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Must-Sees This Week: July 7 to 13, 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.)


It’s rare to see a list of curators that’s almost as long as the list of artists in an exhibition. “Some more or less distant realities,” opening July 11 at the Walter Phillips Gallery, is one such exhibition. Using an exquisite corpse method (a process of assemblage through collaboration that has roots in the Surrealist movement), Natasha Chaykowski, John G. Hampton, Leigh Markopoulos, Charles Stankievech, Shauna Thompson, Eunice Belidor and Mimmo Miaolo have curated a show featuring work from the Walter Phillips Gallery’s permanent collection, including pieces by Jin-me Yoon, Faye HeavyShield, Terry Frost, T.R. Uthco and Ant Farm, Shelley Niro, Soledad Arias and Laura Vickerson.


Scott Gallery opens two painting shows on July 9: Pat Service’s “Totems,” which draw from landscape painting but are more iconic than representational, and Marianne Watchel’s “Penumbra,” which includes her abstract pieces.


Laura Madera’s large watercolour paintings, which depict universe-like scenes of light and atmosphere open alongside a smaller suite of works in “The Angle of the Sun’s Rays” with a reception at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery on July 8 at 7 p.m.


The first major retrospective in North America of internationally acclaimed New Delhi-based artist Bharti Kher opens at the Vancouver Art Gallery on July 9. The artsy Flats neighbourhood has their annual block party and art walk on July 9, beginning at 12:00 p.m. with a whole range of galleries including Burrard Arts Foundation, Catriona Jeffries, Equinox Gallery, Field Contemporary, Grunt Gallery and more. Among the shows to see during the walk is “Jay Isaac and Mark DeLong: Thoughts on the Rocks,” an exhibition opening at Monte Clark Gallery from 2 to 4 p.m. on July 9. And if an artist talk is what you’re looking for, Gerri York will be doing one at Gallery 295 at 1 p.m. on the same afternoon. Elisa Ferrari, one of the participants in Access Gallery’s unique Twenty-Three Days at Sea residency, leads a sound walk around Port Metro Vancouver’s Centerm Terminal, beginning where Heatley Avenue meets Alexander Street at 8 p.m., happening rain or shine.

Montreal and Laval

The 25th annual edition of Vidéos de femmes dans le parc takes place July 7 at 9 p.m. at Parc La Fontaine, in front of the Théâtre de Verdure. Battat Contemporary opens a summer show with artists including Jen Aitken, Colleen Heslin, Sophie Jodoin and Jérôme Nadeau, beginning July 7, 6 to 8 p.m. Verticale’s book club picks up on the topics of art, activism and self-management on July 13 at 6 p.m. in Rosaire-Gauthier Park, (rather romantically) near the red arbor. Never Apart’s summer exhibition vernissage takes place July 7 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. with a look at works on water by Marie Ségolène, Tess Roby and Julie Roch-Cuerrier. A live performance by Marie Ségolène and H. Kallisti D’eon is also promised.

Thunder Bay

Two local artists—Leanna Marshall and Celeste Pedri-Spade—are featured in “The Teaching is in the Making: The Re(Store)ied Memories of the Anishinabeg,” opening July 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. In this show, the artists blend Anishinabeg photography and traditional regalia. As the artists say in a press statement, the works “are about ‘living out’ the marks and stories that our ancestors left behind for us, and honouring not only a past existence, but a continued presence in our lives.”


This week, Truck, in partnership with the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, presents Tarboz, an animated short by local artist/musician Chad Van Gaalen, followed by feature film Beyond the Black Rainbow, directed by Panos Cosmatos. The bonus? The screening is outdoors at Rotary Park, next to Truck’s camper, at 9:30 p.m. on July 7 as part of the Bike-in Cinema series. Winnipeg artist Hannah Doucet, whose work plays with the fragmented images of women that are often on view in art and mainstream media, has her first solo exhibition in Western Canada at the New Gallery, beginning July 8—with an opening that day at 8 p.m.


The tchotchkes your grandmother loved make a comeback in Susan Menzie’s paintings, which depict the ceramic pups made in 18th-century England—and hint at the dark underbelly of child labour that produced them. Menzie’s paintings of porcelain dogs go on view July 9 at the Kelowna Art Gallery.


The MacLaren Art Gallery holds a reception for its summer exhibitions on July 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. In addition to the recently opened Gary Evans survey, check out the group show “Road Trip” featuring works by IAIN BAXTER&, Deanna Bowen, Jason Brown, Rafael Goldchain, April Hickox, Justin Newhall, and Jeff Thomas, as well as “one man’s junk” by Laura Moore, a series of limestone sculptures hand-carved to resemble computer monitors the artist found abandoned in front yards and alleyways throughout Toronto. Also on deck: Henri Robideau’s Gianthropological Resource Centre, an exploration of ways to challenge traditional landscape forms through photography, and a look at the conservation process for nine delicate watercolour paintings by Lucius O’Brien.


July 7 from 7 to 10 p.m., Michael Gibson Gallery hosts an opening for two exhibitions: Ufuk Gueray’s “Certain Objects,” which features realist paintings of lithography stones, and Jenna Faye Powell’s “Four Bedrooms, One Bath,” which offers fantastical takes on real estate and architecture.


