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What to See

A listing of some of the decorative arts exhibits from coast to coast. This section is updated every few months - please check individual links for the latest exhibition news if needed.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Millennia: Asian Art Through the Ages
September 17, 2016 - March 31, 2017

Curated by Curator of Asian Art Barry Till | Centennial and Ker Galleries
Few people realize that the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria houses one of the most outstanding collections of Asian Art in North America. This exhibition features seventy of the most stunning, interesting and rare examples from the collection. The works of art are mainly from China and Japan with other items from Korea, Tibet, India, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East. From China there is an astonishing group of old and modern paintings, ancient bronze items, ceramic treasures, magnificent textiles, rare amber and ivory objects.

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Life with Clay
January 21, 2017 to May 28, 2017

Pottery and sculpture by Jan and Helga Grove
Curated by Allan Collier | Pollard Gallery
This retrospective of pottery and clay by Victoria artists Jan and Helga Grove is the most extensive exhibition of their work ever held. Comprised of roughly 60 pieces of pottery and 40 sculptures, the exhibition will include work made by the Groves from 1953 to 2005, shortly before they retired.

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Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal

Love is Love by Jean Paul Gaultier
May 30 to September 3, 2017

As a fitting conclusion to the phenomenal world tour by The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, seen by two million visitors in twelve cities from 2011 to 2016, the MMFA is presenting a surprise return by Jean Paul Gaultier. Since the designer has described this record-breaking tour as his “biggest fashion show,” the MMFA is wrapping it up in style, just like Gaultier would do in a fashion show, with the final bouquet: wedding gowns. Featuring some thirty creations – several of which are being displayed for the first time – this celebration of marriage brings together straight, gay, intercultural and interracial unions to celebrate love and diversity. The exhibition is produced by the MMFA, in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier.

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The Gardiner Museum

Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary

February 16 to May 21, 2017

Canadian ceramist Janet Macpherson is widely acclaimed for her technically complex use of slip-cast porcelain in the creation of intricate animal forms. Some are curious, hybrid creatures, often diminutive in scale, wrapped, bandaged or masked. Others are full-sized and true to life. In Macpherson’s bestiary, animals stand in for the complexity of human experience. Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary is an unprecedented group of installations where the artist uses her unique visual language to convey a very personal view of Canada. Through four immersive installations that include sound and video projections by Renée Lear, Macpherson revisits moments in Canadian history and questions commonly-held conceptions about the North, identity, and our relationship to landscape. This exhibition was commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

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Steven Heinemann: Culture and Nature
October 19, 2017 to January 21, 2018

“Ceramics is really painting and sculpture combined.”
For the past thirty-five years, acclaimed Canadian artist Steven Heinemann has transformed the medium of ceramics in Canada by elevating a discipline that is often considered craft into a sculptural art form. Working in varying scale, Heinemann explores the paradoxes between culture and nature, deliberation and chance, interior and exterior surfaces, all within the tightly controlled ceramic vessel.

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Alberta Craft Council

Women’s Hands Building A Nation
May 6 - August 19, 2017

Artist Reception: Saturday, May 6 from 2-4 pm
Chinook Guild of Fibre Arts commemorates Canada’s
150th anniversary of confederation.

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Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau

Horse power! The Paul-Bienvenu Carriage Collection
March 25, 2016 - April 17, 2017

Exquisite craftsmanship combines with the romance of bygone days in this sumptuous exhibition of 18 horse-drawn sleighs and carriages. Handcrafted between 1770 and 1950, some of these elegant conveyances once transported Catholic cardinals, Montréal millionaires and governors general. Today, the artistry of the carriage makers lives on in the graceful lines of these lovingly restored antiques. Phaeton, coach, hansom cab or brougham sleigh, each one showcases a different regional style and demonstrates how climate and geography influenced design in the era of horse-powered transportation.

On loan from Québec’s Musées de la civilisation Paul-Bienvenu Carriage Collection, these pieces belong to the finest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America - a collection nationally recognized as a Canadian cultural treasure.

The Stewart Museum, Montreal

CURIOSITIES - The Stewart Museum Collection Visited by Jérôme Fortin
From May 5, 2016 to March 12, 2017

This new exhibition, created in collaboration with Quebec contemporary artist Jérôme Fortin, who is known for his works inspired by 16th-century cabinets of curiosities, will bring together more than 300 rare and unique historic objects from the Museum's collection in a mysterious and enchanting contemporary space

The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/ Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs was formed, with the generous support
of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, to provide a forum for all those interested in the decorative arts.
© 2016 Canadian Society of Decorative Arts / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs

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