University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries



Testify: Indigenous Laws + the Arts

Sept 29, 2018 - Dec 22, 2019

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Visit the Testify website here

This exhibition is a celebration of Indigenous Laws as expressed through art. This ongoing project is a curated pairing of artists and legal thinkers, working in conversation with each other to create art and written work about Indigenous laws and the opportunities for their dynamic expression as part of Canadian society.

The Testify project invites dialogue that puts the idea of reconciliation into practice. It creates a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to dream a way forward, which respects and reflects the diversity, strength and hope embodied within Indigenous traditions. The goal of Testify is to change the way society thinks about law and to challenge the absence of Indigenous laws in the landscape.

Image: Nadya Kwandibens, Re:turning Home, film still, 2016.

Testify Programming

For full details, click here

Past Exhibitions - Legacy Downtown

Making It

A Celebration of 30 Years of the Camosun College Fine Furniture Program

July 14 - Sept. 22, 2018

Organized by Ken Guenter & Cam Russell, (retired instructors) Camosun College

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Click here to view the exhibition catalogue

If you like design in wood, this exhibition is for you. In the past 30 years, the Fine Furniture program at Camosun College has produced over 500 graduates, many of which have gone on to contribute to the furniture-making industry on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Thirty-seven of these exceptional artists have been invited to create new works that celebrate the process of designing and building seating, a foundational component and tradition of the program.

The UVic Legacy Galleries has a longstanding relationship with the instructors and students of the program including hosting the first exhibition of local furniture-makers in 1982, which helped to found the Vancouver Island Woodworkers Guild and the renowned Camosun program. Visit us and get inspired by the latest in local furniture design!

Image: Cam Russell, Morning Coffee in the Sun - Afternoon Tea in the Shade, White Oak and Bicycle Parts, 2018.


Current Exhibitions - Legacy Maltwood


The Art of The Malahat Review

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

January 25 - August, 2018

Curated by Caroline Riedel, Legacy Art Galleries, UVic.

The Malahat Review one of Canada’s most iconic and long-standing literary journals. In its fifty-year run, its pages have featured the work of established writers, emerging talent and critical essays on both literature and the visual arts. The synergy between art and literature is particularly evident in the cover art and essays of the journal’s first decade, which presented new work by internationally acclaimed artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. These prestigious contributors were followed by the gradual introduction of west coast Canadian artists who at the time were making their mark on the emerging modern art scene of Victoria and Vancouver in the 60s and 70s. Thereafter, Canadian artists were equated with the visual identity of the magazine.

This exhibition pays tribute to the role of art in the journal – selected from 200 cover images over the past 50 years- and focuses in particular on works from the journal’s home institution, the collection of the University of Victoria. Featured artists include Maxwell Bates, Robert De Castro, Glenn Howarth, P.K. Irwin, Davidee Kavik, Jack Kidder, Tony Hunt Sr., Elza Mayhew, Eric Metcalfe, Myfanwy Pavelic, Margaret Peterson, Bill Reid, and Gordon A. Smith.

Commemorative limited-edition publication The Malahat Review at Fifty: Canada’s Iconic Literary Journal

Click here to view the PDF

This publication was produced by UVic Libraries as part of its imprint and publication series.

The limited-edition monograph highlights The Malahat’s achievements while looking forward to the future, and is richly illustrated with archival material from UVic Special Collections and University Archives and art from the UVic Legacy Art Galleries’ collection. Essays, critical commentaries and memoirs were provided by past and present editors, contributors and editorial board members—as well as nationally prominent writers with long associations with the journal—including Jan Martel and UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers, as well as Phillip Kevin Paul, Derk Wynand, Eve Joseph, Jay Ruzesky, Jan Zwicky and others.

Image: Head of Cadmium, Margaret Peterson.

Exhibitions - First People's House

Our Relations

September, 2018 - August, 2019

Curated by Wyatt Schiefelbein, Young Canada Works Graduate Intern

First Peoples House, UVic Campus

For hours & location click here

This exhibition focuses on the notion of relationship mîyo-wîcehtowin or good/beautiful relationship. Some pieces tell stories of relationships that have been formed and maintained since the Beginning and which continue to develop to this day. Other pieces show the formation of new relationships based on respect and kinship, while still others reflect the interconnectedness of all things.

By better understanding the ways in which relationships function in our everyday lives, we can learn how to create and maintain mîyo-wîcehtowin on Turtle Island.

Image The Dance of Life and Death, Abraham Apakark Anghik Ruben, n.d.

We acknowledge the support Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage


Upcoming Exhibitions - Legacy Downtown

Translations: The Art and Life Of Elizabeth Yeend Duer—Gyokushō 玉蕉

January 12 - April 6, 2019

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Co-curators: Carolyn Butler Palmer, Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest, Art History & Visual Studies, University of Victoria; Mikiko Hirayama Associate Professor of Asian Art History and Director of Asian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati; and Janice Okada, B.A., M.M.St.