“ARCHITEC TONIC,” opening July at 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects, consists of painting, assemblage and installation by Susan Campbell, Stan Dragland, Mike Gough, Mike Paterson, Margaret Ryall and Stephen Zeifman. Look for architecturally oriented artworks and utopian structures designed to restore well-being and invigorate the soul, as curated by Catherine Beaudette.


Starting on July 7, the Latcham Gallery presents “Between Us,” a solo exhibition by Toronto photographer Jason Brown. The show focuses on the places we pass through on our way to somewhere else—particularly, the changes that have taken place in the last decade along what was once Highway 69 linking Sudbury to Toronto. Find out more at an opening reception on July 13 at 7 p.m.


The Candahar, a pub recreation installation by Theo Sims at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, gets activated on July 7 with a performance by musicians Belle Plaine and Blake Berglund. Also drop into the gallery on July 9 to see the first day of The Way Things Go, Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s iconic 1987 video of an elaborate domino-effect set-up in a Zurich warehouse.


A bilingual tour of “1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group,” which highlights the work of historic Canadian painters including Prudence Heward, A.Y. Jackson, Anne Savage and Lilias Torrance Newton, begins at the Art Gallery of Windsor on July 9 at 2 p.m.


Eyelevel Gallery’s summer conversation series takes the form of casual discussion over food, and it will be recorded and later made into podcasts. The chat begins at a potluck picnic at the Commons (North Park Street and Cornwallis Street) on July 8 at 6 p.m. Studio 21 kicks off their summer group exhibition, which includes a rotating selection of work by artists including Francis Coutellier, Janice Leonard and Michael Harrington, with an annual summer social on July 9 at 12 p.m.


Megan Morman made clear her quirky, satirical take on art and the art world a few years ago with the release of a Saskatchewan-art-themed activity book. On July 9, a solo show of new work titled “Assume the Position” opens at the Penny Gallery at 7 p.m. Working with diverse media including lenticular digital images, “magic eye” pictures, fused plastic beads, and digital video, “Assume the Position” aims for a “molecular maximalism” that “queers time and space.”


“Matt Schust: Working Space,” an exhibition of paintings by the Toronto-based artist, opens July 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Open Sesame. “My painting is concerned with the tradition of formalism and rooted in geometric abstraction, colour field painting, minimalism, and neo-geo,” Schust has said. “The optical effects I strive to create through the use of space, colour, and line are complicated by characteristics that allude to things outside the domain of ‘pure’ abstraction, such as diagrams and commercial design.”

St. Catharines

Elizabeth Chitty and Keesic Douglas discuss their roles as artists during this time of reconciliation in the latest of Rodman Hall’s “Hot Talks” on July 7 at 7 p.m. Chitty’s current exhibition “The Grass is Still Green” responds to the Two Row Wampum, the 1613 agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans that outlines a commitment to friendship, peace between peoples, and living in parallel forever. Keesic Douglas’s work is featured in “Reading the Talk,” an exhibition that brings together work by contemporary First Nations artists who critically examine relationships to land, region and territory.

Toronto and Area

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition runs July 8 to 10 in Nathan Phillips Square, and this year it’s the 55th anniversary of the event, which is Canada’s largest and longest-running outdoor art fair. OCAD Student Union and YTB Gallery host a fundraising evening, LATINXO, on July 8 at 7 p.m. for victims and survivors of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Exploring queer legacies is the theme at “STANDING GROUND II, CHANCE AND VARIATION,” opening at Paul Petro Contemporary Art on July 8 from 7 to 11 p.m. with works by Stephen Andrews, Wendy Coburn, Robert Flack and others. Also on the theme of celebrating queer history is a performance lecture by Cait McKinney and Hazel Meyer July 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Buddies in Bad Times, related to their current project at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, followed at 9 p.m. by a VJ party with tapes from the CLGA collection, Nica Ross and Ginger Brooks Takahashi. “DIY,” a group show curated by Dave Dyment, features fetishized tools of the trade, as well as examples of do-it-yourself projects from makeshift speakers and skateparks to some-assembly-required coffee, prisons and funerals. See works by Dean Baldwin, Kristiina Lahde, VSVSVS and others at the opening July 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. at MKG127. German-born photographer Michael Wolf, who was partly raised in Canada and is internationally known for his architectural photography, is featured in an exhibition at Bau-Xi Gallery opening July 9.

The Goethe-Institut and Harbourfront Centre present a conversation series about art and cultural resilience beginning July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Toronto Music Garden with a talk by Annika Kahrs and a performance by Toronto-based Japanese rock band MunizO. G Gallery’s show of Bridget Moser and Katie Lyle, opening July 7 at 7 p.m., is centred upon the close observation of the figure—both the body and face—that recreates and manipulates poses, movements, actions and gazes as a means of generating strange and unexpected meaning. ; it was in the air, as they say. is a work by Erika DeFreitas addressing her relationship with her mother, and referencing their differing experiences with Catholicism; it opens July 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Gallery 44 Vitrines. Angell Gallery’s summer group show, featuring works by Jaime Angelopoulos, Bradley Wood, Neil Harrison and others, opens July 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. At Dupont Projects on July 9, Hanson and Sonnenberg open a show featuring a 16-foot utility pole, their film The Way Things Are, and related collage works. The Doris McCarthy Gallery debuts its new acquisition of Warden and McNicoll (2014) by Simone Jones, a three-screen, synchronized video projection that takes place in a Scarborough hydro corridor, on July 7 from 6 to 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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