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Must-Sees This Week: January 12 to 18, 2017

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 even more worthwhile shows that are already open.

Vancouver and Area

Geoffrey Farmer has a showing at Catriona Jeffries Gallery—a chance to see his work before his presentation at the Venice Biennale this summer—beginning January 14. The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery opens two exhibitions on January 12, beginning at 6 p.m.: “To refuse/To wait/To sleep,” which includes work by Melanie Gilligan, Gabrielle Hill, Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, Marianne Nicolson and Raqs Media Collective, while “M&A” presents work by Swedish duo Goldin+Senneby. The two Belkin exhibitions coincide with a symposium on speculation in art and finance that will run January 13 from 3 to 9 p.m.

The 2017 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, which, among other programming, includes artist talks by begins Bridget Moser, Caroline Horton and Alessandro Sciarroni, kicks off January 16. The first solo exhibition in Canada by British artist Haroon Mirza, known for his internationally acclaimed audio installations, opens with a reception January 12 at 7 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Also on at the CAG beginning January 12: Erdem Taşdelen’s “Wild Child,” a two-part video installation that draws from  An Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage Man view in the events room, and “The Quantified Self Poems,” a series of 12 screenprints, in the window spaces.

Access Gallery continues their year-long collaboration with Other Sights’ for Artist Projects with a talk that sees artist Germaine Koh discuss working between disciplines and artist Carol Sawyer on counter-narratives, beginning January 10 at 7 p.m. Photographer Meryl McMaster has her first solo exhibition in British Columbia at the Richmond Art Gallery; “Confluence” presents a selection of the artist’s imaginative self-portraits, opening January 14 at 3 p.m.

At Plaza Projects in Richmond, the group show “Peer Pressure,” which includes artists Stephanie Aitken, Scott Kemp, Johan Bjorck and Kara Hansen, among others, explicitly aims to highlight difference and conflict, and opens January 14 at 5 p.m.


At Stride Gallery, Liza Eurich and Colin Miner are brought together for “Semblance and Shadows Like Anxiety,” which opens January 13. Sheena Hoszko’s upcoming “Correctional Service Canada Accommodation Guidelines: Mental Healthcare Facility 10m2 x 2” at the New Gallery, beginning January 13 at 8 p.m., looks at Canada’s penitentiary system, creating 1:1 scale sculptures out of pipe and drape walls, “representing the minimum requirements for CSC mental healthcare waiting and treatment rooms.”

Truck opens a couple of shows on January 13 at 8 p.m.: “Obsolescence,” is a curatorial project by Mohammad Rezaei, which brings together work by Brynn Higgins-Stirrup, Colwyn Paddon, Justin Somjen, Jim Verburg and Joy Walker to bring together different approaches to communication; and “Strange Loop,” which displays Kyle Whitehead’s transformation of 8-mm film into a Möbius strip in the Parkade Space. Ethiopian-born photographer Aida Muluneh opens a show of work at VivianeArt on January 13.


A selection of archival documents and ephemera from documenta 5 and famed curator Harald Szeemann, collected by curator David Platzker, go on view at La Galerie UQO beginning January 18 at 5 p.m. Text-based paintings by Montreal artist karen elaine spencer go on view at Ellephant in “Headlines” January 14, beginning at 2 p.m. La Centrale hosts a “finissage” for Barbara Claus’s vitrine project, which includes meditative drawing, on January 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. Art Mûr launches new exhibitions: Sonny Assu’s “Interventions On The Imaginary” and Erika Dueck’s “Divided Proximities,” beginning January 14 from 3 to 5 p.m. An exhibition of sculpture by David Armstrong Six and a showing of Paul Hardy’s mixed-media works open at Parisian Laundry on January 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain opens three shows on January 12 at 6 p.m.: Caroline Monnet’s video work Mobilize will be on view; new paintings by John Player; and a series of drawings by Ripley Whiteside, Aquariums of Toronto. Centre des arts actuels Skol opens a showing of contemporary Syrian artists Aiham Dib, Muzaffar Salman, Randa Maddah and Monif Ajaj on January 12 at 5:30 p.m. If you’re still living in the digital age, Projet Pangée’s upcoming exhibition of “post-post-digital” will offer a bit of a rude awakening—it brings together work by Lauren Pelc-McArthur, Amy Brener and Cat Bluemke, opening January 14 from 3 to 6 p.m.

