Spring 2024 Exhibitions at MSVU Art Gallery

Susan Low-Beer, Pulmonem, 2018. Photo by Peter Legris.

Susan Low-Beer: Specimen

February 17 – May 4, 2024
Organized by MSVU Art Gallery
Curated by Sheila McMath

Expanding on recurring themes in her practice, Susan Low-Beers’ works in Specimen focus on the dynamics of human relationships, the interwoven experience of the physical and the psychological, and the simultaneous power and vulnerability of the body. The domestic-size ceramic sculptures integrate found materials and elements of the sculptures serve as stand-ins for larger human forms. Specimen offers a look inward, at the viscera of the body, as Low-Beer speaks to her own experiences and observations, while also prompting the viewer to do the same.

About the Artist

Susan Low-Beer was born in Montreal and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at Mount Allison University. She also acquired a Masters of Fine Arts, from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. In 1999 she received the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts and in 2000 was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

About the Curator

Sheila McMath is a facilitator, community organizer, independent curator and Artistic Director of Inter Arts Matrix, an interdisciplinary incubator and producer based in Kitchener, Ontario. McMath’s work in the arts has maintained a balance of work with larger institutions and direct involvement with artist-run initiatives.

Sarah Maloney, Water Level, 2012-16. Photo by Frank Piccolo, courtesy of Art Windsor-Essex.

Sarah Maloney’s Pleasure Ground: A Feminist Take on the Natural World

March 9 – June 1, 2024
Organized by Art Windsor-Essex
Curated by Jennifer Matotek and Laura Ritchie

Sarah Maloney’s Pleasure Ground showcases artworks created from 1993–2021, displaying Maloney’s development as a contemporary sculptor and textile artist who is nationally recognized for her representations of botanicals and the human body. Throughout her practice, Maloney looks at Western history and culture through a feminist lens, and the results are depictions of plants, bones, and organs that reference gender, pleasure, desire, and power. Her craft is joyful and beautiful, while simultaneously interrogating icons of Western colonialism, such as museum collections, domestic gardens, and landscape art.

About the Artist

Sarah Maloney, RCA, holds an MFA from the University of Windsor and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is the recipient of numerous grants, and has been part of group and solo shows across Canada. Her works are held in the collections of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Department of Foreign Affairs, among others.

About the Curators

Jennifer Matotek is the Executive Director of Art Windsor-Essex. She has held curatorial and administrative positions at the Dunlop Art Gallery, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. She has curated numerous exhibitions for galleries and artist-run centres across Canada. Her work as a video artist has been shown internationally.

Laura Ritchie (she/her) is an independent curator in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. Of settler descent, she hails from Menaquesk/Saint John, NB, on the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik/Maliseet. Laura holds a BA Art History from Mount Allison University and an MA in the same from Western University. She is a fellow of the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen, Executive Education for the Next Generation of Museum Leaders. Former Director of MSVU Art Gallery, Laura has worked in collections, exhibitions, and administration with art organizations across Canada.

Related Programming

Exhibition Reception
Saturday, March 9 at 1:00-3:00pm

All are invited to a relaxed reception for MSVU Art Gallery’s spring exhibitions, Susan Low-Beer: Specimen and Sarah Maloney’s Pleasure Ground: A Feminist Take on the Natural World. Please visit www.msvuart.ca for more information.

About MSVU Art Gallery

Opened in 1971, MSVU Art Gallery is dedicated to contemporary art with an emphasis on women as cultural subjects and producers. Exhibitions explore various forms and highlight the achievements of artists in all career phases. MSVU Art Gallery promotes critical access to its exhibitions through publications, lectures, and educational programs, recognizing socially engaged practices as models of aesthetic distinction and political imagination. Consistent with the principle that exhibition spaces are civic spaces, the Gallery is committed to normalizing accessible presentation practices throughout its public programs. Admission is always free.

MSVU Art Gallery respectfully acknowledges that the Gallery and Mount Saint Vincent University are situated on Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral, unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.

MSVU Art Gallery logo

MSVU Art Gallery
166 Bedford Hwy
Halifax, NS
B3M 2J6


Facebook @msvuartgallery
Instagram @msvuartgallery

MSVU Art Gallery is accessible. For more information, visit the Plan Your Visit page on our website.

Image descriptions:
1. Two gray irregularly-shaped round ceramic pieces sit side-by-side on top of a square wood table of similar size and scale. Each piece has a pattern on it that resembles netting. The piece on the left has a long skinny tube-like shape attached to it that looks like a tail pointing upwards and the piece on the right has a number of small tubular-shaped pieces attached to the side that look like spikes.
2. Over thirty metal lily pads and flowers with long stems stand vertically on a concrete floor with pale blue walls in the background. The colour of the lily pads is greenish and each stem curves and coils uniquely, overlapping and intertwining with other stems. The work is free-standing and lit from overhead, casting shadows of the lily pads and stems on the floor beneath.

Support from the following organizations is gratefully acknowledged: Canada Council for the Arts, Halifax Regional Municipality, Ontario Arts Council, and Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program.