University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries



The Arts of World War I

November 7, 2014 to March 2, 2015

Curated by Marcus Milwright (Department of Art History and Visual Studies)

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre McPherson Library)

For hours & location click here

This exhibition marks the centenary of the start of of the "Great War" with a cross cultural focus on the visual and material culture of World War I. The exhibition includes books, prints, and personal objects drawn from the Legacy Art Galleries, the UVic Libraries (Special Collections and Archives), and private collections in Victoria. These objects present visual manifestations of the war in the theatres of conflict in Europe and the Middle East as well as the production and consumption of art and literature in Canada between 1914 and 1918. Visitors will also see unique examples of European and Middle Eastern "trench art", a term which refers to objects made by soldiers in times of conflict as well as those made of spent artillery shells and other military equipment by civilian artisans after the cessation of hostilities. Another central part of the exhibit is the so-called "J.M. Diary." The curator is inviting the public to solve the mystery of who illustrated this fascinating first-hand visual account.

Help solve the History Mystery!

History mystery of Great War diary. View the diary here

Image: On the March, Sketchbook page signed "J.M." 1917-1918
University of Victoria Archives

Perpetual Salish: Contemporary Coast Salish Art from the Salish Weave Collection

August 15, 2014 to January 10, 2015

Curated by lessLIE

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

630 Yates Street

In this exhibition the theme of perpetuation unifies the work of five contemporary Coast Salish artists who live and work in this region. The word perpetuation is meant to suggest a continuum of ideas and processes, which come from distinctive traditions that have existed over millennia. Perpetuation also infers some of the challenges that contemporary Coast Salish artists continue to face in the contexts of colonialism and assimilation as well as the dominance of other Indigenous traditions, which were often favoured by the art world, in both commercial and educational contexts. It is only in the last three decades that Coast Salish art has become more readily recognized by a wider audience as distinct from other Northwest Coast traditions.

Watch a video on the exhibition here

This exhibition presents a wide range of art forms and ideas, and visitors will gain a better understanding of the cultural and stylistic elements that unify and inspire these contemporary artists in their own artistic practices. Artists featured are Maynard Johnny Jr., lessLIE, John Marston, Susan Point and Dylan Thomas.

Image: wHOLE w(((h)))orl(((d))), lessLIE

Salish Reflection: Coast Salish Art and Artists on Campus

August 15, 2014 to January 10, 2015

Curated in collaboration by Caroline Riedel, Justine Auben Drummond & Dr. Andrea Walsh

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

630 Yates Street | Small Gallery

This exhibition honours Coast Salish artists Chris Paul, Maynard Johnny Jr., and knitters May Sam and the Olsen family (Adam, Joni, and their mother Sylvia) who were part of the University of Victoria's Artist in Residence Program through the Department of Anthropology between 2011 and 2013. During their 3 month residency they taught students about their own artistic practices as well as aspects of Coast Salish history and contemporary culture. The exhibit illustrates the teaching methodology and experience of students and artists in collaboration along with examples of the artists' work.

The Artist in Residence Program is facilitated by Dr. Andrea Walsh, who teaches the Anthropology of Art, and the program is supported by donors George and Christiane Smyth.

Image: Conservation, Chris Paul

Natural | Supernatural

Natural | Supernatural

Nuu-chah-nulth Serigraph Prints from the University of Victoria's Permanent Collection

June 16, 2014 to May 31, 2015

Curated by Allison Grey Noble and Caroline Riedel

First Peoples House

For hours & location click here

This exhibition of serigraph prints by artists Patrick Amos, Joe David, Ron Hamilton (Chuuchkamalthnii), Tim Paul, Art Thompson (Tsa-Qwass-Upp), and Glen Webster visually articulates knowledges of histories and stories that are important to the people of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations. These prints are from the university's permanent collection and originate from the print making studio of Vincent Rickard, who worked with these artists in the 1980s and 1990s. Rickard and donors George and Christiane Smyth have given the university nearly 3,000 contemporary Northwest Coast prints, making UVic's collection the most comprehensive in Canada.

Image: Supernatural, Joe David (Nuu-chah-nulth)

History Mystery

Help solve the History Mystery!

History mystery of Great War diary. View the diary here

A two-volume leather diary of the First World War is missing the name of its soldier diarist and the University of Victoria is hoping history buffs or family members will help solve the mystery.

J.M.'s World War I sketchbooks, signed simply "J.M." and housed within UVic Special Collections and University Archives for more than three decades, contain approximately 130 sketches and drawings ranging from caricatures to sombre images of trench art, by a British soldier based in France and Belgium in 1917 and 1918.

"It's a history mystery worthy of its own exhibition," says Dr. Marcus Milwright of UVic's Department of Art History & Visual Studies. He is the curator of the Arts of World War I exhibit which opened Nov. 7 at UVic and says he knew right away there was one item in the collections he "just had to use. But there's only one problem: I have no idea who it actually belonged to."

UVic has no record of where the diary came from, only that it was purchased from a private seller. UVic Libraries has been trying for some time to solve this mystery as well and is hoping the war's centennial will spark new leads. Milwright's theory is it was sold by a family member, possibly through an estate sale following the death of J.M.'s daughter.

"The dedication says, 'To my daughter, Adele'," adds Milwright. The images "look to me like book illustrations, so it's probable J.M. was a trained painter or illustrator."

If anyone knows anything about J.M., Adele M. or the diary, please contact Milwright at

Image: Little Grey Gome In The Wet, Volume 1, J.M. Sketchbooks, 1917-1918
University of Victoria Archives


17th Annual Victoria Gallery Walk

Thursday, November 27, 2014 | 3pm - 8pm

One of Victoria's much-loved holiday events, the 17th Annual Victoria Gallery Walk, takes place at six downtown galleries on Thursday, November 27 from 3pm to 8pm.

The popular Gallery Walk offers participants a chance to view six spectacular art exhibitions, enjoy seasonal beverages and nibbles and enter to win a draw for artwork and books.

There are six prizes to be won, each valued at up to $300. Pick up a passport at any of the galleries, have your passport stamped at each gallery, and then submit the completed passport to any of the galleries by November 29. The prize-drawing will take place on November 29 and winners will be notified immediately.

Participating Galleries


WINCHESTER MODERN | 758 Humboldt Street, 250-382-7750

ALCHERINGA GALLERY | 665 Fort Street, 250-383-8224

couch* | 1010 Broad Street, 778-432-4777

MADRONA GALLERY | 606 View Street, 250-380-4660

WEST END GALLERY | 1203 Broad Street, 250-388-0009

School Tours

Perpetual Salish School Tours

Contemporary Coast Salish Art from the Salish Weave Collection

From October, 2014 - December, 2014

1 hour tour with hands-on art for Grade 4 students

This elementary school program provides a cross-curricular exploration of contemporary Coast Salish artwork from the extensive Salish Weave Collection loaned to the University of Victoria's Legacy Art Gallery by George and Christiane Smyth. Meeting the grade four Prescribed Learning Outcomes for Social Studies, this program will allow students to examine and discuss the history and unique cultural characteristics of this extraordinary art which has evolved through hundreds of generations of Salish First Peoples.

- Curated by Coast Salish artist lessLIE.

What: One hour guided tour, including a hands-on art project, for Grade Four students With follow up package for teachers to take back to the classroom

When: Wednesday a.m., Thursday p.m. or Friday a.m. | Oct. 1st through Dec. 5th 2014 Program starts at 9:30 am Wed & Fri, 1:00 on Thurs & lasts for approximately 1 hour

Where: UVic Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street at Broad

Cost: Free!

Booking Contact:

Thank you for your interest! All spots are currently booked.


thumbnail of Lynne van LuvenLegacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street

Wed - Sat | 10 am - 4 pm | Closed Dec. 21 to Jan. 1, 2014 | reopening January 2, 2015
The Legacy Downtown is the University of Victoria's primary gallery space.


thumbnail of Lynne van LuvenLegacy Maltwood at the Mearns Centre - McPherson Library
Located on the lower level of the McPherson library, adjacent to Archives and Special Collections.



There are now opportunities at this time, but check back soon!
The Legacy Art Gallery offers paid Work Study and Co-op positions

For more information on University of Victoria work study jobs click here