University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries

Current Exhibitions

Virgin Hodegetria Windows Into Heaven: Religious Icons from the Permanent Collection

April 23 to August 9, 2014

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

630 Yates Street | Small Gallery

Featuring Christian Orthodox icons and crucifixes from the Legacy permanent collection, this exhibition examines religious, historical, and cultural meanings past and present. Co-curated by Regan Shrumm (graduate student) and Dr. Evanthia Baboula, (Assistant Professor, History in Art)

Event Curator's Talk | Thurs. April 24 | 7pm | Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Gallery Closed the Legacy Gallery Downtown will be closed Sat. April 26 & Weds April 30 for exhibition installation. The Small Gallery at the Legacy Downtown will be closed Weds April 16 for exhibitions installation & Good Friday April 18

Image: Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria, 18th century (Gift of Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Dorothy Brown)

Margaret Peterson: A Search In Rhythm

April 11 to August 18, 2014

Curated by Justine Auben Drummond, BC Arts Council Co-op Student Placement

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

For hours & location click here

A Search In Rhythm features the artworks and personal papers of the groundbreaking mid-20th century abstract painter, Margaret Peterson (1903-1997). Peterson had a big vision: to search for the spiritual realm, in rhythm with the artistic aims of Indigenous peoples across the world. Peterson's main medium was egg tempera on plywood panels—striking in size, colour, and form. By showcasing Peterson's possessions, photographs, and writing about her work alongside the works themselves, her vision and search is more fully realized. This is the first in an upcoming series of exhibitions presenting the University of Victoria's Artist Archives and Legacy Art Galleries joint holdings which demonstrates the rich research potential of this recently acquired material. For more information about the Maragaret Peterson and the exhibition click here

Image: Portrait of Margaret Peterson by Curtis Lantinga, 1984 | © 2014 Curtis Lantinga

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Sewing the Big Button Blanket Adasla: The Movement of Hands

January 16 to April 25, 2014

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

630 Yates Street

Adasla: The Movement of Hands centres around the creation and exhibition of the World's Biggest Button Blanket. Created over the fall 2013 academic term, in collaboration with students at UVic's First Peoples House, the blanket invites new conversations about indigenous button blanket makers and the artistic traditions that surround them. A project of the Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest.

Like the Big Button Blanket Project on Facebook to get the latest updates.

Gallery Closed the Legacy Gallery Downtown will be closed Sat. April 26 & Weds April 30 for exhibition installation.

Image: Sewing button blankets at First Peoples House. Photo by Michael Glendale.

Henry Hunt, Kwagiulth Chief and Frog, 1980Honoris Causa: University of Victoria First Nations Artist Honorands

Until the end of May 2014

First Peoples House | For location click here

Twice yearly at convocation the University of Victoria awards honorary degrees to those who have demonstrated distinguished and extraordinary achievements. During its 50-year history UVic has granted honours to seven First Nations artists who have contributed not only to the arts but also to the community at large as leaders, activists, visionaries, role models, and groundbreakers. This exhibition features works from the University of Victoria's art collection and an excerpt from the citation that was read at the occasion of granting the degree.

Image: Kwagiulth Chief and Frog, Henry Hunt, 1980

Upcoming Exhibitions

Maxwell Bates Circus People Epiphany: Highlights from the Legacy Permanent Collection

May 1 to Aug 9, 2014

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

630 Yates Street

Curated by Mary Jo Hughes.

An epiphany in its broadest sense is the experience of sudden realization or insight. Through an epiphany, our world broadens and new understandings and ideas are unlocked. Indeed, this widening of perspective remains the ultimate goal for most artists. The experience of epiphany is what the exhibition aims to engender in viewers through highlights from the extensive permanent collection held by the University of Victoria's Legacy Art Galleries. It is intended that each piece will offer a unique insight or a fresh experience that was not entirely expected. Artists in the exhibition include, Robert Davidson, Emily Carr, Norval Morrisseau, Lawren Harris, Frederick Varley, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Myfannwy Pavelic, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Shadbolt, among others.

Image: Circus People, 1969 Maxwell Bates


Windows into Heaven

Curator's Talk & Tour

Join us for a talk & tour of Windows Into Heaven with exhibition co-curators Regan Shrumm (graduate student) and Dr. Evanthia Baboula (Assistant Professor, History in Art).

Thursday, April 24 | 7pm
Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street
Free and open to the public

Image: Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria, 18th century (Gift of Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Dorothy Brown)

Panel Discussion

Join us for a lively panel discussion of the artists' archives at the University of Victoria, focusing on the current exhibition, Margaret Peterson: A Search in Rhythm, which draws on both the university's archival and artistic holdings.

