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Gallery Associates Sunday Art Lecture Series 2024

Art History of the Now

Exploring Expressions of Identity in Contemporary Western Canadian Art and the Influence of Recent Art Movements on Them

This event is now SOLD OUT

The 2024 SUNDAY ART LECTURE SERIES – 10th Anniversary Season
Presented by The Gallery Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
The contemporary, like the tip of an iceberg, often hides what underlies it. The 2024 Sunday Art Lecture Series examines expressions of identity in contemporary Western Canadian art and the influence of art movements – especially those since the mid-20th century – on them. Following the first lecturer’s overview to set the scene, four speakers will explore in illustrated talks on the innovations of women artists in BC, contemporary indigenous art of Vancouver Island, experiences of displacement and rebirth in the art of a Chinese immigrant, and the symbiosis of airport architecture and artworks.
Moderated by Liam Lacey, Arts Writer for the Globe and Mail


Dr. Betsy Tumasonis – Modern Art Movements and the Expression of Identity

Every artist stands on the shoulders of those who have come before. To understand the art of the twenty-first century, it is useful to have some knowledge of the art of the previous century, especially that of the period after World War II. Dr. Tumasonis will survey post-war art movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, Installation, Performance Art, and Neo-Expressionism, and demonstrate how these have affected contemporary artists in Western Canada. Recent art might be termed “post-movement” art because there is no one over-riding style that can be discerned in the current art scene; however, there are some recurring themes. Foremost of these is a concern with identity such as gender, ethnicity, or religion.

Dr. Betsy Tumasonis, Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia; an M.A. in Art History from New York University; and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California at Berkeley. After teaching in the United States, she immigrated to Canada in 1981 and joined what is now the Department of Art History and Visual Studies at UVic. Besides being chair of the department, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the art of the 19th and 20th centuries, receiving a UVic teaching award and one in a national competition for professors in all disciplines. Since retirement, she has returned to her first love, the practice of art.



The Honourable Patricia Bovey – The Prominence of BC Women Artists: Insights & Impacts

BC has been home to many major women artists over many decades. Expanding on her book Western Voices in Canadian Art, Patricia Bovey will delve into the significance of the innovations, depth, and leading-edge impacts of BC women artists from the late 1800s to the present. Pioneering work in various media, the exploration of many subjects, and the use of new, experimental materials will be discussed in this illustrated lecture. She will show the importance of these artists in regional, national, and international contexts.

Patricia Bovey, former member of the Senate of Canada (2016-2023), is an art historian, museologist, author, and professor. She has published extensively on western Canadian art, including Western Voices in Canadian Art (2023); Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on a Thread (a 2015 Alberta Book Awards’ recipient); and Don Proch: Masking and Mapping (a 2019 Manitoba Book Awards’ finalist). An independent consultant, she assisted arts organizations across Canada with governance, funding, and strategic planning. In the Senate she gave voice to the importance of the arts with special Senate exhibitions, programs, reports, and legislation unanimously passed by the Chamber.



Mark Loria – Contemporary Indigenous Art of Vancouver Island

This lecture will cover the period from 1965 to present of the indigenous art of Vancouver Island, examining the contemporary innovators and current artists from each island territory: Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Kwakwaka’wakw. Images of the artist’s artworks, their meanings, historical teachings, territorial/cultural differences, connections, and the influence of contemporary art movements on them will be examined. Artists of note include Charles Elliott, Art Thompson, Tony Hunt Sr, Rande Cook, Francis Dick, Dylan Thomas, Luke Marston, Lawrence Paul Hay’sxw’qa si’em, Marika Swan, and Tim Paul.

Mark Loria is the owner and director of Mark Loria Gallery (formerly Alcheringa Gallery), a leading indigenous art gallery for over 40 years on Lekwungen Territory (Victoria, BC) – specializing in contemporary Northwest Coast art. He has held senior positions with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Glenbow Museum, Institute of Modern Art (Australia), and Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. Mark holds a BFA (Printmaking) from the University of Calgary and an Arts Management Diploma from Capilano University. He has been recognized by the BC Museums Association for his work in truth and reconciliation, and the Mark Loria Gallery has received approval and support from Coast Salish elders. Mark currently represents more than 50 Canadian Indigenous artists.


MARCH 3, 2024 – SOLD OUT

Professor Gu Xiong – Artistic Electricity: Migrant Displacement and Rebirth

Prof. Gu Xiong will discuss how his own migrant experiences of cultural clash have fueled dynamic change in both his personal life and his work as a contemporary artist. For instance, we will visit through his eyes how sites and archives of the 19th century Chinese immigrants who settled in BC reveal stories about their new home and their homeland. He makes us notice that even in places which are now almost forgotten, there are signs of new life, knowledge, and states of being as hybrid identities emerge. We will learn how migrant experience inspired his immersive installation “The Remains of a Journey,” his series on “pins,” and other works that connect local, Canadian, and global cultural flows, including modern art movements.

Gu Xiong is a professor and multimedia artist at the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC. He works with installation, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, digital imagery, text, and performance art. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in more than sixty solo exhibitions and over one hundred prominent national and international group exhibitions. Beside three public art commissions, his works are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the China National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many other museums and private collections.


MARCH 10, 2024 – SOLD OUT

Dr. Menno Hubregtse – Airport Architecture and Artworks in Western Canada and Beyond

This talk examines the connections of architectural design and the types of artworks in air terminal interiors with reference to themes of place, identity, and aviation. It concentrates on airports in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, and it contextualizes their designs in terms of other major international airports in Canada and throughout the world. The lecture addresses the architects’ and planners’ rationale for selecting which artworks are appropriate for the terminal and how they determined their placement in the interior. In addition, it considers how the types of artworks have changed over the past sixty years, and how these pieces are influenced by modern art movements such as abstraction, postmodernism, and pop art.

Dr. Menno Hubregtse is a sessional lecturer at the University of Victoria where he teaches courses on art and architectural history as well as technology and society. His research concentrates on the relation between architecture and art; how building materials and design affect behaviour; philosophical ideas pertaining to architectural design and theory; the relation of public art to identity; and how architectural theorists have conceptualized the impact of digital tools on building design His publications include the book Wayfinding, Consumption, and Terminal Design (Routledge 2020).


Image Credits (L-R): Holding Thousands of Pins – Gu Xiong , 2017, photograph, courtesy of the artist | Self Painting – Myfanwy Pavelic, 1991, acrylic, 68.3 x 53.1 cm, Gift of the Artist (AGGV1995.008.017) | Beyond the Edge – Susan Point, 2015, serigraph print, courtesy of Mark Loria Gallery, Bio photos – courtesy of speakers.