at the galleries in may
Meghan Hildebrand: Next Year
This collection of new paintings by nationally celebrated artist Meghan Hildebrand explores the idea: What if all the wonderful ideas that people had to make the world a better place came together? In her iconic “Story Maps” she pieces together imagination and reality, offering the viewer suggestions of narrative to connect as they please. Enthusiastic brushstrokes and vibrant colours build on the canvas to celebrate new beginnings, growth out of destruction, and other themes. Opening reception with artist May 4, 1-4 pm. 606 View St, 250-380-4660, www.madronagallery.com.
Multiple Choice (Four Tellers)
An all-star event featuring new and collected work from painter and memoirist Phyllis Serota, print and collage expert Dorothy Field, potter/weaver Tobias Tomlinson and painter/sculptor Miles Lowry. It’s an exciting collection of Victoria artists linked by a passion for craft, experimentation, and a powerful connection to the tactile. On May 19 the artists will be present for informal discussion of process, materials, and creativity. The next weekend the show coincides with the annual Fired Up ceramics show just down the road. 4357 Metchosin Rd, 250-388-5158, www.mercurio.ca.
Nixie Barton, Grant Leier & Tammy Hudgeon
West End Gallery
Nixie Barton and Grant Leier present a much anticipated exhibition of new works with exciting new imagery. Grant Leier says, “Over the last six months my work has undergone the biggest shift in 30 years. The new animal imagery has allowed me to become less concerned about the representational and focus on the pure joy of painting. Colour is still the biggest player; however the application is loose and confident.” Accompanying the paintings are large playful sculptural pieces by Gabriola Island fused glass artist Tammy Hudgeon. 1203 Broad St, 250-388-0009, www.westendgalleryltd.com.
May 18-June 21
ICEBEAR: Mural and show
First Nations artist Chris Johnson (IceBear) will be showing works at the gallery, as well as restoring a mural called “Nil/tu,o” in Sidney. This giant 63 x 23-foot mural depicts 10 Salish paddlers escaping a storm. It is one of three Sidney murals to be restored this summer. Johnson studied at the Toronto Artists’ Workshop and Sheridan College in Toronto. Drawing from a rich spiritual connection that is his cultural heritage, IceBear visions each piece as a completed work before beginning to create it. A sculptor as well as a painter, IceBear’s work evolved from realism to his current powerful abstract pieces. 2506 Beacon Ave, Sidney, 250-655-1722, www.pengal.com.
May 3-September 8
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
David Blackwood is one of Canada’s leading printmakers and most popular artists. This exhibition, “Black Ice: Prints from Newfoundland,” situates his epic visual narratives in time and space by looking at the history of Newfoundland and the people who settled there. Blackwood’s dramas encapsulate class, gender and intergenerational issues that can only be understood in the context of the formation of the landscape, its natural resources, immigration and settlement, religious and political debate, economic and social conditions, and the environmental threat to the survival of traditional lifestyles. www.aggv.ca, 250-384-4171.
Yuan Cheng BI
The Avenue Gallery
Under the guidance and encouragement of his father, Bi began practising art at age five. At the age of 11, Bi was mentored for 10 years by one of China’s most prestigious art professors, learning landscape, watercolour, and oil. In 1986 he was chosen out of over 100 competitors to design the sculptural landmark for Shandong Stadium, the province’s largest sports facility. He also designed a fountain standing in Jinan Centre Square. Emigrating to Canada in 1990, Yuan Cheng Bi lives in Vancouver and has established himself in the local and national art scene. Fifty of his murals can be found in Alberta. 2184 Oak Bay Ave, 250-598-2184, www.theavenuegallery.com.
Born in London and raised in Portugal, Ken Kirkby arrived in Western Canada in 1958, to spend five years walking from Alaska to Baffin Island. Kirkby was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation by the Governor General in recognition of his significant contribution to Canada. Through his artwork, Ken has rediscovered and exalted the ancient aboriginal stone symbols known as inukshuks, capturing the mystic grandeur of these creations. His work is found in many public and private collections around the world. On Alpha St at 428 Burnside Rd E, 250-388-6652, www.morrisgallery.ca.
Continuing to June 15
Creating Con[text] activates works of art in the University of Victoria’s Michael Williams Bequest Collection through the oral history research of Dr Carolyn Butler Palmer and her grad students, who gathered interviews with people associated with the late downtown businessman/art supporter Michael C. Williams. Featuring paintings by Angela Grossman, Jack Shadbolt and Emily Carr, and others, the exhibit allows stories of artists, dealers, collectors, and viewers to infuse the works of art with more meaning. Wed-Sat, 10-4. 630 Yates St, 250-721-6562, www.uvac.uvic.ca.