School of Art Gallery, UM Winter 2022 Exhibitions and Programming

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Andrea Oliver Roberts, u/t (Model for Diagnosis), 2021, mirrored acrylic. Image courtesy of the artist.

Andrea Oliver Roberts: Sickroom

Curated by Blair Fornwald, Director/Curator
December 16, 2021 to February 11, 2022

Sickroom is a sound and sculpture-based installation bringing together ideas about healing and protection, property and bodily autonomy, care and control. Taking formal cues from garden architecture, the artist has crafted sculptures that resemble wrought iron gates, trellises, and a domed gazebo, as well as miniaturized forms that recall amulets or talismans. Potent words and phrases related to health and illness are arranged to form decorative pattern work comprising structures that indicate that a segment of nature has been tamed, but offer little to no shelter from the elements. And they offer security from trespassers only if tacitly-agreed upon notions of property ownership and privacy are upheld. Drawing on personal experiences of navigating and accessing support as a person with chronic illness, Roberts’ installation reveals the magical thinking that reinforces the permeable, indistinct, and ultimately temporary boundaries between chaos and order, between sickness and health, and between what is yours, what is mine, what is shared, and what can never be owned.

Andrea Oliver Roberts is a Winnipeg-based, non-binary multidisciplinary artist working in sound and installation, print and performance.

Learn more and view Adjunct Programming


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Libby Hague, Echo/The Paradise Within (detail), 1986, lithograph and serigraph (diptych). Collection of the School of Art Gallery; gift of Dr. Ben Shore, Sword Street Press.

Alone Time

Curated by Halley Ritter, Curatorial Assistant
Libby Hague, Tung Ping Li, Kenneth Lochhead, Ann Smith, Pamela R. Smith, and Diane Whitehouse
December 9, 2021 to January 14, 2022

As we take our first steps out of isolation, we reflect upon and work through the nuanced and unintelligible parts of our pandemic experiences. Although individual circumstances vary, it’s likely that isolation has challenged us all, and most have had more alone time than ever before. Many have had to face new stressors in relative isolation, along with the usual loneliness and uncertainty inherent in solitude. We have spent the last two years shifting focus between bedroom windows and mirrors; between the outside chaos of the drastically changing world and the inside chaos of our thoughts.

These experiences would have been entirely inconceivable to most prior to the pandemic. Though we are now beginning to move forward, there are things we might still not fully comprehend or process. To do so, we need language that explains feelings we haven’t exactly felt before. And when language falls short, we may turn to art to identify, recognize, and validate our emotions.

Alone Time brings together works that reflect the extra-linguistic feelings of overwhelm and unreality experienced in isolation. Juxtaposing soft and homey colours, forms, and motifs with abstracted and expressive styles and applications, these works reflect some of the emotional conflicts of lockdown solitude and feelings of being stuck in a familiar space during a time full of discomfort and unknowns. Despite being created decades before the pandemic, the relevance and resonance of these works speak both to the timelessness of art and to the longstanding impacts of the pandemic.

Learn more and view Adjunct Programming


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Sylvia Matas, There Was a City, 2021, 03:00 minutes, colour, silent. Courtesy of the artist.

Sylvia Matas: There Was a City

Curated by Blair Fornwald, Director/Curator
December 9, 2021 to February 11, 2022

Sylvia Matas’ silent video, There Was a City was created from satellite photographs taken from Google Earth. Drawing from a vast archive, the artist selected images where nature and the built environment ambiguously converge, where it’s often difficult to tell if we are looking at a construction site, or a site that has been abandoned. Overlaid text describes a group of people living in similar circumstances, adjusting to cycles of order and entropy, plentitude and lack, certainty and unknowing. This spare and disquieting science fiction film was created in 2021; spending so much time inside prompted the artist’s consideration of time, the built environment, decay and regeneration.

Sylvia Matas is a Winnipeg based artist working in video, bookworks, text, and drawing.

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Lauren Prousky, The inherent cost of line that hugs (detail), 2020, yarn, plastic canvas, chains, finger puppet, hemming, acrylic, wood, and mending tape. Originally exhibited at the Museum of Jewish Montreal, 2021. Photo: Karice Mitchell.

Breaths, Monuments, Offerings

Curated by Halley Ritter, Curatorial Assistant
January 27 to March 4, 2022

Memories can be elusive and intangible. It can be difficult to hold onto something so conceptual. For some, holding on to items is a way of holding on to people, places, and moments. Objects become signifiers of life stories, emotional bonds, and connections to our personal and cultural identities. They transport us to the past like little time machines. The reliability of object permanence and the privilege of collecting can bring great comfort to many. For others, though, tangible signifiers of the past may carry painful reminders of things they would rather forget. Collecting practices and sensibilities surrounding memory and its preservation are culturally specific, complex, and varied.

Breaths, Monuments, Offerings reflects on the relationship between memory and materiality, addressing the visualization of memory and physicality from different cultural perspectives and through different media. Lauren Prousky, Natalie Hunter, and Shellie Zhang’s approaches to the subject variously employ maximalist aesthetics, articulate the fleeting nature of memory, and include the construction of mini-monuments. Their works interact with each other in compelling ways that encourage us to pause, to think, to feel, and, of course, to remember.

Learn more and view Adjunct Programming


About the School of Art Gallery

The School of Art Gallery, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is generously supported by the University of Manitoba, the School of Art, and the Government of Canada, and by faculty, staff, donors, and volunteers. It sits on Treaty 1 territory, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We are grateful for the support of the University of Manitoba and the School of Art. The School of Art Gallery and presenting artists acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Council.

School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab
180 Dafoe Road
Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2

For more information, contact Media and Events Coordinator Cailyn Harrison, cailyn.harrison@umanitoba.ca.