North Bay

“wnoondwaamin | we hear them,” bring together Indigenous women artists Autumn Chacon, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Melissa General and Suzanne Morrissette, who focus on sounds of all sorts, from the noises embedded in objects like antlers to intercepted radio broadcasts, beginning at the White Water Gallery on January 17 at 6 p.m.


“Becoming Animal/Becoming Landscape” draws from the collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver to look at the boundaries between the categories of man, animal and land; it goes on view at the Kamloops Art Gallery January 14. Also at the KAG, interim curator Adrienne Fast gives an exhibition tour of Ann Kipling’s show, “Gestural Terrain,” on January 14 at 5:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception at 6:30 p.m.


McMaster Museum of Art kicks off the season with three shows on January 12 at 6 p.m. “Unapologetic: Acts of Survivance,” brings together works by 11 hugely influential Indigenous artists, including Carl Beam, Robert Houle, Shelley Niro and Jane Ash Poitras. Also going up at the McMaster Museum of Art on January 12: a dialogue between the work of Hamilton-based artist Paul Cvetich and historic woodblock prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; and, for the bibliophiles among us, a selection of rare editions of philosophy combined with art from the collection. At Centre [3] for Print and Media Arts, Wendi Ruth uses print to look at her explores hybrid Mexican/US identity, opening with a reception on January 13 at 7 p.m.


Gallery 1C03 opens “Moving Images” with work from 23 artists affiliated with the University of Winnipeg, including and beginning January 12 at 4 p.m. The opening reception will be followed by a conversation between exhibiting artists Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson and critic Alison Gillmor at 7 p.m. in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall. Martha Street Studio launches a new edition by Simon Hughes on January 12 at 7 p.m.

Thunder Bay

Amanda Burk’s meticulous drawings, which feature animals metaphorically representing emotions, open in “Stories of Contentment and Other Fables” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, beginning with a reception and artist talk January 13 at 7:30 p.m. Also at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, “Mindful Expressions: My Mind, My Art” brings together work by both local youth and established artists to explore the topic of mental wellness, beginning January 12 at 6:45 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Guelph opens a range of exhibitions on January 18 at 7 p.m. Abstract painting by Ottawa-based artist Melanie Authier will be on view in “Contrarieties & Counterpoints,” which is curated by Robert Enright, a professor and research chair at the University of Guelph. Opening alongside Authier’s showing: Guelph-based artist Colin Carney’s new bodies of work, including large-scale photography, audio and immersive video, and “A Sense of Wonder,” which focuses on d/Deaf and disability arts through the convergence of art and social practice.


A welcoming for the travelling project Walking With Our Sisters will be held on January 14 at 2 p.m., at Mount Saint Vincent University’s McCain Centre Atrium, followed by a feast and an invitation to attendees to visit the Walking With Our Sisters commemoration in the MSVU Art Gallery.

Artist sophia bartholomew begins her 12-week residency at the Khyber Centre for the Arts on January 16, so expect to see the gallery used an an office as studio for her project, COMPANIONS TO THE BODY, for the next little while; the residency will conclude with a public talk.


Mohawk artist Shelley Niro looks at historic sites of conflict that hold significance for her people in “Battlefields of My Ancestors,” which takes the form of a photo-based installation, opens at the McIntosh Gallery on January 12 at 7 p.m. Also opening that day at the McIntosh: “Cold Front,” which brings together the work of Tom Benner, John Boyle, Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Jamelie Hassan and Tony Urquhart, who all worked in London during the Cold War.

Quebec City

Emmanuelle Léonard’s show “Pinel – Nicolet – SQ” looks at sites where power is exercised: the psychiatric institution, police academy, forensic-medicine laboratory. The show goes on view at VU Photo January 13 at 6 p.m., alongside “Investigations,” which brings together photographic books by Donald Weber and Larry Frolick, Michel Huneault, Virginie Rebetez, Ed Templeton, Doug Rickard, Don Hudson, Huger Foote, Louis Perreault, Bertien van Manen, JH Engström, Josée Schryer and Robert Frank.


