Upcoming Virtual Programming, April 2021 at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

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Luke Parnell: Repeat the chorus three times

April 14, 2021 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM EST
Register Here

Join us for our next Lunch and Learn artist talk on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Presented virtually on Zoom, registration is required.

Artist Luke Parnell and Curator Anik Glaude will discuss Parnell’s new installation at the Varley Art Gallery and provide a virtual tour of the exhibition.

We would like to thank the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham for their ongoing support of our Lunch and Learn speakers series.

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About the exhibition

With a sculpture and painting practice rooted in traditional Northwest Coast design, Luke Parnell contrasts these formal aesthetic elements with personal and contemporary concerns. Repeat the chorus three times includes three box drums. Varying in scale and design, the pieces are adorned with curving lines and concentric ovoids in both red and black paint, or with carved elements.

In the gallery, the drums are rendered silent, echoes of their beats audible only in the imagination of their viewers. At the same time, however, the drums act like the verse of a song, one after the other adding meaning to an evolving visual narrative. As with many of Parnell’s past works, these pieces explore how both culture and trauma are passed down from generation to generation, creating a conundrum about how one reconciles with both simultaneously.

An extended essay by Lisa Myers is forthcoming.

Originally slated to open in February 2021, the exhibition, like the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, remains closed to the public until further notice.

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About the artist

Luke Parnell is Laxgiik (eagle) from Wilps Kwa’kaans on his mother’s side and Haida from Massett on his father’s side. His training has involved a traditional apprenticeship with a Master Northwest Coast Indigenous carver, a BFA from OCAD, and an MA from ECUAD. His artistic practice explores the relationship between Northwest Coast Indigenous oral histories and Northwest Coast Indigenous art, with a focus on transformation narratives. Parnell’s work has been exhibited at the MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie, 2011), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, 2014), the Biennial of Contemporary Native Art (Montreal, 2016), the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (Kitchener, 2018), and more. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre and the International Cervantino Festival (Guanajuato, Mexico).


About the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Lunch and Learn, and the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities. A municipal gallery, we create critical conversations about Canadian art and society. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art through outstanding exhibitions and rich public and educational programs relevant to the communities we serve. We support artists from York region and seek to broaden access to the arts for diverse artists and cultural groups. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F.H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven.

The Varley Art Gallery is situated on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. We are committed to reconciliation, partnership and enhanced understanding.

Lunch and Learns are monthly artist talks that provide our community members with the opportunity to learn about current and future exhibitions, as well as hear about ongoing curatorial research happening at the gallery. This program also supports emerging and established artists by providing them with a forum in which to present their work.

The Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham supports the Varley Art Gallery as a vibrant cultural hub in the GTA. Our mandate is to support the Gallery’s strong visual arts program through our activities and investments. We provide funding to assist with art acquisitions, the conservation of the Gallery’s art collection, educational programming and exhibition research. We also administer the Varley Art Gallery’s volunteer program, providing additional support for their activities and events.


Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville, Markham, ON, L3R 2H1
905.477.7000 ext. 3261
varley@markham.ca | varleyartgallery.ca

The gallery remains closed to the public until further notice.

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The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is an accessible venue.

For more information or questions, please contact Anik Glaude, Curator at aglaude@markham.ca

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Image credits: [1,3] Luke Parnell, Repeat the chorus three times, Installation view. Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2021. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid [2] Luke Parnell, Third Beat: Waiting for the call that says its mom (detail), 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid