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Must-Sees This Week: January 4 to 10, 2018

NIIPA, a group that shattered stereotypes in the 1980s using photography to assert Indigenous self-representation, comes into focus in a new exhibition

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 more listings of worthwhile shows that are already open.


The McMaster Museum of Art presents the new exhibition “#nofilterneeded: Shining light on the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association (NIIPA), 1985–1992” this week. Curated by Rhéanne Chartrand, the exhibition features works from the group’s inaugural exhibitions, which prioritized photography as a medium for Indigenous self-representation. Some of the group’s founding members include Shelley Niro, Jolene Rickard, Greg Staats and Jeff Thomas, among others. The exhibition continues until March 24.


“Stewardship,” the fourth circuit of the five-part series “Take Care” that has been developing at Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga, opens on January 8. Its exhibition “#callresponse,” previously shown at grunt gallery in Vancouver, premises a collaboration between artists who respond to each other’s work, centering questions of Indigenous sovereignty, land, resurgence and resistance. The project has evolved, and this iteration includes collaborations between Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch; Maria Hupfield with IV Castellanos and Esther Neff; Ursula Johnson and Cheryl L’Hirondelle; Tania Willard and Marcia Crosby; and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory with Tanya Tagaq. Later, on January 10, the talk “Indigenizing Institutions” will be presented as part of the circuit’s programming from noon to 2 p.m., followed by the performance Ke’tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings by Cherish Violet Blood, Ursula Johnson and Rosary Spence from 3 to 8 p.m. at the university’s Innovation Complex Rotunda.

“The Sunshine Eaters” opens at Onsite Gallery on January 10, featuring both Canadian and international artists, including Shary Boyle, Nick Cave, Brian Jungen, Alanis Obomsawin, Ebony G. Patterson and Winnie Truong, among others. Looking at how the natural world provides hope in times of crisis, the show opens with a discussion between Cave and Patterson on January 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., followed by a reception at 8 p.m.

Don’t miss Canadian Art assistant editor Merray Gerges in conversation with artist Jamelie Hassan and exhibitions manager Sarah Beam-Borg at the Aga Khan Museum on January 6 at 2 p.m. The discussion is inspired by the Aga Khan exhibition “Here,” which closes this weekend.

Angell Gallery presents two new exhibitions on January 5. Erin Loree’s new paintings debut in “Snakes and Ladders” and Jessica Thalmann’s photo-based sculptures will feature in “Luminous and Grey.” A talk with both artists will be held at 7:15 p.m. on opening day, followed by a reception. New works by Dave Dyment will be shown at MKG127 in the exhibition “Stop Me If You’ve Heard It,” opening on January 6 and running until February 3. Working across different mediums, Dyment investigates how culture is produced and disseminated. Over at Loop Gallery, two new exhibitions also open on January 6: P. Roch Smith’s “got ’em, got ’em, need ’em” and Andrew Duff’s “#VirtualGraffiti.” Smith has created an entire collection of hockey cards from the ’70s, while Duff looks at contemporary gullibility in our current hashtag era.

In closings, Marla Hlady’s “Still” wraps on January 6 at Christie Contemporary.


Jeanie Riddle‘s exhibition “Open Letter to the Women” opens at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran on January 10. Featuring both painting and sculpture, Riddle questions the boundaries of these mediums and encodes them with her particular colour palette, aiming to fuel community and empowerment.

Over at Galerie de l’UQAM, both Maria Hupfield’s “The One Who Keeps On Giving” and Michelle Bui’s “Pool of Plenty” open with a reception on January 10 at 5:30 p.m. “The One Who Keeps On Giving” catalogues Hupfield’s performance practice, and the artist will also perform on opening day with Electric Djinn and ODAYA. Bui, alternatively, explores the aesthetics of the materials and objects that make up our environment.

Parisian Laundry also presents two new shows on January 10, launching with a reception at 6 p.m. In Annie MacDonell’s exhibition “The Fortune Teller,” the Toronto artist premises a digital video which focuses on the restoration of a resin hand sculpture, acting as an exploration of dimensions of time and its non-linearity. In Brian Wills’s first solo showing in Montreal, the LA-based artist takes inspiration from Quebec’s Plasticiens and Southern California’s Light and Space artists.


The Glenhyrst Art Gallery launches a special exhibition by Paris-based Kapwani Kiwanga entitled “Clearing” on January 10, with an opening reception at 7 p.m. In this show, Kiwanga revisits the gallery where she attended art camps at a young age—having been raised in Brantford—and also assesses the area’s colonial history and questions of land. The exhibition runs until March 11.


The new year begins with a splash at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, as January 6 marks the launch of three new exhibitions. Kent Monkman’s travelling exhibition “Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience,” the artist’s response to the Canada 150 fanfare where he both plays the role of artist and curator, will open. Also opening are “The Powers of Women: Female Fortitude in European Art” and “Log Cabin: A Canadian Quilt.”


The exhibition “Cover” featuring work by Adriana Kuiper and Ryan Suter opens on January 5 at Hermes with a reception at 6 p.m. Kuiper and Suter have collaborated on work since 2010, and while usually prioritizing site-specific installations, this time the artists reveal their latest collaborative studio experimentations with quilts, video and sound. The exhibition runs until January 28.


Peter Barron’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” opens at Evans Contemporary on January 5, with a reception from 6 to 11 p.m. Working with both acrylic and oil paint, the Peterborough-based artist’s paintings take their cue from expressionist influences, premising sinister landscapes and bold colours.


SNAP Gallery presents “Reading the Sky” by Tara Cooper and “ONE TO USE ONE TO LOSE ONE TO BREAK” by Jonathan Green, opening on January 5 at 7 p.m., preceded by an artist talk with Cooper at 6 p.m.


New works by Vancouver-based artist Mark Ollinger debut in “Lines Drawn” at Herringer Kiss Gallery on January 6. Having worked in design and public installations, Ollinger will present new sculptures shaped by this work experience and influenced by graffiti and optical illusions.

These must-sees are selected from submissions and press releases sent to at least two days prior to publication. Listings can be found at

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