When you think of Canadian Art, what do you see? Is it sweeping mountain ranges and dark forests? Emily Carr and the Group of Seven? Those works represent only a portion of Canadian art and the University of Lethbridge’s Art Collection. The works in this exhibition represent a lesser-known part of Canadian art history, and are either created by female artists or take up ideas of femininity in their subject matter.
My main goal when I started this curatorial project was to explore the diversity of the University of Lethbridge’s Art Collection. With over 15,000 objects in the collection, the first step I took was narrowing it down to only looking at works by Canadian artists. I have never been interested in landscape painting, so I found myself drawn to portraiture, still lifes, and other subject matter, especially those done by women artists. Women artists are often under-represented in museums, galleries, and art history texts, so I wanted to highlight them in my show. I chose works of different mediums, styles, and colours that represent the range of artworks in the collection and in Canadian art.
I hope this show will challenge ideas about what Canadian art looks like and who creates it. It is more than empty, picturesque landscapes. Canadian art is as varied as the country itself and the people who live here.
– Summer Jennings, Museum Studies Intern