Tag Archives: First Nations

K’ulut’a and the Professor: The Friendship of Henry Hunt and Peter Smart

Sea Otter Feast Bowl, Henry Hunt, painted red cedar, c. 1970s

Sea Otter Feast Bowl, Henry Hunt, painted red cedar, c. 1970s

October 8 – November 26, 2011

Legacy Small Gallery

Curated by Kevin Neary

View the online catalogue:

K’ulut’a and the Professor Catalogue

K’ulut’a and the Professor celebrates the art and legacy of famed Kwakiutl artist Henry Hunt (K’ulut’a was his name in Kwak’wala, the native language of the Kwakiutl people). Henry Hunt’s influential style and personality can be detected in thousands of artworks produced by himself and his many students and by their students in turn.

Henry Hunt did not divide life into compartments; he enjoyed the company of people from all walks of life. He formed a particularly strong friendship with Professor Peter Smart, a friendship that ultimately resulted in the donation of a most significant collection of Henry Hunt’s art to the University of Victoria Art Collections (UVAC) in 2003. The entire collection donated by Peter Smart is included in the current exhibit, supplemented by additional examples of Henry Hunt’s art from UVAC and by some of Peter Smart’s own carvings.

Convergence/Divergence: Landscape and Identity on the West Coast

Head of Canada, Katherine Emma Maltwood, sandstone, 1912

Head of Canada, Katherine Emma Maltwood, sandstone, 1912

August 17 – October 1, 2011

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Caroline Riedel

View the online catalogue:

Convergence/Divergence Catalogue

Click here to read more about this show on the University of Victoria’s website.

This exhibition explores how a selection of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds respond to the West Coast landscape as a means of expressing identity, while also suggesting ways in which an artist’s identity provides a lens for presenting or interpreting landscape.

The works highlight contrasting artistic approaches and ways of relating to local landscapes, illustrating both First Nations and settler’s complex relationships to the places they live. Through a selection of prints, drawings, sculpture, paintings and mixed media works, this exhibit shows some of the many ways in which West Coast artists express identity in terms of a sense of self, place, or community.

The title of this exhibition refers at once to both commonalities in how people relate to, identify with, inhabit or “resonate” with a particular place (convergence) and the different ways artists see, experience, represent and interpret that place (divergence).

Salish Reflections

Susan Point, Symphony of Butterlies
Susan Point, Symphony of Butterlies

September 2011 – Present

Cornett Building, University of Victoria Campus

The online catalogue for Salish Reflections is available here. It features a self-guided art tour, numerous artworks and artist biographies.

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.

Revival: The Personal Archive of Robert Aller

Robert Aller

Robert Aller, Mask

February 23 – April 11, 2010

Legacy Small Gallery

Curatorial team: Leah Taylor with Emma Conner, Karen Merrifield and Cindy Vance

Revival is a snapshot into the vast personal archives of the late artist and teacher Robert Aller. Revival is one concern that has been addressed throughout Aller’s artistic practice – he examines the loss of First Nation’s culture and becomes influenced by their history in craft and tradition, which surfaces in his drawings, paintings and basketry.

While studying under Arthur Lismur at the School of Art and Design in Montreal, Aller’s interest in native art grew, and in later years it became his lifelong challenge to document the lives of First Nations people.

Copper Thunderbird: Invention, Inspiration and Transformation

Mary Kerr, illustration of a costume designed for Copper Thunderbird

Mary Kerr, illustration of a costume designed for Copper Thunderbird

July 9 to November 30, 2008
Legacy Art Gallery and Cafe

Copper Thunderbird: Invention, Inspiration and Transformation featured painted works spanning three decades as well as costumes, drawings, and photographs created by UVic professor Mary Kerr from “Copper Thunderbird,” a play about Norval Morrisseau.

Artists mediate realities and bridge worlds. The shaman lives in two or more inter-visible worlds and functions traditionally as the go-between to bring back what he sees to make art and transform the world. The stage artist has to bridge the stage world to the audience. We were looking for a stage environment that would be a container for Norval’s Shaman and artist consciousness and Marie Clement’s script. We needed a theatrical world in it’s own right and not an illustration of his paintings or a documentary of his life. I envisioned the stage design as representing the interior of Norval’s mind, where everything in the play, all the events, real and imaginary, were seen through the shifting shapes and colours of shamanistic consciousness.

Mary Kerr, Celebrated Canadian Stage Designer


Michael’s World

July 2007 – Feb 4, 2008

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Professor Martin Segger

View the online catalogue:

Michael’s World – Catalogue

Michael’s World was the inaugural exhibition at the Legacy Art Gallery and Cafe. It showcases a number of works by studio artists, many of whom received support from Michael C. Williams in the early days of Old Town Victoria’s artistic revival. From the 1970s to the 1990s, more than 100 artists and craftspeople were situated in downtown studio space and constituted the core of this revival.

The gallery program will be based around Williams’ collection of over 1,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures by some of the most renowned artists of the Pacific Northwest. Williams passed away in November 2000, leaving his estate to UVIc. His generosity made the Legacy Art Gallery possible.

Salmon Stories Set 2: Teachings

Fall 2007

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

This exhibition is a companion to Salmon Stories, Set 1: Dirge and was created by the same team. It features Coast Salish artist and guests. The focus of this exhibition was to feature a different approach to representation, art making and the meaning of art to enrich the discourse introduced with the up-close aesthetic photo-realism of Harnisch’s photographs. The show explored ongoing traditions of imaging and image-making.

Similar Exhibitions

Artists at Work


Don Yeomans, Ulli Steltzer, 1975

Don Yeomans, Ulli Steltzer, 1975

February 20 – June 1, 2007

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Curated by Caroline Riedel and Kerry Mason

This exhibit showcased a selection of photographs from the book Indian Artist at Work (1977) by Ulli Steltzer. The photos were displayed at both the University of Victoria and the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Mexico. The exhibit showed this photographs as a teaching collection of Dr. Steltzer’s work in the 1970s and offers a glimpse of the inspirational artistic activities and interests of some of the Indigenous people in British Columbia.

About the photographer: Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Ulli Steltzer emigrated to the United States to teach music. Later she was asked by the New Jersey Department of and Industry to document conditions of migrant workers, and thus began her career of photography. After years in Chicago, Atlanta and the southwest United States she moved to Vancouver in 1972. While she captured many Native peoples here in Canada, she has also found time to study the Mayans in Guatemala, the Naxi of Yunnan Province in China, and the New Immigrants of California.

Three Rivers/Wild Waters, Sacred Places

June 24 – December 23, 2005

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

The Three Rivers exhibit features works by 11 artists, writers, journalists and photographers that embarked on three separate but simultaneous journeys along the Snake, the Wind, and the Bonnet Plume Rivers. All three rivers are a part of the Peel River Basin, the traditional territory of both the Nacho Nyak Dun and Tetlit Gwich’in First Nations. This remarkable project was orchestrated by CPAWS-Yukon (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) and took place over 18 days in August, 2004.