Arts and cultural exhibitions

To commemorate Canada's 150th, Legacy Art Galleries is hosting exhibitions that celebrate the country's multicultural composition and alternative historic narratives.

Legacy downtown

Ellen Neel the First Woman Totem Pole Carver

January 14 - April 2, 2017
Curated by the Williams Legacy Chair Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer with advising curators David Neel and Lou-ann Neel  

This exhibition celebrates the career of Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka'wakw) carver Ellen Neel (1916-1966), the first woman carver of monumental totem poles. Further, it acknowledge Neel’s influential role as a professional artist and her contribution towards the recognition of Northwest coast Indian art as a contemporary art form.

Our art continues to live, for not only is it part and parcel of us, but can be a powerful factor in combining the best part of Indian culture with the fabric of a truly Canadian art form.

The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown

Race, Art, and Landscape in 19th Century British Columbia

January 21 - April 1, 2017
Guest curated by Dr. John Lutz (History, UVic) with Emerald Johnstone-Bedell and C. Riedel

We know Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) was one of the first professional landscape artists to work in the Pacific Northwest. His few regional paintings that survive offer vivid windows into the world of 1880s Victoria and British Columbia. Yet, how did this African American artist succeed at a time when racial prejudice prevented most Blacks from entering any skilled profession?

Thank the Creator: Indigenous Origin Stories

April 8 - September 16, 2017
Curated by Jackson McDermott, UVic Anthropology and Indigenous Studies student from Dene Nation, with Gillan Booth and Katie Hughes

Thank the Creator is an exhibition showcasing creation stories by Indigenous artists primarily from the Northwest Coast working in serigraph prints and carvings.  As Canada celebrates 150 years since its own confederation (the “creation” of the country as a unified political entity) this exhibition honours the much older creation stories of the nations and lands.

Survival by Design: Downtown Edition

April 15 - July 8, 2017
Curated by Martin Segger, Former Maltwood Director

This project examines the life-cycle of Victoria’s Modernist built landscape over the period 1950-2015. A special focus will be on structures and landscapes of the 1950s and 60s which evidence of the emergence of the unique architectural phenomenon of West Coast Modernism. Two simultaneous exhibitions will focus on one of the two case studies: local icons of the Modernist development over the 1960s at UVic campus (exhibition in Legacy Maltwood Gallery) and Centennial Square, City of Victoria (Legacy Downtown).

So Long Frank Lloyd Wright

July 22 to September 16 2017
Curated by Emerald Johnstone-Bedell, UVic graduate and Young Canada Works Curatorial Intern  

This display of the seven Frank Lloyd Wright “light screens” will be the last time Victorians will have to see them before they are returned to the historical house Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo, NY from which they were removed when the house was allowed to become derelict after the Martin family lost it in the 1940s. Stewarding the windows for nearly 50 years, UVic is returning them to the recently restored home where they can be seen in an appropriate architectural context by a large pubic. This exhibition will allow us to explore issues around heritage restoration and repatriation in addition to exploring Frank Lloyd Wright’s impact. Further, this exhibition will shine a spotlight on UVic for its generosity of spirit and ability to do the right thing.

Alert Bay and Residential School

September 2017 to January 6 2018
Curated by Dr. Andrea Walsh, Anthropology Department, UVic  

This exhibition builds upon the project we mounted in 2013 exploring the legacy of residential schools, connected to Dr. Walsh’s research (RIDSAR - Residential and Indian Day School Research) and the survivors’ drawings in our collection from the Alberni Indian Residential School. This project has at its core drawings from the Alert Bay Day school that are also in our collection and incorporates other works from across Canada as well as other Alert Bay drawings that ended up in a British collection. As with the Alberni works, with Dr. Walsh we explore repatriating drawings to the survivors as we contribute to work that is being done nation-wide on reconciliation.

Maltwood Gallery (UVic campus)

Learning Through Looking: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Art History and Visual Studies at UVic

February 4 to April 13, 2017
Curated by Art History faculty members with graduate students Jaiya Anka and Atri Hatef  

Using diverse historical and contemporary cultural objects, members of the Department of Art History & Visual Studies show how history, learning, and community interweave to support the mission to teach inter-cultural understanding through the study of world arts.

Survival By Design: Campus Edition

April 22 - September 30, 2017
Curated by Martin Segger, Former Director UVic Maltwood Gallery  

This project examines the life-cycle of Victoria’s Modernist built landscape over the period 1950-2015. A special focus will be on structures and landscapes of the 1950s and 60s which evidence of the emergence of the unique architectural phenomenon of West Coast Modernism. Two simultaneous exhibitions will focus on one of the two case studies: local icons of the Modernist development over the 1960s at UVic campus (exhibition in Legacy Maltwood Gallery) and Centennial Square, City of Victoria (Legacy Downtown).

Disobedient Women: Narratives, Objects and Arts of Activism and Resistance

September 2017 - February 2018
Curator: Darlene Clover, Department of Education Psychology and Leadership (and committee)  

Darlene Clover’s research on women, arts and educative-activism spans over 15 years. She examines social, Indigenous, women’s, and ecological movements across this country, including our own Raging Grannies and the women of Idle No More, but also those who have made contributions beyond the composition of a recognizable or normative activist subjectivity. Historical and contemporary items will be collected from women makers on Vancouver Island. Others may be created especially for this exhibition.