Message from the Director

Mary Jo Hughes, Director

In the spirit of our collaborative mandate Legacy is launching into 2014 with a unique project curated by Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer who holds the Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest. With her focus on community-based research, Dr. Butler Palmer worked in tandem with Tahltan artist, curator, and teacher Peter Morin, local elders, and students to create what is purportedly the World’s Largest Button Blanket (confirmation from Guinness World Records pending!) The project seeks to celebrate and foreground button blanket making as an important art form. In an experiential learning class through UVic’s History in Art Department, the blanket itself was constructed at the First Peoples House by students and community members. While sewing the blanket, students learned about the significance of blankets to many indigenous nations on the Northwest Coast.

Our new team of UVic student interns is busy learning the ropes of museum work behind and in front of the scenes. Each year we receive funds from the Margaret Russell Fellowship to hire a graduate student for a special project.  This year the recipient is researching local artist and teacher Glenn Howarth for an upcoming major retrospective drawn from the Legacy collection including a recent large donation from the Howarth estate.  Further, an undergraduate Anthropology student has been hired through a generous Co-op Student grant courtesy of the BC Arts Council. This student will have the opportunity to showcase her original research garnered from UVic’s Archives which houses a growing collection of local artist archive, and develop an exhibition from the Legacy collection on celebrated local artist Margaret Peterson.

Please join me also in welcoming our new employee Katie Hughes who, in addition to managing our front lines at the Legacy, will be assisting with curatorial and collections work and developing a volunteer program. Stay tuned for more information on how you can become involved with UVic’s downtown gallery!

Mary Jo Hughes



Adaslā: The Movement of Hands

January 16 to April 25 2014

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street 

This exhibition 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. For more info about the Big Button Blanket click here

Please note that on Wednesday January 29 and Thursday January 30 the World's Biggest Button Blanket will be at the University of Victoria's First Peoples House for a dance performance with Peter Morin as part of the 2014 Diversity Forum

Event: Dance of the World's Biggest Button Blanket

With Peter Morin & Rebecca Belmore

Saturday, February 22, 2-3pm | Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street

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

Upcoming Exhibitions

Icon of Virgin Hodegtria, 18th century

Windows Into Heaven: Religious Icons from the Permanent Collection

April 17 to July 19, 2014

Co-curated by Regan Shrumm (graduate student) and Dr. Evanthia Baboula (Assistant Professor, History in Art).

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street

Featuring Christian Orthodox icons and crucifixes from the Legacy permanent collection, this exhibition examines religious, historical, and cultural meanings past and present.  

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

Image: Maxwell Bates Circus People, 1969

Epiphany: Highlights from the Legacy Permanent Collection

May 1 to July 15 2014

Curated by Mary Jo Hughes

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street

An epiphany in its broadest sense is the experience of sudden realization or insight. That is what this exhibition aims to engender in viewers when they see some of the highlights Legacy has to reveal.

Image: Maxwell Bates Circus People, 1969

Ongoing Exhibitions

Karen Kunc "Fractured Terrain"

Art of the Book

November 22, 2013 to March 24, 2014  

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Art of the Book  both embodies and defies the traditional definition of what a book can be. Drawing from ancient techniques, the artists have represented a full history of book making, including the modern e-book. Click here for Library hours

Image: Karen Kunc "Fractured Terrain" 


City Talks Lecture Series                                     

February 24th | March 20th | Presentations begin at 7:30 pm

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street | Free and open to the public.

Join scholars for public presentations and discussions of the conflicts, pleasures, and politics of city life. For more information including lecture topics and speakers click here

Dance of the World's Biggest Button Blanket

With Peter Morin & Rebecca Belmore

Saturday, February 22nd 2pm-3pm

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown | 630 Yates Street | Free and open to the public.   

Internationally recognized Indigenous performance artist Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe) joins artist and curator Peter Morin (Tahltan) in a new performance piece that responds to the World's Biggest Button Blanket. The blanket, created in collaboration with community members and students at UVic's First Peoples House, invites new conversations about Indigenous button blanket makers and the artistic traditions that surround them.

Rent the Gallery

The Legacy Art Gallery Downtown is a dynamic space ideal for meetings, lectures and special events. Located in a historic building in the heart of downtown Victoria, the gallery offers a unique and affordable venue with curated exhibitions as a backdrop to your event. 

For more information visit our website or contact us 250.721.6562

Donors make a difference!

Help support the future of the collection, exhibitions, facilities, and community-based research initiatives. For more info contact Curator of Collections, Caroline Riedel e-mail 250.472.5619 

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