Material Tells

Please join Oakville Galleries to celebrate our summer exhibition opening on Sunday 23 June from 2:30 pm–3:30 pm at Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square, followed by a reception at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens from 3:30 pm–5:00 pm. Need a ride to Oakville? Get on the ARTbus (details below).

Material Tells

23 June – 8 September 2019
Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens & at Centennial Square
Opening: Sunday 23 June 2019, 2:30 pm–5:00 pm

Taking the politics of making as its point of departure, this group exhibition explores the cultural meanings that emerge from the materials artists use. Drawing on the writings of Édouard Glissant, guest curator Daisy Desrosiers assembles a selection of works that engage often-overlooked narratives within cultural histories, considering the itinerant and opaque legacies that surround everyday materials such as sugar, textiles, flowers and clay.

Alvaro Barrington | Kevin Beasley | Shannon Bool | Beverly Buchanan | Jesse Chun | Marie-Michelle Deschamps | Azza El Siddique | Ja’Tovia Gary | Felix Gonzalez-Torres | Iris Häussler | Kapwani Kiwanga



Sunday 23 June 2019, 12:00 pm–5:00 pm
Pick-up and drop-off at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto
$10 donation includes transportation to all galleries and afternoon refreshments

Our summer ARTbus begins at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto with a tour of their current exhibitions, including Carrie Mae Weems: Heave; Variations in Black, Queer, and Otherwise: Work by Abdi Osman; Common Place: Common-Place, and In & Out of Saskatchewan. The ARTbus will continue to the Art Gallery of Burlington to visit Jeneen Frei Njootli’s exhibition my auntie bought all her skidoos with bead money and 150 Acts: Art, Activism, Impact. Lastly, at Oakville Galleries participants will visit the opening of Material Tells.



Saturday 13 July 2019
at Centennial Square, 2:00 pm
in Gairloch Gardens, 3:00 pm

Saturday 10 August 2019
at Centennial Square, 2:00 pm
in Gairloch Gardens, 3:00 pm


Sunday 25 August 2019, 1:00 pm–4:00 pm
Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Bring the whole family to Oakville Galleries for a free art workshop inspired by the work of Iris Häussler as seen in Material Tells. Take in a brief tour of the exhibition, then head into our Education Centre where participants will use fabric and other found materials to make collages, stickers and other artworks of their design. A parent or guardian must accompany children for the duration of their visit.



Sunday 8 September 2019, 2:00 pm
Oakville Public Library, Central Branch Auditorium

Join us for our Authors on Art series with acclaimed writer Lawrence Hill. Held alongside Material Tells, an exhibition that looks at how cultural narratives are embedded in the materials artists use, this talk sees Hill describe the process of researching the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the Black Loyalists for his award-winning novel The Book of Negroes. He will also discuss his current research into the construction of the Alaska Highway, and the novel he is writing about the 5,000 African American soldiers who built the 3,000 km highway through Northern BC and Yukon during the Second World War.



Oakville Galleries is a not-for-profit contemporary art museum located 30 km west of Toronto. Housed in two spaces—one alongside a public library in downtown Oakville, and another in a lakeside mansion and park—Oakville Galleries is one of Canada’s leading art museums, driven by a belief in the singular power of art and artists to deepen our understanding of ourselves and our communities and move us toward a better world.

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens
1306 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville
Tuesday & Wednesday: 1:00 pm–5:00 pm
Thursday: 1:00 pm–8:00 pm
Friday: 1:00 pm–5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm–5:00 pm

Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
120 Navy Street, Oakville
Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00 am–9:00 pm
Friday: 12:00 pm–5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm–5:00 pm

Admission is free.

For more information about Oakville Galleries, our exhibitions or programs, visit or call 905.844.4402.

Oakville Galleries gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario and the Corporation of the Town of Oakville, along with our many individual, corporate and foundation partners.

Oakville Galleries’ Public Programs are generously supported by Chubb.

Images (from top to bottom): (1) Kevin Beasley, Untitled (swoop), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York. Photo: Jean Vong. (2) Carrie Mae Weems, Heave (installation view), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Jeneen Frei Njootli, my auntie bought all her skidoos with bead money (installation view), Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 13 July – 16 September 2018. Photo: Michael Love; Ja’Tovia Gary, An Ecstatic Experience (detail), 2015, film still. Courtesy of the artist and galerie frank elbaz, Paris.