“Yonder,” which was previously on view at the Koffler Gallery, heads to the University of Waterloo Art Gallery, opening January 12 at 5 p.m. The show looks at themes of cultural translation and displacement, and brings together a wide range of artists: Sarindar Dhaliwal, Brendan Fernandes, Rafael Goldchain, Jérôme Havre, Luis Jacob, Esmond Lee, Julius Poncelet Manapul, Sanaz and Mani Mazinani, Divya Mehra, Zinnia Naqvi, José Luis Torres, 2Fik, Blue Republic, Diana Yoo, Jinny Yu and the Z’otz* Collective.


Born in Lower Canada in 1832, Caroline Louisa Daly was the daughter of former P.E.I. Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Dominick Daly, and she spent several years travelling the world with her father before settling in Dorset; now, a showing of her watercolour paintings goes on view at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, beginning January 14 in the Young People’s Gallery.


Art21’s “Vancouver” episode, which looks at the work and process of West Coast artists Liz Magor, Brian Jungen, Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall, screens in Nanaimo at the Vault Cafe on January 17 at 7 p.m.—and admission is free.


Megan Dickie brings together topics as disparate as 1980s video games and glam wrestling culture to create an immersive installation that celebrates failure, which opens at Open Space on January 13. Artists from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s “It’s In The Making,” including Cedric, Nathan and Jim Bomford, Shelley Penfold and Angela Teng, and the exhibition co-curators, lead a tour and and artist talk on January 14 at 2 p.m.

Toronto and Area

“Close Readings” brings together work by Hannah Black, Alvis Choi a.k.a. Alvis Parsley, k.g. Guttman, David Kelley and Radio Equals to look at practices “whose insides and outsides are difficult to distinguish”; it open at Gallery TPW on January 14 at 2 p.m. Jennifer Rose Sciarrino’s show “Thrummer,” which brings together a range of bodily inspired installation, closes with a conversation between the artist and Power Plant curator Julia Paoli at Daniel Faria Gallery January 14 at 2 p.m.

Juan Ortiz-apuy’s fantasitcal, large-scale collages go on view at Gallery 44 on January 13, alongside Jimmy Limit’s work, which parses stock photography, opening January 13. Also on view at the 401 Richmond: Carolyn Wren’s Dwell, an installation consisting of a wooden table, two chairs, and a linocut printed linen tablecloth, at Open Studio January 13. Jess Dobkin’s new work, The Magic Hour, is on view at the Theatre Centre with showings until January 21. New work by Laurie Kang goes on view at Franz Kaka in “Line Litter” on January 12. Recent sculpture and a film by Tony Romano go on view at Clint Roenisch Gallery on January 14.

The 2017 Toronto Design Offsite Festival begins this week with lots of great programming. One example to keep an eye out for: On the Table, a series of artist-designed coasters that will be distributed at a group of Toronto bars beginning January 16, designed by Jesse Harris, Aisha Sasha John, Hazel Meyer, Lido Pimienta. At General Hardware Contemporary, Lyla Rye’s “Are Closer Than” and Mark Crofton Bell’s “History Painting” open January 14.

The Blackwood Gallery reopens post-holiday with a series of performances occurring hourly from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on January 18 presented alongside French artist Julien Prévieux’s exhibition “The Elements of Influence (and a Ghost).” Vanessa Dion Fletcher’s bodily, interactive installation, “Own Your Cervix,” kicks off on January 12 with private cervical self-exam sessions in the afternoon (registration required), followed by an opening reception at 7 p.m.

Katharine Harvey’s new paintings open in “Vestiges,” beginning January 12 from 6 p.m. at Nicholas Metivier Gallery. Canadian filmmaker and artist Richard Kerr admits to a certain obsession with the medium (and the materiality) of film. His exhibition “Postindustrial” opens at the CIBC Canadian Film Gallery at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday, January 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. Miles Stemp’s “I want to help you” opens at Y+ Contemporary January 14 from 6 to 9 p.m.

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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