5 at 1 p.m.


Narratives in Space and Time Society leads a mobile media and walking project, “Walking the Debris Field: A Natural History,” a public event marking the 98th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion at 12 p.m. on December 6 departing from the community garden behind the Devonshire Arena. An exhibition of Robert Tombs’s typography and print work opens at MSVU Art Gallery on December 3 in “Index. Graphic Works 1985–2015.”

Prince Edward Island

Jennifer Bélanger, curator of “Clippings: L’Evangeline in Images” an exhibition on the history of the long-running Acadian newspaper L’Evangeline (1887–1982), through six print-based artist projects, gives a talk on the research and creation of the show at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on December 3 at 7 p.m.


For the exhibition “Veiled Hoods and Stains,” Cal Lane combines delicate lacework and discarded steel car and truck hoods to transform readymade objects into ornate sculptures; it opens on December 3 alongside Jackie Ziehe’s “Landscape Perception” at Yukon Arts Centre.


Now in its 17th year, Nanaimo Artwalk is a lively annual event presented in the Old City Quarter and downtown, running December 5 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with 30 locations and more than 45 local artists working in various mediums.


Kelowna Art Gallery hosts a public talk by artist Landon Mackenzie on December 4 at 7 p.m. and a public tour and panel discussion with Mackenzie on December 5 at 2 p.m.


On December 4 at 7 p.m., Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture hosts the opening reception of new work by two artists: Shan Kelley’s mixed-media work focussed on the feeling of exposure and oppressive surveillance and Lisa Turner’s invented products amalgamated from items available online and made using sculpture, print and animation.


In 2016, D. Helen Mackie turns 90, so Willock and Sax Gallery will be celebrating her and her work with an exhibition of woodblock, linoblock, drawings and watercolours in “Wood Water,” which opens December 5 from 3 p.m.


TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary hosts “Whoppers, Fibs, and Fiction,” an evening of live performances by storytellers who identify as emerging or professional writers, comedians, musicians, curators, artists, designers or architects. The evening will be comprised of short interpretations of storytelling on December 9 beginning at 8 p.m. around a digital campfire.


The Southern Alberta Art Gallery has three exhibitions opening December 5 at 8 p.m.: Sobey Art Award–nominated artist Sarah Anne Johnson’s exhibition reflecting on trauma and CIA mind experiments, Corinne Thiessen’s installation Factory Logic, which uses natural and industrial materials to create a fascinating and whimsical hybrid and Janice Wright Cheney’s “Cellar,” which reflects on contradictory feelings of fascination and unease in a show consisting of hundreds of rats created from recycled vintage fur coats.


Installation and photography artist Kelly Lycan talks at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art on December 3 at 7 p.m. An exhibition of paintings by Tim Schouten and Cliff Eyland entitled “Treaty Landscapes” opens with a reception on December 4 at 6 p.m. at Library Art Gallery.


Dunlop Art Gallery hosts a drawing performance on December 5 at 1 p.m. by Barbara Meneley, who is working on-site to create tracings on translucent paper, endeavouring to represent each of the Prairie History Room’s items (there are more than 3,000) with a drawing. “Expanding Horizons Collecting the Group of Seven” showcases Study for Old Pine Tree by Arthur Lismer alongside other artworks in a wider discussion about the motivations for collecting and studying the Group of Seven.

Moose Jaw

The opening reception of Lucien Durey and Katie Kozak’s “Baba’s House” is on December 3 at 7.30 p.m. at Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery and features scanned compositions from materials found during the artists’ residency in the home of Kozak’s Ukrainian-Canadian grandmother, Sophie Ostrowski.

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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