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Must-Sees This Week: July 14 to 20, 2016

Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, 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.)

Cape Breton

“Fixed Forever” brings together Canadian, American and European photographers with work in the Cape Breton University Art Gallery’s permanent collection, including Robert Frank, Eadweard Muybridge and Audrey Flack, and recent acquisitions that deal with utopian architecture, beginning July 15 with an opening reception on the following Friday, July 22.


Building from Gail Bourgeois’s recent solo exhibition “Correspondence: from roots to rhizomes to mycelial networks,” the Ottawa Art Gallery hosts a crowdsourced event that asks participants to try “non-hierarchical methods of communication and enable participants to connect with each other” on July 14 at 7 p.m.


Once you hear Spike’s story, you’ll need to go to Artspace to see Walter Scott’s series of work that details his trials and tribulations. Spike, “a dog-shaped television writer” lives in the town of Sideways, where, “isolated in his seaside home, Spike is visited by Octavia Chandrila Diazepene and Lick Mylegs, two non-human singer-songwriters who represent the “good” and “bad” of Spike’s psyche.” The show opens on July 15 at 7 p.m.


Art Mûr opens a solo exhibition of work by Hedy Gobaa, whose work “seeks the anthropomorphic painting in digital,” on July 16 at 3 p.m. “A Pool is Water,” which takes its title from a Joan Didion quotation, brings together work by Raque Ford, Tiziana La Melia, Maryse Larivière, Athena Papadopoulos and Megan Rooney, and begins at Galerie Division on July 14 at 6 p.m. with a performance and reading. As a part of the Darling Foundry’s performance series at the Place Publique, Karen Elaine Spencer and the duo Jean-Sébastien Vague give performances on July 14 at 7:30 p.m.


Curator Kegan McFadden leads a tour of his multi-venue exhibition, “Since Then,” beginning at 2 p.m. on July 18 at Urban Shaman Gallery, and heading to Platform and Actual. The show includes photographic, digital and new media works by Rebecca Belmore, Leah Decter, Dana Claxton, Garry Neill Kennedy and others. Urban Shaman Gallery and the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre present a community-led photo-voice research project about safety and gender violence issues in North Point Douglas that opens with a reception July 15 at 8 p.m.


The “new Stampede aesthetic” has had something of a moment in Calgary of late, with work by Nicole Kelly Westman and Del Hillier at Untitled Art Society, and Yvonne Mullock’s project at Stride Gallery, but now Contemporary Calgary gets in on the theme with a Stampede lunch on July 15 at 12 p.m.


Melanie Authier’s painting show, “Contrarieties & Counterpoints,” which is curated by Robert Enright and features accompanying essays by Sarah Milroy, Ola Wlusek and Sky Goodden, opens at the Thames Art Gallery on July 16 at 8 p.m.

Annapolis Royal

Ontario-based artist Annie Dunning opens her sound project, Sapsucker Sounds, which merges human and woodpecker culture into an interactive sculpture, at ARTsPLACE Gallery beginning July 17 at 1 p.m.

Vancouver and Area

Leigh Tennant leads an artist talk at Artspeak on July 16 at 2 p.m. as a part of the exhibition “goodies,” which shows Tennant’s fugitive practice, speaking with “the history and materiality of painting, [to] explore what transgender embodiments do to the sexual archaeology of signification.” At Field Contemporary, the collapse of the division between real humans and their virtual avatars is the focus of “An Honest Mimic,” including artists Rachael Archibald, David Bayus, Pieter Jossa, Sara Ludy, Kristel Saan and Hagihara Takuya, and beginning July 14 at 7 p.m.

The Text to Speech collaborative reading group co-organized by Western Front, Cineworks and VIVO Media Arts Centre has an instalment at Western Front on July 19 at 7 p.m. that focuses on Artie Vierkant’s The Image Object Post-Internet. At the Richmond Art Gallery, Rick Leong and three artists, Winifred Lee, Li Desheng and Ping-Kwong Wong, pick up on traditional techniques, images and symbols found in classical Chinese painting, opening July 15 at 7 p.m.


At Y+ contemporary, “SZEEN” brings together sound and performance-based works by Veronica Abrenica, Kristina Guison, and a piece by Pantayo in collaboration with Tim Manalo. Performances take place July 15 at 8 p.m. and July 16 at 8 p.m., followed by an artists’ talk on July 17 at 2 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Mississauga opens its summer exhibitions on July 14 at 6 p.m. with a free round-trip bus that departs from the Gladstone Hotel. The shows on view are “Pattern Migration,” which looks at ornamentation with work by Diyan Achjadi, Soheila Esfahani and Sanaz Mazinani; Youngo Verma’s “Kundalini: Union of the Divine”; and Olga Klosowski’s “Open Concept | XIT-RM,” which creates “sculptures from cast-off materials from renovation sites.”


The Marvellous Grounds collective presents a session of performance and activities aimed at mapping QTBIPOC (queer, trans, black, Indigenous and people of colour) histories in Toronto. Workshop starts July 17 at 2 p.m. at the 519 Community Centre, with performance starting at 3:15 p.m. Tangled Art Gallery continues its inaugural season with melannie g campbell’s “Point of Origin,” a show that draws on aesthetics including Afro-futuristism, and opens July 14 at 7 p.m. A screening of work at Xpace Cultural Centre takes up questions of blindspots within the LGBTQ sphere by presenting work by five queer-diasporic artists beginning at July 20 at 7 p.m. Chicago artist Theaster Gates opens his solo show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, “Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum,” with a sold-out talk on July 20 followed by an exhibition preview and house party beginning at 8 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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