This special curatorial project was developed in partnership with the University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries and UVic’s Special Collections and University Archives with funding support from the BC Arts Council. The project allowed for a co-op intern to select and develop a project to present new interpretations and scholarship utilizing primary research material and original works of art held at the university. Under the mentorship of the Legacy Art Gallery Director, Curator of Collections, and the University Archivist, the student created an exhibition and public program that highlights a major Canadian artist and furthers an important initiative of the University of Victoria, namely the building of the local artists’ archival holdings. This exhibition is one of the first of a series working with the artists’ archives.
Caroline Riedel, Curator and Mary Jo Hughes, Director
Legacy Art Galleries
Curating the exhibition Margaret Peterson: A Search in Rhythm was challenging and rewarding. As an anthropology student interested in visual and material culture, Peterson’s body of work was of particular interest to me, due to her extensive research concerning Indigenous artifacts. I delved into a daunting amount of Peterson’s personal papers held in Special Collections and University Archives, and examined her artistic career and ideals. I then sought to generate further knowledge through artistic practice – conducting interviews and creating a short film. These combined sources informed the themes and purpose of the exhibit – to gain a deeper understanding of what Peterson was attempting to accomplish through her artwork. Peterson sought to go beyond a Western understanding of art as decorative, and used abstraction to unveil the basic elements of existence.