Translations showcases the movement of ideas, aesthetics, politics, and people between England, Japan, and Victoria, Canada, by looking at the life and work of Anglo-Japanese artist Elizabeth Yeend Duer (1889–1951). Born a British citizen in Nagasaki to an Englishman and a Japanese woman, Duer studied Nihonga, a traditional Japanese-style painting, with the renowned painter and teacher Atomi Gyokushi 跡見 玉枝. Duer took on the artistic identity of Gyokushō 玉蕉. She immigrated to Victoria in 1940 and is among the remarkably few people of Japanese heritage who were not interned during World War II. Instead, she Japanized her new environment by producing Nihonga-style paintings of local indigenous wildflowers while her own identity was being anglicized.

A project of the Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest.

Image: Kamass Camassia quamash; Camas, Elizabeth Yeend Duer—Gyokushō 玉蕉, 1941.

Upcoming Exhibitions - Legacy Maltwood

Legacy Maltwood Renovation

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Landmarks will remain on display in the Legacy Maltwood in the Mearns Centre for Learning on the lower level of McPherson Library through Fall 2018. At that point, we will embark on renovations to allow better use of the space. In the current configuration, we are limited to displaying small flat objects such as books or unframed prints and drawings. Stayed tuned for a more open and inviting Legacy Maltwood gallery space with more varied and innovative exhibitions.

Image: Head of Cadmium, Margaret Peterson, 1948.


Co-curated by Emerald Johnstone-Bedell & Katie Hughes

Date: TBA

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Imagine walking through a neighbourhood on a quiet dark night. Light floods through the windows of the buildings and homes along the way. With a reluctant curiosity, you can see clearly into these private and sometimes lively interiors.

Reside captures the feeling of how a brief glimpse into the intimate spaces of others can give us an opportunity to consider another’s way of being. Paintings, prints and photography from the collection are accompanied by film and written word.

Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, 1205, 1946.


Upcoming Events

This event is now cancelled due to conflicting schedules.

We apologize for any confusion that this may cause. We hope you can make it to Legacy to see Testify - ending Dec. 22.

Indigenous Laws + the Arts Panel Discussion

Friday, November 30, 7-9 pm
Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.
Lekwungen territories

Facebook Event Page

Join UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers and Vancouver Island University Chancellor Louise Mandell

What role do Indigenous laws play in ensuring reconciliation doesn’t morph into recolonization? As part of this season’s Testify: Indigenous Laws + the Arts exhibition this panel discussion with members of the Testify collective reflects on how we can recognize Indigenous law in true and meaningful ways. The discussion will be moderated by UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers and Vancouver Island University Chancellor Louise Mandell, who is part of the Testify collective.

Past Events

Testify Opening Weekend

Saturday, September 29th

1 - 2:30pm | Kitchen Table Talk and Screening

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Indigenous laws to protect children - with Halie Bruce and Nadya Kwandibens. Followed by a screening of the video triptych (Re)turning Home.

7 - 9PM | Gala Opening & Performances

Join us for refreshments and performances

Performances: Not a Juridical Terra Nullius, Testify Collective & (Il)legal: Let Us Live, Mariel Belanger

Sunday, September 30th

10 - 12pm | Bannock Brunch & Screening

Meet the artists and writers, and take part in a walkthrough description of the project. Followed by a screening of When a Heart Falls Into the River, Jade Baxter.

Friday, October 26th

7 - 9PM | Script Reading and Panel Discussion | Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Script reading of LNG/Boundary Bay screenplay, Justin Neal. Followed by land based law/learning panel discussion with Maxine Matilpi, Sarah Morales and Justin Neal.

Saturday, October 27th

1pm | Panel Discussion

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

An Indigenous Law Response to the Boushie/Fontaine Verdicts - panel discussion with Gwaai Edenshaw, Robyn Gervais, Andrea Hilland and Ardith Walkem.

6 - 7pm | Panel Discussion

UVic Campus | Fraser Building (Law)

Indigenous Women and the Recovery of Laws about Protection and Crime - panel discussion with Halie Bruce, Nadya Kwandibens, Joanna Recalma and Kali Spitzer.

8:30 - 10:30pm | Burlesque Performance

UVic Campus | Fraser Building (Law) - Rm. 159

$20 | Buy tickets here

Virago Nation at Testify: Indigenous Burlesque in conjunction with images from Testify, celebrating the power of Indigenous Women/Law.


Upcoming Workshops

Teacher Professional Development Workshop - Grades 4-12

Friday, October 19th 1:30-3:30

To register, click here

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.

