University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries




April 8 to September 16, 2017

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown - 630 Yates Street

Origin Stories

First Nations Prints and Carvings

Guest curated by Jackson McDermott (Dene/Cree) with Gillian Booth and Katie Hughes.

As Canada celebrates 150 years since Confederation, the Legacy Art Galleries respectfully acknowledges a much longer history by presenting First Nations narratives that move beyond limited settler versions of history. Through prints and carvings chosen by guest curator, Jackson McDermott (Dene/Cree) from the Fort Nelson First Nation, the exhibition explores centuries-old stories that continue to live in the people, communities, nations and lands of this place.

There's Blood in the Rocks

Video Installation

"Indigenous blood is in the very land itself." Marianne Nicolson

Organized by Gillian Booth and Katie Hughes.

Kwakwaka'wakw artist Marianne Nicolson uses pictographic imagery and song in a quiet but powerful video installation that tells the often silenced history of the 1862 small pox epidemic in Victoria which utterly devastated thousands of West Coast First Nations people. Nicolson acknowledges the loss of her ancestors while affirming continued Indigenous presence in the land and the strength, endurance and resurgence of First Nations peoples over time.

Image credit: There's Blood in the Rocks, Video Installation Still, Marianne Nicolson.


So Long,
Frank Lloyd Wright

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown
Inner Gallery | 630 Yates Street

July 15 – September 16, 2017

Curated by Emerald Johnstone-Bedell

After five decades of stewardship, the UVic Legacy Art Galleries is giving seven Frank Lloyd Wright designed windows back to the house they originated from. Say farewell to the art glass windows at our exhibition that celebrates this monumental gift during the 150th anniversary of the internationally renowned architect’s birth.

These original windows are intrinsic decorative and architectural parts of Wright’s unifying design principle called “organic architecture.” Wright was inspired by nature and natural materials to build harmonious designs that were integrated between their environment, architectural plan, fixtures and furniture.

The ‘light screens’, as Wright called them, were created in 1904-05 for the Darwin D. Martin House Complex in Buffalo, New York. In the wake of the Great Depression, the family house was abandoned and left in disrepair until recent renovations have restored the complex into a National Historic Landmark. These salvaged light screens are some of the last pieces needed to achieve Wright’s visionary intent and complete the major restoration project.



The Legacy of Early Modern architecture in Victoria

Guest curated by Martin Segger
Contemporary photographs by John Taylor & documents from the Pacific North West Architectural Archive, University of Victoria

View the exhibition catalogue here

This exhibition is part of the Victoria Modern Series. Click here to view the series website.


Survival by Design

The Legacy of Early Modern architecture in Victoria in the Urban Landscape

April 19 to July 8, 2017

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown Inner Gallery | 630 Yates Street

Survival by Design: The Legacy of Early Modern architecture in Victoria: the UVic Gordon Head Campus

May 6 to Oct 8, 2017

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

The two decades post-WWII saw some of the most intensive urban development Victoria has witnessed. The result, a flowering of design innovation by a small group of architectural, has created a built heritage which, still under appreciated, nevertheless still defines the look and feel of Victoria.

Initiatives such as Centennial Square and the UVic Gordon Head Campus, planned neighbourhoods to accommodate returning veterans, to commercial and residential high-rises, this "legacy"; building stock still defines the urban landscape, influences how we use it, and to a large part determines how we adapt and change it.

These two exhibits document this unique and creative architectural legacy, captured through the lens of architectural photographer, John Taylor.

As small group of local architectural practices, often working together, created a distinctive design approach to style and form, but working within the earlier 20th tradition of the European-influenced "International Style". As regional influences coalesced, what we know today as a "West Coast Style" emerged.

Form and detail uniquely expressed not only the purpose and function of these buildings, along with climate, geography and materials availability, but also demonstrated how building traditions of the region were subsumed in new construction technologies.

