Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Canada Day Celebration at the McMichael – large crowd expected at opening of the Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast exhibition. Plus Charlie Pachter’s The Painted Flag will be on view, performances by musical groups, First Nations dancers, and more…
CANADA DAY PHOTO OP
June 25, 2009 Kleinburg, ON — The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is expecting a very large crowd to be on hand July 1st – Canada Day – for the official opening of the Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast exhibition. Canada Day celebrations at the McMichael will include musical and dance performances by First Nations artists and the installation of The Painted Flag, the iconic painting of the Canadian flag by well-known Toronto artist Charles Pachter.
Canada Day at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection begins at 10:00 am and runs until 6:00 pm – with the outdoor launch ceremony and formal remarks occurring at 2:00 pm with gallery Executive Director & CEO Thomas Smart, curator/author Ian M. Thom, and McMichael Board of Trustees Chair, Noreen Taylor. There will be an outdoor cash bar and barbeque, a book signing by author and exhibition curator, Ian Thom, First Nations music by Eddy Robinson and Morningstar River drummers and singers, dance performances by Dancers of Damelahamid (beginning at noon), and the gallery’s latest art purchase, Charlie Pachter’s The Painted Flag, will be on display in the McMichael Grand Hall.
Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast, organized by the McMichael and guest curated by Thom, features seventy-five contemporary works of art created by forty of Canada’s most talented First Nations artists living in Canada’s Northwest Coast. The exhibition runs until September 20th, 2009 and will then travel on a domestic and international tour. Tour details will be announced shortly.
Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast will be a landmark exhibition and publication (co-published by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Douglas & McIntyre) that examines the rich diversity and creativity of art in this region of Canada. In the last forty years, the art of the Northwest Coast has re-emerged as one of the most vibrant varied and expressive art forms practised by any of the indigenous peoples of the world. The forty artists included in the exhibition have been selected by Ian Thom, the foremost curator and author of historical and contemporary Northwest Coast Canadian art. Each artist has built a substantial and important career. They address, in their own ways, an important visual and cultural tradition in a unique, personal voice.
One of the many artists represented in the Challenging Traditions exhibition and publication is Don Yeomans, a Haida artist from B.C.’s Northwest Coast whose works are installed in the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Seattle Art Museum. The public gallery has commissioned a full-scale totem pole by this artist that will be installed in the Grand Hall. The official ceremony to celebrate the unveiling of this artwork will take place at the McMichael later this summer.
The McMichael recently acquired The Painted Flag, the iconic painting by well-known Toronto artist Charles Pachter, for its permanent collection. The artwork will be on view to the public for the first time on Canada Day, July 1st, as part of the gallery’s opening celebration of the summer exhibition season. The artist will be attending as a special guest at the gallery on Canada Day.
The timing of this art purchase is ideal as the McMichael gallery prepares to open Charles Pachter and Margaret Atwood: The Journals of Susanna Moodie, on July 18th. This exhibition is organized by the McMichael and curated by Chris Finn. It will explore the unique collaboration between Pachter and Atwood and will include a collection of approximately thirty original prints with the accompanying poems from Atwood and Pachter’s livre d’artiste, a limited-edition artist’s book. This exhibit runs until October 11th, 2009.
Also opening on July 18th is Diana Thorneycroft: Canada, Myth and History, organized by the McMichael and curated by Sharona Adamowicz-Clements. Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft is known for creating provocative and controversial photographs that challenge her audience’s viewing experience. Her seemingly comical images composed of innocent subjects—dolls and toy figurines—set against the landscape paintings created by Canada’s most beloved artists reveal, upon a closer examination, a deeper and darker meaning. Through her compositions of modern-day life and historical events set against the landscapes of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, Thorneycroft explores notions of Canadian identity and cultural ideologies, while deconstructing mythological narratives. This exhibit will remain on display until November 29th, 2009.
About the Gallery
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Culture. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of more than 5,500 artworks, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, First Nations and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on Islington Avenue, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in Kleinburg, and is open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. On Canada Day the gallery will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors/students and $30 for families. There is a $5 fee for parking. For more information about the gallery, visit www.mcmichael.com.
For further information or to receive high resolution photographs, contact:
Stephen Weir, Publicist
Gallery: 905.893.1121 ext. 2529
Toronto Office: 416.489.5868 / Cell: 416.801.3101
CUTLINE: CHARLIE PACHTER'S CANADIAN FLAG WAS RECENTLY PURCHASED BY THE McMICHAEL. IT GOES ON DISPLAY JULY 1.