Testify: Indigenous Laws and the Arts - with Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Faculty of Law

The exhibition Testify is a celebration of Indigenous Laws as expressed through art. The TRC Calls to Action identify the need to change the way we think about law, and to challenge the absence of Indigenous laws in the landscape. Art is a powerful way to do that. This workshop invites educators into a dialogue about how to put Reconciliation into practice by creating a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to dream ways forward which respect and reflect the diversity, strength and hope embodied within Indigenous traditions. Through discussion and engaging with the exhibition participants will explore some of the following topics:
• Laws about people and our interrelationships with each other and our living world
• Laws about lands
• Laws about water
• Laws about children and families
• Indigenous laws about justice/fairness
• Laws about women and their places of power and honour in Indigenous societies
• Indigenous laws in land and resource use decisions

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:
• Understand Indigenous laws are vibrant and necessary • Identify the important relationship between art and law in Indigenous traditions. • Incorporate discussions about Indigenous laws into classroom curriculum

Workshops - On Campus

An experiential workshop with art for UVic classes

Visual & Critical Thinking Skills

Fall Term Sept - Dec 2018 - Two Hour Sessions

On campus - Legacy Maltwood Mearns Centre - McPherson Library | RM. 025

Free for UVic classes | Max 25 participants

This learner-centered workshop is designed to help students develop visual and critical thinking skills in an inclusive learning environment that encourages respectful interactions and multiple points of view.

Students will learn how to:
• Look deeply • Inquire openly • Listen attentively • Suspend judgement Hold multiple perspectives - listen to & consider the views of others • Think critically & question assumptions

BOOK EARLY - the 8 fall sessions will fill quickly!

Contact: Gillian Booth, Academic & Community Programs Coordinator | 250.721.0831

Image: Moira, Martin Guderna, 1982

Workshop for UVic students.

Collections Management Overview

This hour-long workshop will offer both practical information and hands-on opportunities for students to learn about aspects of collections management in museums. Topics include object handling, cataloging, storage, tracking and condition reporting.

Writing Effective Label Copy

An exhibition is not an essay on the wall! Learn how to write engaging label copy for gallery visitors. Students will gain an understanding of how to distill academic writing and translate ideas into key points that make effective writing for exhibitions, both in the gallery space and online.

Contact: Contact: Caroline Reidel, Collections Manager | 250.472.5619

Past Workshops


Coast Salish Wool Weaving with Chief Janice George and Willard ‘Buddy’ Joseph

Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates Street

Sunday, June 10th, 2018 | 10am - 4pm

Call/email to register:
250.721.6562 |

Cost per person (includes all materials & snacks) | No experience necessary

$115 Adult | $80 Indigenous Peoples & UVic Students

* There will be a presentation during the lunch break – please bring a lunch if you would like to join in.

Join acclaimed weavers Chief Janice George and Willard ‘Buddy’ Joseph for an in-depth course on the cultural significance and traditional methods of Salish wool weaving. Working with individual looms, participants will learn the twill and the twine techniques of Salish wool weaving and create a unique wall hanging to take home. This workshop is organized in conjunction with our newest exhibit, The Time of Things and will take place in the exhibition.

SkwetsimeltxWillard ‘Buddy’ Joseph and Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George are accomplished weavers and teachers from the Squamish Nation They have co-founded L’hen Awtxw Weaving House to share the teachings and practice of traditional Coast Salish wool weaving.

Along with Leslie Tepper, they also co-authored the 2017 book, Salish Blankets: Robes of Protection and Transformation, Symbols of Wealth.



Educational Resources

UVic Legacy Art Galleries - Where art works for teaching & learning.

The Legacy Downtown & the Legacy Maltwood on campus provide rich academic experiences for UVic students and faculty.

- Book our downtown classroom space
- Schedule our on-campus workshops
- Book a free facilitated visit
- Access our collection for research & study


Perpetual Salish:

Coast Salish Art in the Classroom

Perpetual Salish: Coast Salish Art in the Classroom is an online resource for teachers, offering cross-curricular lesson plans to engage students and facilitate their understanding of Coast Salish culture and art.

This site is based on the exhibition Perpetual Salish: Contemporary Coast Salish Art from the Salish Weave Collection, curated by Coast Salish artist lessLIE, and originally presented at the University of Victoria's Legacy Art Gallery Downtown (August 15, 2014 - January 10, 2015). The Legacy presented tours of the exhibition for grade four classes to educate the students about Coast Salish art and culture. Coast Salish Art in the Classroom aims to bring this educational initiative to a broader audience.

Click here to visit the website Coast Salish Art in the Classroom

Image wHOle W(((h)))orl(((d))) - lessLIE, Serigraph on paper, 2014


Tours - Legacy Downtown


Book your class visit to the Legacy

We welcome visits from UVic classes!

We can offer an introduction to any exhibition at the Legacy Downtown. Full tours of some exhibitions are available. We have classroom space for up to 30 people. Please book ahead.

Post-secondary & High School Tours

We can offer an introduction to Testify for any pre-booked self-guided visit.

Contact - Gillian Booth, Academic & Community Programs Coordinator | 250.721.0831

Collection Search



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Art on Campus