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Must-Sees This Week: May 5 to 11, 2016

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.)

Toronto and Area

In “Counterpoints: Photography Through the Lens of Toronto Collections,” you can catch a glimpse of art that’s usually in the private realm, and it opens at the Art Museum on May 12 at 7 p.m. Tong Lam and David Rokeby team up at the Goethe-Institut in “Unseen, to be seen,” which looks at photography with eye to surveillance, on May 6 at 6 p.m. “Canadian Belonging(s),” a group show featuring artists including Cindy Blažević, Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Meryl McMaster, opens at the Art Gallery of Mississauga on May 5 at 6 p.m., alongside Mark Kasumovic’s “Instrumental,” which looks at tech and photography. “Marvelous Creatures: Animals in Islamic Art” opens May 7 at the Aga Khan Museum, while Craft Ontario debuts a “Mending Lounge” project May 7 at 1 p.m.


Suzy Lake, who just won the Scotiabank Photography Award earlier this week, opens “Performing an Archive,” which pictures the artist photographing Detroit, at the
McMaster Museum of Art on May 5 at 7 p.m. Also at the McMaster Museum of Art on May 5 at 7 p.m., local artist Joseph Hartman’s on-going photograph series, Hamilton, goes on view.


A whole series of events is taking place in Lethbridge this week, as the Alberta Public Art Network Summit is in town. This includes a talk on public art at the Galt Museum and Archives on May 5 at 3:30 p.m.; a keynote reception with Peter Morin at the Galt Museum and Archives May 5 at 7 p.m.; and a free walk highlighting Lethbridge’s public art departing Casa’s east entrance May 7 at 3:15 p.m.


German photographer Jochen Lempert, whose work often draws on his background in biology, gets his first museum show in Canada at the Contemporary Art Gallery, opening May 6 at 7 p.m. Marian Penner Bancroft, Wanda Nanibush and Tania Willard are brought together for “Unsettled Sites,” which uses installation, photography and video to tease out questions about belonging to place, settler colonialism and more, and opens at SFU Gallery May 7 at 12 p.m. Patrick Cruz, recent winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, has a closing reception and catalogue launch for “Bulaklak Ng Paraiso (Flower of Paradise)” at Centre A on May 7 at 4 p.m.


AKA Artist-Run and the Kenderdine Art Gallery (along with Schleifmühlgasse 12-14) team up to present “Peripheral Influence/Periphere Einflüsse,” a large group show including artists Joi T. Arcand, Heather Benning, Zachari Logan and more, to offer a look at globalization. The show opens on May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Kenderdine Art Gallery, and a little later at 8 p.m. at AKA Artist-Run.


Central Art Garage opens an exhibition of painting and installation work by Halifax artist Mitchell Wiebe on May 6 at 7 p.m.


Battat Contemporary opens Jen Aitken’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, “Numa,” which will include new sculpture and kicks off May 5 at 6 p.m. Multidisciplinary artist Nancy Petry opens a new show at Beaux-arts des Amériques, “Arcadia,” on May 5. The 12th annual instalment of “Ignition” goes on view at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery on May 4 at 5:30 p.m. and includes artists Andréanne Abbondanza-Bergeron, Yoshimi Lee and Jérôme Nadeau, among others.

Quebec City

Jocelyn Robert creates carefully layered images that add source images to one another, questioning the role of the individual photograph. Her work is opening at VU Photo in “Moirés et automoirés” on May 6 at 5 p.m., alongside Caroline Cloutier’s “Contre-espaces (déploiements),” which play with the relationship between sculpture and photography.


Opening at Michael Gibson Gallery, Roly Fenwick’s paintings draw on his relationship with the landscapes of Bruce Peninsula, Newfoundland, and Scotland, and his own role as a painter, opening May 7 at 2 p.m.


Now in its ninth season, “Fieldwork 2016” opens five new art installations by eight artists in an outdoor exhibition. A few teasers: Marco D’Andrea has driven a 1971 Cadillac Coup de Ville into the field, replete with a customized audio installation, Jolie Bird has wrapped objects in gold thread, leading visitors along a treed path, and Chris Turnbull has inscribed the surface of the rock with a poem “designed to change with the seasons and the weather.” The show begins on May 7 at 2 with artists’ talks at 2:30 p.m., but continues to October 31.


The Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Youth Art Connection come together for some socially motivated programming that aims to address recent gun violence within the province, alongside a host of other issues. “4th Wall: Justice, Art & Youth” begins with an event featuring talks, performances and discussions at the AGNS on May 7.


Latitude 53 gets into the collaborative spirit with two shows opening May 13 at 7 p.m.: Toronto-based photographer/researcher Kyler Zeleny and Russian photographer Yanina Shevchenko’s photography project (which sees them working together across continents), and “Gilding,” which features works by Edmonton artists Emily MacDonald and Tegan Bowers, and Leila Plouffe and Jacob Dutton.

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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