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Must-Sees This Week: June 9 to 15, 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.)


A pop-up sex shop made entirely of felt objects by UK artist Lucy Sparrow opens June 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Station 16 as part of the Mural Festival. The rest of the Mural Festival—which celebrates public art and street art—is also worth checking out. Stroll along Boulevard Saint-Laurent between Rue Sainte-Catherine and Avenue Mont-Royal to see most of the sights this weekend.


When he’s not frequenting the pantheon of Canadian painting, Chris Cran—the picture-making polymath from Calgary—is always playing in his studio. TrépanierBaer opens “Warmest regards, Chris Cran,” an exhibition of new works, on June 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show offers a prairie complement to Cran’s survey currently on at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The event at TrépanierBaer also includes the launch of the NGC survey’s book—including an essay by Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall fame, among others. Elsewhere, Darian Goldin Stahl’s “MRI IN USE” opens June 10 at 7 p.m. at Alberta Printmakers’ gallery.


Scrivener’s Monthly at Western Front welcomes poet Layli Long Soldier on June 11 at 2 p.m. for a reading from her forthcoming book Whereas. Written in response to the Congressional Resolution of Apology to Native Americans signed by Barack Obama in 2009, Long Soldier’s project addresses the language and delivery of the apology. On June 10 from 7 to 9 p.m., Gallery 295 opens “Index 2016,” an exhibition of emerging artists Simon Belleau, Emily Geen, Lucien Durey, Brit Ruggirello, Tori Schepel and Erin Siddall. “Picasso: The Artist and His Muses,” opening at the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 11, offers a fresh approach to a familiar name, focusing on the significance of the six women who were inspirational to his artistic development, namely, Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque.


Internationally acclaimed Winnipeg painter Karel Funk gets a big hometown show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery that launches June 10 from 7 to 10 p.m.; fans should also check out a documentary screening June 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. and an artist talk June 15 from 12 to 1 p.m. The multi-disciplinary Icelandic Canadian Núna festival has several events going on in Winnipeg. One is the June 10, 7 p.m., opening of “Since Then,” an exhibition including Rebecca Belmore (QC), Cliff Eyland (MB), Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir (IS), Meryl McMaster (ON) and Chih-Chien Wang (QC) at Platform, and a variety of other artists (including Garry Neill Kennedy, Kent Monkman and Ione Thorkelsson) at Urban Shaman, Actual and the Window gallery. Urban Shaman’s related opening is also June 10, starting at 8 p.m., and there will also be a panel June 11 at 2 p.m. related to “Since Then.” Elsewhere, Edgar Heap of Birds offers several artist talks in the city this week, including one at Urban Shaman on June 15 at 7 p.m. Last but not least, a Self DJ Station is available at Plug In ICA June 9 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in association with Instant Coffee and the gallery’s current Allen Ruppersberg exhibition.


“Is it Worth It? Let Me Work It: A Panel on Artists and Money” on June 10, 6:30 p.m., at 8eleven brings together 10 panellists—including artists, musicians, curators and CARFAC administrators—to discuss the value of “exposure,” fair versus unfair artist compensation, unpaid organizational labour and more. “Art as an Early Warning System” is another talk this week that takes up a hot topic—how arts, culture and nature can help people absorb and process accelerating change manifested by emerging economic instability, mental health burdens, and climate change. Featuring German Chancellor Merkel’s Digital Champion and EU Commission advisor Gesche Joost along with Toronto futurist Sanjay Khanna, “Art as an Early Warning System” takes place June 14, 2016, 7:30 p.m., at the Toronto Music Garden. And the launch of the book “Is Toronto Burning?: Three Years in the Making (and Unmaking) of the Toronto Art Scene,” which looks at the city’s alt art scenes in the 1970s, is sure to prompt more discussion June 15 at 7 p.m. at 460 King Street West. Elsewhere: Produce your own “protection necklace” with Chicago-based artist Cheryl Pope in a workshop at OCAD University on June 15 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a digital image slam. Martin Bennett’s painting, which ranges from the monochromatic to the gestural, opens in “When I Can No Longer Give Air To Fire,” beginning June 9 at Birch Contemporary.


Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, painter to Marie Antoinette, a subject of our Summer 2016 print magazine and all-around feminist badass, gets a showing with her riveting monographic exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, opening June 10. David Kaarsemaker’s ephemeral, ghostly painted works go on view in “Scrim,” which begins at the Karsh-Masson Gallery June 14. On June 9 at 7 p.m., Galerie SAW Gallery presents the North American premiere of Helsinki-based artist Adel Abidin’s new video installation Michael, featuring “a newly resurrected Michael Jackson” giving “his first interview…. [with] his prophetic answers are strung together from his most famous lyrics.”


“Department of Prints and Drawings,” opening June 11 at the MSVU Art Gallery, is meant to prompt skepticism about the medium-based categories that still define large public collections, such as those at the National Gallery of Canada. The exhibition is made up of works dated from 2002 to 2010, by more 27 artists, selected from the MSVU Collection. Anna Torma’s appliquéed, embroidered and inkjet printed wall hanging incorporates drawings appropriated from members of her family. Reed Weir’s stoneware bather stands on a base with a pyrographic (wood-burned) design of Matisse-like nudes. Also look for drawings by Lucie Chan, Ann Macmillan and Susan Wood. New drawings from emerging artist Charley Young and new still life paintings by Jennifer Hornyak open at Studio 21 Fine Art Gallery on June 10.


At the Dunlop’s Sherwood Gallery, there is an opening June 11 at 1 p.m. It celebrates “Kingdom,” an exhibition on human connections to the animal world featuring works by Michel Boutin, Nicholas Galanin, Judy McNaughton and Tim Moore.

Saint John

The exhibition “Les Mikeys de Paul Édouard Bourque,” organized and toured by Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen of Université de Moncton, will be opening at the New Brunswick Museum on June 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Curated by Rémi Belliveau, the exhibition includes a selection from more than fifty works from the artist Paul Édouard Bourque’s Mikey series, presented together in one exhibition.


“At the Seams” is a group exhibition that brings together established and emerging artists whose work provides visual exchanges between craft, contemporary art and constructions of identity. Curated by Pamela Edmonds and Sally Frater, and including works by Simone Aziga, Erika DeFreitas, Tamara Huxtable and Dionne Simpson, among others, the show opens June 10 at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, and intends to address and explore the realm of this work away from traditional roles of the “feminine.”


Joing artist Mark Kasumovic for a talk about his most recent work on June 12 at 1 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. His current work investigates the relationships between technology and knowledge production within the context of scientific research.


Featuring work by Shannon Bool, Alex Morrison, Wayne Ngan and Aaron Peck, among others, “Trusses” is an exhibition of works by contemporary artists and architects that explores how buildings resonate through their uses and their intersections with other forms of culture at the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Join Bool and Morrison for a tour of the show June 11 at 2 p.m.


Mary Philpott’s whimsical, slightly dark pottery, which transforms motifs of animals and birds, often inspired by Neo-Gothic architecture and William Morris’s Arts and Craft movement, into large sculptures, open at the Art Gallery of Burlington in “A Murder of Crows” on June 11.


At the Musée régional de Rimouski, the exhibition “Lumens,” offering a range of artists whose work deals with light, including Pierre Dorion, James Nizam, Kelly Richardson, Alison Rossiter, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino and others, goes on view beginning June 12.


Graeme Patterson’s “Secret Citadel,” which combines a four part sculptural/video installation and a stop-motion animated narrative to illustrate male friendship, opens at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on June 11.

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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