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Unpacking the Living Room
8 Sep 2018 – 10 Nov 2018
Living rooms are spaces we arrange and create around ourselves to support the comfort and wellbeing of family, to host friends and loved ones, to display precious and prized belongings, and for leisure and relaxation. But living rooms are private spaces packed with emotions and history, as well as social and political investments. The kind of living room we create can reveal our background, our values, our social position, and our aspirations. Even the privilege of having a living room speaks volumes when so many people live in precarious situations, are without shelter, or have been displaced from their homes and traditional lands.
Sketch by David Dahms
Material Remains
26 May 2018 – 30 Sep 2018
Drawn from the MSVU Collection, these works of art incorporate household textiles such as bedding, a tea towel, table linens and discarded clothing. The domestic references are embedded in works whose imagery also engages with gender politics and world events.
Frances Dorsey, Shot Through the Heart
Maria Hupfield: The One Who Keeps on Giving
17 Mar 2018 – 20 May 2018
The title of the exhibition is also the title of a new video installation named after the translation of Hupfield’s mother’s Anishinaabe name. The video documents a performance by the artist and her siblings in Parry Sound, an event re-enacted with a smaller cast at each tour venue.
Maria Hupfield, Jingle Spiral
Brenda Francis Pelkey: A Retrospective
22 Apr 2017 – 9 Jul 2017
The exhibition includes nine bodies of work by the nationally recognized photographic artist Brenda Francis Pelkey, dating from 1988 through 2015. Pelkey lives in Windsor and has made major photographic series in Ontario, Saskatchewan and rural Nova Scotia, where she has resided in the past.
Brenda Pelkey, Court, Cobourg 2005
How Do I Look?
11 Feb 2017 – 9 Apr 2017
This selection of artists’ self-portraits from the Mount Saint Vincent University Collection addresses both the experience of being looked at by others, and that of returning the gaze. As a corollary to their engagement with practices of looking and appearing, these self-portraits also tackle the frameworks of race, gender and sexuality.
James R. Shirley: Cape Breton Apocalypse
The Department of Prints and Drawings
11 Jun 2016 – 19 Aug 2016
How can a small university art gallery, itself a department, oversee a “Department of Prints and Drawings”? The provocative title of this exhibition 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.
An Intimate Distance
3 Jun 2015 – 16 Aug 2015
An Intimate Distance presents three multi-component works: Andrea Ward’s Hairstories, Glynis Humphrey’s Gorge and Suzanne Swannie’s Considering Two Small Forms, for Maja and Marta.
Glynis Humphrey, Gorge (detail)
Here you may see the best portrait that, later, I was able to make of him. Passages to Abstraction. Geneviève Cadieux
21 Mar 2015 – 17 May 2015
This exhibition encompasses 27 years of production by Canadian artist Geneviève Cadieux, who works primarily with photography and its associated techniques.
Geneviève Cadieux, Ravissement 1985 (detail)
Voices in Longitude and Latitude: video installation by Marnina & Noam Gonick
22 Mar 2014 – 11 May 2014
Marnina & Noam Gonick, Voices in Longitude and Latitude
Suzy Lake: Political Poetics
25 Aug 2012 – 7 Oct 2012
Acknowledged by Cindy Sherman as a pioneer in feminist performance for the camera, Suzy Lake began to receive critical attention in the 1970s with works such as {I}Choreographed Puppets{/I} 1976.
Suzy Lake, Peonies and the Lido #7 (detail)
Body Tracks
24 Mar 2012 – 13 May 2012
Body Tracks foregrounds the life and art of Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), who despite being a prolific performance and body artist from the 1970s is unknown to many artists under forty.
Philomène Longpré, Xia 2011 (photo credit Bruce Barbour)
Ruth Cuthand: Back Talk (works 1983-2009)
14 Jan 2012 – 11 Mar 2012
The exhibition includes more than 30 drawings, paintings, beadworks and video by Saskatchewan Cree artist Ruth Cuthand.
Ruth Cuthand, Small Pox 2009
Earth Skins: Three Decades of Drawing by Susan Wood
23 Aug 2011 – 2 Oct 2011
Atlantic Canadian audiences are probably most familiar with Wood’s recent, elegiac drawings of decaying flowers and dead birds. Her work of the past decade embodies the idea of finitude, reflecting on mortality.
Susan Wood, Dress 8 1989
Feed: A Video Installation by Tonia Di Risio
21 Aug 2011 – 2 Oct 2011
In 2006 the Haligonian artist DiRisio traveled to the Abruzzo, Italy. There she recorded her middle-aged female relatives preparing a variety of local dishes in their kitchens.
Tonia Di Risio, Cooking in Italy 2010
Beneath the Surface
23 Oct 2010 – 12 Dec 2010
The Nova Scotian artists Nancy Edell, Kim Morgan and Susan Wood share an interest in corporeal experience. In these works from the MSVU Collection, the artists present metaphors for the invisible, sometimes pathological processes at work within the body.
Nancy Edell, Spiracle 1 (Beneath the Surface)
Using It: ArtStars, Lendrum, Valentina
14 Aug 2010 – 17 Oct 2010
The creation and presentation of self through assumed personae is as old as theatre. Today YouTube, Facebook and other social networking sites enable individuals to create myriad versions of themselves capable of interactions with an ever-expanding on-line audience.
Nadja Sayej, still from ArtStars
Susan Bozic: The Dating Portfolio
18 Jul 2009 – 4 Oct 2009
Vancouver-based photographer Susan Bozic has a background in photography and cinema. Posing in elaborately staged photographs, she satirizes the fantasy of “true romance” by casting herself in the ingenue role and a store window mannequin as the leading man.
Susan Bozic He let me pick the movie
Alter Ego: Anatomical Studies of a Natal Male by R.S. Pennee
4 Jul 2009 – 18 Oct 2009
For centuries artists have made studies of body parts—hands, feet, faces—that were later incorporated into larger works. In a nod to the Old Masters, the video-derived prints in Alter Ego are processed to resemble drawings.
Robert Pennee Study #15, 14 April 2008
Kyla Mallett: Marginalia
8 Jun 2008 – 10 Aug 2008
Vancouver-based artist Kyla Mallett borrows from the systematized aesthetics of 1960s conceptual art and applies pseudo-sociological sampling and archiving to reveal networks of communication within various social milieus.
Kyla Mallett Montreal Massacre (detail)
29 Mar 2008 – 25 May 2008
Local artists Dan O’Neill and George Steeves recently made substantial donations to the University Collection. To showcase the new acquisitions while exploring affinities between the respective bodies of work, Chemistry presents fine photographic prints by Steeves, hand-pulled lithographs by O’Neill, and figurative sculpture lent by the Newfoundland ceramicist Reed Weir.
Dan O’Neill
Art Metropole: The Top 100
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada

12 Jan 2008 – 22 Mar 2008
Art Metropole began in the 1970s as an informal agency of Torontonian and NSCAD-affiliated artists. It evolved into a unique Toronto artist-run centre, collecting and distributing alternative artworks that bypassed the art market with accessibly-priced artists’ “multiples” such as audio recordings, videos, bookworks and postcards.
Sherrie Levine 2 shoes 1992
Glynis Humphrey: Breathing Under Water
21 Mar 2006 – 30 Apr 2006
Breathing Under Water is a multi-media installation by the Haligonian artist Glynis Humphrey. It provides an array of acoustic, tactile and visual stimuli, but contains no verbal components.
Glynis Humphrey Breathing Under Water, Installation View MSVU Art Gallery
Alice Egan Hagen (1872-1972), Nova Scotian China Painter
Window Box Series

15 Jan 2006 – 31 Jan 2006
This exhibition presents china wares painted by Alice Egan Hagen around the turn of the nineteenth century. Most of the items have been selected from the large collection she donated to the University in 1966
Pitcher with Grape Decoration 1918
This Land is Mime Land: Shelley Niro
23 Oct 2005 – 11 Dec 2005
Shelley Niro is a member of the Turtle clan of the Mohawk Nation, and a media artist renowned for her provocative humour. Each work in this exhibition is composed of three photographs mounted in an overmat perforated in a pattern reminiscent of traditional beadwork.
Shelley Niro, Love Me Tender
Brisk Collages and Bricolages
Artistic Audits of Mainstream Media in Recent Canadian Shorts

20 Jul 2005 – 27 Jul 2005
The collective La Femme 100 Têtes, in collaboration with Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, presents Brisk Collages and Bricolages, Canadian found-footage films and videos that appropriate, audit and revise snippets of movies and TV shows.
Johanna Householder and b.h. Yael, December 31, 2000 (video)
Moral Fibre
29 Jun 2005 – 16 Nov 2005
Colette Whiten, Svava Juliusson, Nancy Edell, Frances Dorsey and Barbara Todd are linked by their use of textile-based media to express dissenting views.
Colette Whiten, There there
Racing The Cultural Interface
African Diasporic Identities in the Digital Age