Tuesday May 13 | 2 pm
Mearns Centre – McPherson Library, Room A003
Free and open to the public

Working with Artists' Archives at the University of Victoria

Lara Wilson | Robert Amos | Nick Tuele | Justine Drummond

Lara Wilson, Director of Special Collections and University Archives
Wilson will present the local artists' archive initiative and how it supports the study of art history and other related disciplines.

Robert Amos, Art Writer - Times-Colonist
Amos has a deep understanding of the papers and ephemera in UVic's artists' archives and will show examples of this diverse material, which includes many surprises.

Nicholas Tuele, Art Historian, Consultant & former Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Tuele has far reaching knowledge of the art of this region and will provide art historical context for the Peterson fonds.

Justine Drummond, B.C. Arts Council Curatorial Co-op Intern, UVic Anthropology (Honours) & Professional Writing student
Drummond will speak about her work with the Legacy Art Galleries & Special Collections and University Archives, curating Margaret Peterson: A Search in Rhythm. She will discuss the challenges and opportunities she encountered working with art and archival materials in parallel.

Image: Portrait of Margaret Peterson by Curtis Lantinga, 1984 | © 2014 Curtis Lantinga

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Emily Carr: Chill Day in June 1938-39 oil on paper Exhibition Tour

Join University of Victoria graduate student Brin O'Hare for a tour of Epiphany: Highlights from the Legacy Permanent Collection.

Saturday, May 31 | 2 pm
Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street
Free and open to the public

Tour topic | Discovering the Unseen:
Emily Carr, Walt Whitman and Epiphany in Art.

In the mid-1930s, Emily Carr's interest in Walt Whitman's poetry increased substantially leading to an epiphany that changed her approach to natural subject matter. Following Whitman's guidance, she formed an alternative perception that opened up for her the possibility of contact with an otherwise unseen divine presence in nature. This tour focuses on the relationship between epiphany and perception. By examining examples of Carr's forest scenes of the 1930s and a number of other artworks from the Legacy permanent collection, O'Hare will explore the impact that an epiphany can have on perception, and, how altered perception can result in an epiphany.

Brin O'Hare is a second year Master's Student at the University of Victoria in the department of History in Art. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Canadian art and the relationship between visual art and literature.

Image: Chill Day in June, Emily Carr 1938-39

Online Exhibits

Karl Spreitz GlacierOnline Resources

A large number of online exhibits, catalgoues, inventories, and additional resources are available online from UVic. A full list is available here.

To learn more about over 500 of our past exhibitions, click here.

Karl Spreitz GlacierKarl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection

The Karl Spreitz Film Collection at the University of Victoria consists of more than 100 reels of 16mm film in various stages of production. Many of these films were produced by Spreitz in collaboration with other artists and friends such as Colin Browne, Vicky Husband, Anne Mayhew, Michael Morris and Herbert Siebner and are both personal and documentary in nature. Covering a period of more than three decades, the content of the films describe the working process of local artists, historic events, and political and environmental issues. The collection is of tremendous historic value both in terms of film production in British Columbia, subject matter, and as a partial record of Spreitz’s career.

Image: Spreitz location scouting for BC Film Commission in Stewart, BC.

KankulanukwUnderstanding Place in Culture

Museums and other educational institutions are often seen as sites of privileged knowledge production, spaces that have often excluded minority perspectives and realities. This exhibition presents a selection of prints from the George and Christiane Smyth and Vincent Rickard Northwest Coast Print collection that focus on representations of place and Indigenous knowledge production. The perspectives represented by these artists challenge the hegemonic practices of institutions, such as museums, by positioning the artists as the ethnographic authorities on their cultural expressions and knowledge.

Image: Kankulanukw Francis Dick, 1989

ButterfliesSalish Reflections

As part of the renovations completed in the Fall of 2011, and with the generosity of George and Christiane Smyth, the Cornett Building has become an established centre for Coast Salish art. By displaying 26 artworks created by six Coast Salish artists, the University of Victoria and the Faculty of Social Sciences hopes to honour the history, customs, and culture of the Coast Salish, while inspiring student, faculty, and the greater community. This installation has been named Salish Reflections for two reasons. Firstly, lessLIE's piece Reflections has been used to decorate all exterior doors of Cornett, so it seemed fit to incorporate this important work even further. Secondly, the aim of the installation is to become more familiar with and reflect upon the Coast Salish art of our region. This website was created to be a destination for those wishing to learn more about Coast Salish peoples and their art.

Image: Symphony of Butterflies, Susan Point, 2005

Bay ParkVictoria Modern

This series of exhibitions and publication projects explores the relationships, personalities and projects contributing to the development of a regional modernist aesthetic in the post-war Victoria urban landscape (1939–2013). It celebrates and coincides with celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the City of Victoria (2012) and 50th anniversary of the founding of the University of Victoria at its Gordon Head Campus.

Image: Bay Parkade Entry, Hubert Norbury, 1960


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

Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
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.