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Must-Sees This Week: May 19 to 25, 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 major survey of 40 years of work by Calgary artist Chris Cran opens at the National Gallery of Canada on May 19 at 7:30 p.m. “John Wayne’s Teeth,” a comedy film screening and fundraiser highlighting Indigenous comedy and humour, will be hosted by Gallery 101 on May 20 at 7 p.m. The evening is by donation with pre-screening bingo games, free bannock and a cash bar, and is hosted by local comedian Darren Sutherland. All proceeds support Asinabka Festival programming. The next day, on May 21 at 2 p.m., Gallery 101 presents a roundtable discussion on works on paper as part of the opening reception for “Paper Thin.”


The Chromatic Festival brings together visual art, interactive installations and nighttime musical performances at Hangar 16 in the Old Port for its seventh edition, which runs from May 19 to 22. On May 19 at 5:30 p.m., as part of Montreal’s Printed Art FestivalArprim presents “Comme au lit,” an exhibition in their store, Le Magasin. On May 20, tour the exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal‘s Friday Nocturne event from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Enjoy bar service, hor d’oeuvres and interactive tours of two new exhibitions by Edmund Alleyn and Jean-Pierre Gauthier and Ryoji Ikeda, as well as soon-to-be-closing exhibitions by Ragnar Kjartansson and Ryan Gander. Tickets are $14. On May 21, from 2 to 7 p.m., Skol presents “Journée Paroles et Manœuvres: Google and Eternal Life,” a day-long program of video, performance, a conference and discussions in collaboration with the Biennale Internationale d’Art Numérique. And Robb Jamieson‘s “Leather, Fast Food, Jeans” opens May 21 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Laroche/Joncas.


Composer Andrew Balfour‘s Take the Indian: A Vocal Reflection on Missing Children, a multi-part reflection on the troubled legacy of residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, conducted by Mel Braun and featuring Winnipeg vocal group Camerata Nova, cellist Yuri Hooker and traditional singing and drumming by Cory Campbell, takes place on May 25 at 7 p.m. at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The performance is followed by a panel discussion with residential school survivors and includes access to The Witness Blanket, an installation of 800 pieces from residential schools that closes on June 25.


Halifax artist Ruth Marsh imagines a world without bees in “Ideal Bounds” at the New Gallery, opening May 20 at 8 p.m. The closing reception for Brian Wennerstrom‘s MOTIVATION/MOVEMENT is on May 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Untitled Art Society.


On May 19, starting at 6:15 p.m., Angus Ferguson and Shawn Hunt will each give artist talks at the opening reception for their exhibition at Burrard Arts Foundation. John Burgess and Les Ramsay team up for “Retreat of the Horstman” at Field Contemporary, opening May 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. Toronto artist Oliver Husain‘s first foray into 3-D filmmaking, Isla Santa Maria 3D, opens on May 19 and 7 p.m. at Western Front, with an artist talk at the reception at 7 p.m. sharp. The film will screen every 20 minutes, starting on the hour. Poets Lisa Robertson and Christine Stewart will reunite for a reading at the Charles H. Scott Gallery on May 24 at 7 p.m. 


Works by Gerald Ferguson, Marc Courtemanche and Kelly Mark are included in “Double Take” at MSVU Art Gallery, which opens on May 21.


New Brunswick-based photographer Karen Stentaford opens her exhibition at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on May 21.


Seminal early works by Robert Wiens will be on view at Susan Hobbs Gallery from May 19. YTB Gallery has an opening reception for a group exhibition of 33 emerging artists on May 20 from 7 to 11 p.m. A group of nine emerging artists working in photography are opening an exhibition of socially engaged work entitled “New Century” at Northern Contemporary on May 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. A solo exhibition of work by Eric Fischl opens at Barbara Edwards Contemporary on May 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. Painter David Clarkson discusses his current exhibition, “Remotes,” at Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects on May 21 at 2 p.m. An exhibition of 41 drawings by acclaimed Cape Dorset artist, author and illustrator Ningeokuluk Teevee will be on view from May 21 at Feheley Fine Arts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on May 24 at Mercer Union for a screening of Pidgeon Pagonis’s The Son I Never Had: Growing up Intersex (2014), Arisleyda Dilone‘s Mami y Yo y Mi Gallito (mom and me and My Little Rooster(2015), Del LaGrace Volcano’s Gender Queer: Qu’est-ce c’est? (2005) and the documentary Intersexion (2012). A discussion with Pagonis and Dilone will follow. On May 25 at 7 p.m., as part of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto’s “Counterpoints” exhibition, collectors Debra CampbellAnn MalcolmsonDr. Kenneth Montague and Maia-Mari Sutnik, who have all loaned works to the show, will engage in conversation about collections moderated by Sara Angel.


Souvenirs and mementos are given the fine-art treatment at the Museum London exhibition “Remember When,” opening May 21.


At the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, the exhibition “Liminal,” featuring artists Lucie Chan and Jérôme Havre, opens on May 21.


The Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery hosts a lecture by art writer, artist and McMaster University assistant professor Sally McKay titled “What is it made of?” on May 19 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.


Evans Contemporary presents a solo exhibition of paintings by Toronto-based artist Katie Lyle with a reception on May 20 from 6 to 11 p.m.


The colourful, eye-popping abstract paintings of David Stonhouse debut May 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Darrell Bell Gallery alongside works by Eli Bornstein. Canvases by Pat Service open at Gallery/Art Placement on May 21 at 2 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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