15 Jan 2005 – 27 Feb 2005
The African diaspora, and specifically the “Black Atlantic,” encompasses the world created by the African slave trade and by other population displacements among people of African descent. For this reason the black diaspora is often described as a space of movement between cultures, nations, races, origins, destinations and journeys — a space in many ways similar to cyber space.
too small too big
29 May 2004 – 27 Jun 2004
This exhibition is composed of works on paper by Canadian artists who make strategic use of textured media such as makeup, paper collage, electrical tape, and human hair.
MSVU Art Gallery Entrance
Elizabeth MacKenzie: Reunion
17 Jan 2004 – 21 Mar 2004
This work is an ongoing series of hundreds of powdered graphite drawings on translucent vellum.
Elizabeth MacKenzie: Reunion
Hair in Hand
30 Oct 2003 – 14 Dec 2003
The works in this exhibition frame women’s bodily experiences in the context of handwork and hair–where hair appears both as an artist’s material and as the physical trace of its owner.
Hair in Hand
Illuminations: Homemade
22 Oct 2003 – 30 Nov 2003
Haligonian Tonia Di Risio has been invited to contribute a Duratrans image derived from her existing series, Homemade.
Tonia Di Risio: Homemade
Blind Stairs
15 Mar 2003 – 4 May 2003
Including works dating from the early 1980s to the present, each artist in this exhibition incorporates traces of other persons (who may or may not be artists) in her production, thereby avoiding the tendency of solo retrospectives to separate artistic authorship from historical context.
Blind Stairs: Installation view
Like a Candle
(Window Box)

8 Feb 2003 – 27 Apr 2003
This exhibition features an edition of wax figures (with wicks) of Princess Diana, fabricated by Halifax artist Catherine Jones.
Andy Warhol: Marilyn Monroe
Allyson Clay: Imaginary Standard Distance
20 Oct 2002 – 24 Nov 2002
Retaining her focus on the urban female subject, Allyson Clay combines photo-based imagery with video and painting to open this subject position to viewers.
Allyson Clay: Untitled III
Janice Wright Cheney: Disorderly Creatures
2 Jan 2002 – 3 Mar 2002
Fredericton artist Janice Wright Cheney embroiders life-like insects on handkerchiefs, books and clothing; her method of presentation alternates "the cultural" with "the natural."
Janice Wright Cheney: Entomic Diary
Julie Duschenes: Stories That Own Me
3 Mar 2001 – 11 Apr 2001
This painting series portrays the artist and her partner in domestic situations reminiscent of paintings by the 17th-century Dutch master, Jan Vermeer.
Julie Duschenes: Story #3
Gather Beneath the Banner
Political & Religious Banners of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union 1877-1932

3 Mar 2001 – 11 Apr 2001
The 21 embroidered and painted banners in this exhibition proclaim the conservative beliefs and radical activism of one of Canada's most successful women's organizations, the W.C.T.U.
Hamilton W.C.T.U.: Workers with God
Indian Princesses & Cowgirls
Stereotypes from the Frontier

9 Sep 2000 – 15 Oct 2000
In this exhibition, popular images of specific female types from the "Wild West" reveal the structures of domination through which the West was won.
Unknown artist: Indian Princess
Adrian Piper: A Retrospective 1965-2000
8 Jul 2000 – 30 Aug 2000
This exhibition appeared at MSVU Art Gallery in connection with HX, a city-wide festival of international contemporary art organized by the Contemporary Art Projects Society (CAPS).
Adrian Piper: The Mythic Being
taboos, titillations & thrills
18 Mar 2000 – 25 Jun 2000
Together, by means of direct address and selective disclosure, these works reconfigured the gallery as a test site in the quest for intimacy.
Charlie Murphy: The Letter
Flaming Creatures: New Tendencies in Canadian Video
13 Aug 1999 – 3 Oct 1999
A program of 17 tapes by American and Canadian artists, the exhibition links contemporary critical poetics to Jack Smith's outrageous film Flaming Creatures, made in 1962.
Steve Reinke: Seventeen Descriptions
Unquiet Images from the University Collection

