McMichael Canadian Art Collection Announces
Summer 2023 Exhibition Schedule and
Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Grant

Sandra Meigs (b. 1953), Maple tree. Monarch Trail. Dundas Valley Conservation Area, 2021, gouache on paper, 38.1 x 28.6 cm, Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery. © Sandra Meigs

Shary Boyle (b. 1972), Black Gold, 2019, gouache and acrylic on paper, 36 x 51 cm, Private collection, Photo courtesy of the artist. © Shary Boyle

April 27, 2023, KLEINBURG, ON – The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is pleased to announce a group of exhibitions for the 2023 summer season that explore artistic responses to the climate crisis and our evolving understanding of the natural landscape, contextualized within the Canadian tradition of landscape painting. Under the direction of Executive Director Ian A.C. Dejardin and Chief Curator Sarah Milroy (CM), the McMichael’s full slate of summer programming will encourage visitors to critically examine their relationship to the environment and to contemplate creative solutions to this global crisis.

The three core exhibitions are supported by a $150,000 grant from the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF). “This year, three exhibitions at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will address one of the issues of the age — mankind’s impact on the environment. From Tom Thomson’s acute observation of the depredations of the logging industry on his beloved Algonquin Park 100 years ago to Sandra Meigs’ contemporary engagement with the impact of climate change on that same landscape, artists have always used the enchantment of their skill and talent to help their audiences engage with difficult issues: the third exhibition, The Uses of Enchantment, presents several contemporary artists engaged in just that,” says Executive Director Ian A.C Dejardin. “We are grateful to the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund for their tremendous support which will ensure that these important messages will be available to as many people as possible in the most enchanting manner possible.”

“Through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, our government is investing in arts and culture events that strengthen economies in communities across Ontario,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This summer, I encourage local and international visitors to take a trip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and engage with these spectacular new exhibitions.”

All dates and details are subject to change.

Shary Boyle (b. 1972), The Great Flood, 2016, ink and gouache on paper, 105 x 110.5 cm, Private collection, Photo courtesy of the artist. © Shary Boyle

The Uses of Enchantment: Art & Environmentalism
May 6 – October 29, 2023

As the human relationship to the natural world continues to change rapidly, The Uses of Enchantment: Art & Environmentalism brings together artists who are registering their experience in ways that intrigue, caution and entrance. The exhibition draws its inspiration and title from the classic work by Austrian psychologist and scholar Bruno Bettelheim, who posited that fairy tales provide for children an imaginative space to process their deepest fears and dread: the death of a parent, abandonment etc. Borrowing this concept, exhibition curator Sarah Milroy explores how contemporary artists use the strategy of enchantment to explore our contemporary experience of climate change, species and habitat loss, and environmental degradation.

The Uses of Enchantment will include works in various mediums from artists such as Shary Boyle, Carrie Allison, Shuvinai Ashoona, Qavavau Manumie, Bill Burns, Sara Angelucci and Winnie Truong. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays on each of the artists, with a foreword written by Milroy

Sandra Meigs (b. 1953), Fallen Eastern White Cedar. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Ontario. Melting Sun, 2021, gouache on paper, 29.2 x 38.1 cm, Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery. © Sandra Meigs

Sandra Meigs: Sublime Rage
May 20 – November 19, 2023

Over the course of the various pandemic lockdowns, leading contemporary Canadian artist Sandra Meigs (b. 1953) retreated from her home in Dundas, Ontario to the woods of Algonquin Park and Lake Calabogie. Inspired by this time in nature, Meigs created a series of vibrant and penetrating gouache studies that recall the legacies of such notable women modernists as Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe. Many of these works reflect the artist’s concerns regarding climate change and species loss, observed firsthand. Sublime Rage will present a series of new works in gouache that explores Meigs’ personal reaction to the changing environment, including a series of floor-to-ceiling banners of trees that will envelop viewers in a phenomenological forest experience of fierce painterly gestures and vibrant colour. This exhibition is guest curated by Jessica Bradley.

Tom Thomson (1877–1917), Abandoned Logs, 1915, oil on board, 21.6 × 26.6 cm, Purchase 1974, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Tom Thomson: North Star
June 24, 2023 – January 14, 2024

Tom Thomson (1877–1917) Tom Thomson (1877–1917) is Canada’s preeminent modern painter, and his catalytic achievement altered the landscape of Canadian painting forever. North Star will offer an examination at his legacy, focussing on the small en plein air oil paintings, also known as “oil sketches”, of which he is the supreme master. As an account fit for the 21st century, the exhibition and accompanying publication will isolate particular moments of Thomson’s artistic experimentation and incorporate assessments of his work by leading contemporary artists and writers, exploring Thomson’s public persona as the quintessential outdoorsman, and considering his oeuvre within the framework of the international art of his time. This exhibition is curated by McMichael Executive Director Ian A.C. Dejardin and Chief Curator Sarah Milroy. 

Ann MacIntosh Duff, Starry Night, c. 2000, watercolour on paper, 22 x 30 in., Photo courtesy: Nicholas Metivier Gallery

Ann MacIntosh Duff
July 8 – October 2023

For over 70 years, Ann MacIntosh Duff (1925–2022) painted the landscapes and everyday moments of her life. Her most expressive works are those painted from her cottage on Georgian Bay, which record the atmospheric weather on the shore – misty mornings, blazing hot afternoons, and clear midnight skies. The McMichael is delighted to have acquired 200 works by Duff in 2022, making it the most significant institutional collection of her work. This exhibition, which includes a carefully curated selection of these works, represents a small survey of Duff’s career.

Exhibitions Closing Soon

Meryl McMaster (b. 1988), Between the Start of Things and the End of Things I-III, 2019, Digital C-Prints, Gift of the artist, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Bulger Gallery and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

Meryl McMaster: Bloodline
Through May 28, 2023

On view at Remai Modern | July 3, 2023 – January 2, 2024

Rajni Perera: Futures
Through May 7, 2023

On view at the Carleton University Art Gallery | May 28 – September 3, 2023

Wolves: The Art of Dempsey Bob
Through April 16, 2023

On view at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts | May 15 – September 10, 2023

Travelling Exhibitions

Gathie Falk: Revelation

On view at Museum London| Through May 7, 2023

On view at The Glenbow Museum| June 27 – October 15, 2023

Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art

On view at The Art Gallery of Alberta | Through May 21, 2023

Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment

On view at The National Gallery of Canada | Through August 20, 2023

Early Days: Indigenous Art From the McMichael

On view at The Chrysler Museum of Art | May 24 – September 2, 2023

Margaux Williamson: Interiors

On view at Museum London | Through September 18, 2023

Jon Sasaki: Homage

On view at Art Windsor-Essex | Through October 8, 2023

Maud Lewis

On view at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria | Through October 30, 2023

For full dates and destinations of the McMichael’s touring exhibitions, please visit our website.

To obtain high-resolution images or request an interview, please contact Sam Cheung, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator at [email protected] or 905.893.1121 ext. 2210.

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ABOUT THE MCMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION 

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, and the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. It is the only major museum in the country devoted exclusively to Canadian art. In addition to touring exhibitions, the McMichael houses a permanent collection of more than 6,500 works by historic and contemporary Canadian artists, including Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, Indigenous artists and artists from many diasporic communities in Canada. The Gallery is located on 100 acres of forested land and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information, please visit mcmichael.com. 

MEDIA CONTACTS

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McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905.893.1121 ext. 2210
[email protected]

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McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905-893-1121 x2265
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