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Must-Sees This Week: September 17 to 23, 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.)


Oakville Galleries opens two solo shows on September 19: Toronto artist Derek Sullivan orchestrates a country-house narrative set piece at Gairloch Gardens in “The Missing Novella” while New York–based photographer Jessica Eaton pushes the boundaries of image-making in the touring survey “Wild Permutations” at Centennial Square.


New York–based artist Brendan Fernandes extends his study of the charged territories of ethnicity and migration with “In Position,” an installation of sculpture and photography at the Varley Art Gallery that responds to La Bayadère, an Orientalist ballet choreographed by Marius Petipa in 1877. The opening on September 20 at 2 p.m. features a performance by National Ballet of Canada soloist Jenna Savella. Fernandes gives an artist talk at 1 p.m.


The University of Waterloo Art Gallery opens a double-header on the spiralling procedural extremes of conceptual artmaking on September 17 at 5 p.m. with Roula Partheniou’s sculptural replica–filled “Inventory” and Kelly Mark’s self-on-self video work, 108 Leyton Ave.


The newly minted Art Gallery of Guelph (formerly the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre) opens “The Queer Feeling of Tomorrow” on September 17 at 7 p.m. The exhibition is curated by Adam Barbu, recipient of the third annual Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators, and includes works by Sunil Gupta, John Hanning, Shan Kelley, Julia Martin, David Poolman and Laurel Woodcock.


At the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brooklyn-based artist Jillian McDonald debuts her latest video installation, The Thaw—commissioned by the AGSM and shot on location in and around the region—alongside Tahltan artist Peter Morin’s response to the work’s reimagining of landscape and inherent connections to Indigenous histories. Opens September 17 at 7:30 p.m.


The Kenderdine Art Gallery opens Biliana Velkova’s “Fake Plastic Trees” on September 18, a critical investigation of how glamourized branding and tourist commodification strategically mediates the spectacle of nature in the Prairies and Rocky Mountains.


Sketches of Canadian Sports and Pastimes, a fascinating suite of late-nineteenth century prints by British colonial artist and soldier Henry Buckton Laurence, opens at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on September 19.


Oeno Gallery celebrates veteran artist Otto Rogers’s 80th birthday with a solo exhibition of new paintings and works on paper opening on September 19 at 3 p.m.


David Roth performs Set for Life or, What’s the Worth of a While at Wil Aballe Art Projects, with an opening reception on September 17 at 7 p.m. “How Long Can You Contain an Echo?” also opens on September 17 at 7 p.m., at Field Contemporary, and features four female painters. On September 19 at 2 p.m., Monte Clark Gallery opens a show of new works by Gailan Ngan and Derek Root. A retrospective exhibition of work by Victoria’s self-proclaimed Town Fool, Anna Banana, opens on September 18 at 8 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and on September 19 at 4 p.m. at Open Space. The Fall 2015 Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, Lucy Skaer, gives a talk at Emily Carr University of Art and Design on September 21 at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception at the Charles H. Scott Gallery.


Beginning on September 19 at 10 a.m., the Surrey Art Gallery presents “The Grove: A Spatial Narrative,” which transforms a public space in Newton with a multi-channel soundscape and visual narrative told by local artists Carmen Paplia, Andrew Lee and Phinder Dulai.


Artsweek Peterborough, which actually runs for 10 days, begins on September 18. The opening reception for an exhibition Sarah Jane Gorlitz is at Evans Contemporary’s new location on September 18 at 6 p.m.


In conjunction with Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins’s current exhibition at the University of Calgary, Contemporary Calgary presents a talk between the artists and Ciara McKeown on September 18 at 10 a.m. Barbara Edwards Contemporary presents work by Vancouver sculptor Robert Murray on September 18 at 6 p.m., and Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art opens “Round About Midnight,” a solo exhibition by Pat Service, on September 19 at 2 p.m.


An exhibition of new works by landscape painter Jim Davies opens at Scott Gallery on September 19.

Ottawa and Gatineau

Karsh-Masson Gallery presents new works by Allyson Glenn, with an opening reception on September 17 at 5:30 p.m. and an artist talk on September 20 at 2 p.m. Ottawa Art Gallery will be open all night during Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau, which runs from September 19 at 6:30 p.m. to September 20 at 4:20 a.m. Galerie SAW Gallery presents a large-scale, media-based architectural installation that reinvents the Finnish sauna on September 19, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.


Painter and University of Waterloo professor Doug Kirton opens an exhibition of new work at Idea Exchange on September 18 at 7 p.m.


The McMaster Museum of Art hosts a fall reception for their shows “Dark Commander,” which features the paintings of John Scott, and “The Unvarnished Truth,” a look into the material history of paintings, on September 17 at 6 p.m.


Curator and scholar Yevgeniy Fiks discusses his recent projects dealing with Soviet LGBT history at SBC Gallery on September 23 at 6 p.m. and at the Université du Québec à Montréal on September 24 at 12:30 p.m. Sara Angelucci’s sculptures and photo-based works open at Patrick Mikhail Gallery in “Taking Flight” on September 18 at 6 p.m. Maria Isabel Rondon takes up questions of identity, particularly revolving around black women’s hair, in Projet Chevelu at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) on September 17 8 p.m. CK2 Gallery opens “Discipline & Plug In,” a group show featuring Dan Vogt, Thea Govorchin and Connor Olthuis on September 17 at 6 to 9 p.m.


Esmé Hogeveen begins a weekly reading group at the Khyber Centre for the Arts on September 22—according to the gallery, “each meeting to include its own sub-focus and guest speaker.”


Photographer Anne Collier’s first major solo exhibition opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario on September 23. Erin Stump Projects opens a show in its new Dupont Street location titled “past present FUTURE” on September 18 at 6 p.m. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition runs in Nathan Phillips Square over September 18, 19 and 20. Isabel Rocamora’s “Troubled Histories, Ecstatic Solitudes” opens at the Koffler Gallery September 17, 6 p.m. New work by Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky open at Pari Nadimi Gallery on September 17 at 6 p.m. On the heels of his 300-person procession, Marlon Griffith opens his first solo exhibition in Canada, “Symbols of Endurance,” at the Art Gallery of York University on September 23. YTB Gallery has a reception on September 17 at 7 p.m. for their shows “In the dust of this world” and “Show Room.” Barbara Astman gives an artist talk in conjunction with “I as artifact” at Corkin Gallery on September 19 at 2 p.m.


Cape Breton University Art Gallery hosts a reception on September 18 at 2 p.m. for Witness Blanket, a large-scale art installation by artist Carey Newman comprised of hundreds of items reclaimed from residential schools.


Gallery 1C03 opens “A Putting Down of Roots: 40 Years of CV2” in partnership with the publication Contemporary Verse 2, on September 17 at 4 p.m., and a variety of programming will occur over the following weeks with a related symposium in November. Artist Edgar Heap of Birds, whose work is included in “A Putting Down of Roots,” gives a lecture on September 17 at 12 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg.

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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