5 Jun 1999 – 18 Jul 1999
The exhibition in the mezzanine gallery includes two further works: Margaret Clarke's "Mother Ireland" portrait Mary and Brigid (1917), and Bruce Johnson's mural-sized photo-mosaic Oka (1992).
Bruce Johnson: Oka
The Convent Series
13 Feb 1999 – 21 Mar 1999
Clara Gutsche's austerely beautiful photographs document an aspect of Québec society that is rapidly disappearing: its communities of religious women.
Clara Gutsche: The Convent Series
Aprons Away (and Comments Book)
(Window Box)

2 Oct 1998 – 9 Nov 1998
As a feminist intervention in public space, Collyer's apron installation made jarring reference to the feminine mystique of years past.
Gillian Collyer: Seton Foyer Flag Replacement
Prospect 6: Painting by Sarra McNie
23 May 1998 – 2 Aug 1998
Like her predecessors in the Prospect series, Sarra McNie has constructed a version of herself — a persona — which then inhabits her work as subject matter.
Sarra McNie: Iron Tulip
Margins of Memory / Trames de mémoire
14 Mar 1998 – 26 Apr 1998
Although sculpture predominated this exhibition organized around themes of memory and corporeality, even the two-dimensional works projected an assertive, spatial presence.
Patrick Traer: Untitled from Systemic Drawings
In Absentia
7 Mar 1998 – 17 May 1998
Composed of loans and works from the MSVU collection, this exhibition surveyed feminist approaches to autobiographical narrative.
Andrea Ward: Hairstories
Image Rites
5 Apr 1997 – 11 May 1997
This exhibition was composed of works by artists whose ritualized production processes and presentation strategies intensify the terms of viewer engagement.
Frances Dorsey: Dragon’s Teeth
Kim Dawn: Legitimizing Pink
(Window Box)

31 Jan 1997 – 6 Apr 1997
Kim Dawn's installation in the library vitrines combined soft sculpture and make-up to produce an effect described as "visceral ... unspeaking yet threatening."
MSVU Art Gallery Entrance
My Friend Told Me That I Had Carried Too Many Stones
18 Jan 1997 – 16 Mar 1997
Suzy Lake's small constructions in plaster and photo-collage incorporated photographs of herself performing apparently mundane gestures.
Suzy Lake: Untitled #12
Barbara Albert: Armour and Ornament
(Window Box)

25 Oct 1996 – 15 Dec 1996
Dawn Jaya organized a thematic statement around and exquisite chain-mail jacket made by Halifax artist Barbara Albert.
Barbara Albert: Chainmail jacket and skirt
Andrea Ward: Hairstories
18 Jul 1996 – 16 Sep 1996
Andrea Ward's 41-piece series gives voice to women's concerns about this one aspect of their appearance: their hair.
Andrea Ward: Hairstories
Prospect 4: Glynis Humphrey — Gorge
29 May 1996 – 7 Jul 1996
Including video and installation elements that implied the bodily presence of a monstrously large woman, Gorge filled the space with conflicting suggestions of guilty excess and sensual pleasure, connected with eating and sexual repression.
Glynis Humphrey: Gorge
Ann Newdigate: Ciphers from the Muniments Room
29 Mar 1996 – 26 May 1996
Newdigate’s digitized printout of a tapestry-woven shorthand letter brings textile media even further into the realm of textual practices.
Ann Newdigate: Ciphers from the Muniments Room
Meta Textiles: Sewing the Second Skin
29 Mar 1996 – 26 May 1996
The artists in htis exhibition engaged the notion of "second skin" from disparate perspectives, though a spare, minimal sensibility linked their approaches to textile media.
Naoko Furue: Momi
After Perestroika: Kitchenmaids or Stateswomen
11 Nov 1995 – 7 Jan 1996
This exhibition included more than 30 works completed since 1988 by leading "unofficial" Russian artists who, like their Western avant-garde counterparts, work in photographic, textile and performance-based media.
Irina Nakhova: Camping
19 Sep 1995 – 29 Oct 1995
This exhibition placed the work of two contemporary Canadian women in the context of American postminimal art making of the 1960s and ’70s.
Elspeht Pratt: Concentric Circles
Carolee Schneemann: Composition with Interior Scrolls
16 Sep 1995 – 29 Oct 1995
Scheduled on the 20th anniversary of International Women’s Year, the lecture by this legendary pioneer of "intermedia" drew a large crowd.
Carolee Schneemann: Composition with Interior Scrolls

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