Taylors's images document adaption and change in the urban landscape as original designs have responded to the pressures architectural life cycles: changes in purpose, retrofits to meet modern life-safety and other codes, additions to accommodate growth. Archival evidence, drawing from plans, photographs and textual records, traces the original design intent of the builders. Some of the reasons and subsequent design approaches for both structural and cosmetic adjustments to built form and detail are also revealed.

This exhibition project is supported by a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts.


Image Credit: John Taylor, photo of British Columbia Electric Building 1954, Thompson Berwick and Pratt, Architect.

Natural | Supernatural

Natural | Supernatural

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

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)



There is Truth Here

Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown
630 Yates Street

September 23, 2017 to January 6, 2018

Guest curated by Dr. Andrea N. Walsh, Anthropology, University of Victoria

There is Truth Here brings a new line to bear on the role of art as part of children’s knowledge, identity, and experiences of Indian Residential and Day Schools. Through paintings, drawings, sewing, beading, drumming, and singing, and drama produced by children and youth who attended them in British Columbia and Manitoba the exhibition seeks to contribute in vital and new ways to dialogues and initiative about true telling, reconciliation, and redress in Canada.

The first person perspectives of Survivors and former students, their families, and communities are told via children’s creativity to bring a multi-generational perspective on the lives of children in the schools. The exhibition explores the common thread of historical resilience in the creation of the artworks, and speaks to the importance of the art today as nodes of healing and resurgence.

Image Credit:Unattributed artist (Inkameep Day School), c. 1940. Courtesy of Osoyoos Museum.




Legacy Art Gallery Downtown
630 Yates Street

Thursday, June 1st, 2017 | 7pm

Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions through Stories and Art

Facebook Event Page

The revitalization and recognition of Indigenous laws are essential to reconciliation in Canada. Indigenous art and stories play an important role in guiding this work as they not only depict cultural beliefs but also represent aspects of legal traditions.

Join Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Jessica Asch (LL.B) from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law as they share current research about Indigenous art and its relationship to law. During this program, the audience will engage critically with the art and stories in the current exhibition Origin Stories at Legacy Art Gallery Downtown.

Image credit: The Creation of the Squamish People, Floyd Joseph.



Your collection.
Your art gallery.
Your resource.

The University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries is a teaching and research centre committed to fostering critical dialogue and meaningful change in our communities.

Visit the galleries on campus and downtown and use the exhibitions and collection to enhance your teaching and research. Gallery staff are available for tours as well as object-based learning opportunities in the classroom.

Booking a Visit to the Legacy Downtown

Please let us know ahead of time to ensure there are no other group bookings. Depending on staff availability, we can offer a short introduction to any exhibition at the Legacy Downtown.

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

School Tours

Kwaht-Yaht is Born

Thank the Creator

Grade 4 First Nations School Tour

Important: Bookings are currently full, please email to be added to the waitlist.

In response to the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery’s exhibition Thank the Creator showcases prints and sculpture by mostly coastal peoples depicting alternative histories through First Nations origin stories. These long told stories of this land have been excluded from mainstream history but include important themes to consider and celebrate: the interconnectedness of all things; the relationship of family and clan to stories and to the land; and the importance of generosity and sharing.

This tour will meet the Grade Four social studies Prescribed Learning Outcomes. Students will come away with an understanding of varying world views, belief systems and histories connected to this place beyond the story of Canada. They will experience the nature of oral tradition as well as visual storytelling.

To view the Teachers Guide, click here


75 min guided tour and hands-on art project

April 12 to June 16, 2017
Bookings - Wednesdays 10AM | Thursdays 1PM | Fridays 10AM *** Exact times flexible with classroom needs
Location - Legacy Art Gallery Downtown 630 Yates Street

Optional - Book a same-day related tour with the Royal BC Museum (for a fee) Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30pm-2pm.


All of our bookings are currently full.

Image credit: Art Thompson, Kwaht-Yaht is Born, 1989.


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

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