February 16, 2016, KLEINBURG ON—For the third consecutive year, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is partnering with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, the world’s largest photography event, and is a premier site for the Festival. From March 5 to June 5, 2016, the McMichael presents the exhibition Field Trip: Sarah Anne Johnson, featuring fifty recent works by internationally acclaimed, Winnipeg-based photographer Sarah Anne Johnson. The McMichael is the first public gallery to exhibit Johnson’s latest series of photographic work.

“The gallery is thrilled to be working with dynamic contemporary Canadian talent, like Sarah Anne Johnson, who can help us bring new work and subject matter to our growing and diverse audience,” said exhibition curator, Sharona Adamowicz-Clements, McMichael Assistant Curator. Sarah Stanners, Director of Curatorial and Collections at the McMichael, adds, “Sarah Anne Johnson’s hedonistic landscapes of youth culture are a beautiful foil to the iconic landscapes that we are typically associated with here at the McMichael.”

Field Trip is comprised of photographs from Johnson’s series (of the same title) inspired by her fascination with the social climate of outdoor music festivals and rooted in her own experience of attending these pleasure-seeking, utopian festivals during adolescence. Johnson revisits this phenomenon as an adult to photograph how the nostalgic memories of lived experiences coincide with the stark and forgotten realities of festival life. At first glance, the photographs document moments of party frenzy, lounging at the beach, quiet euphoria, and private romantic coupling. Deeper observation reveals the less idyllic side of festival culture–irresponsible behaviour, drug and alcohol use, and mindless detachment.

Johnson alters her photographs in an attempt to convey the sensations and emotions experienced by the music festival goers. To do so, she reworks each photographic print with paint, glitter or surface incisions to add layers of narrative and meaning. Through these digitally and manually edited photographs, Johnson attempts to capture the psychological state of mind of the festival participants who are under the influence, and whose experiences cannot be conveyed through the camera alone.

“I’m excited to have my photographs showcased at the McMichael,” said Sarah Anne Johnson. “Through each photograph, my intent is to show the viewer not only what something looks like but what it feels like as well. To do that I need to alter the photograph, adding in the sensations and emotions that lay just underneath the surface–conveying a story about a rite-of-passage for young festival goers.”

High resolution images of the artworks in the exhibition are available to the media upon request by contacting: Daniela Travierso-Galati at or 905.893.1121 ext. 2210.


You are invited to a Media Preview for the remarkable exhibition, Field Trip: Sarah Anne Johnson and to meet the artist, Sarah Anne Johnson, and exhibition curator, Sharona Adamowicz-Clements.

Friday, March 4, 2016

11 am to 1 pm

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

10365 Islington Ave. (north of Major Mackenzie Dr.) Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0


Daniela Travierso-Galati

905.893.1121 ext. 2210

Media wishing to review the exhibition after March 4 are welcome to schedule a viewing time at their convenience.


Sarah Anne Johnson: In Conversation

Speaker: Sarah Anne Johnson

Saturday, May 14, 11 am to 12 pm

In conversation with curator Sharona Adamowicz-Clements, Winnipeg artist Sarah Anne Johnson will be discussing her latest project about Canada’s outdoor music festivals—which Johnson sees as a forum for a community of people coming together to create a modern-day Dionysian celebration through a connection to nature, music, and dance, and the rejection of social norms. Over several years, Johnson has attended many such events across the country, taking photographs of the people she met in their search for an altered state of being. Continuing her ongoing thematic exploration of utopian states and that which hides beneath the surface, in this series of works Johnson explores hedonistic pursuits and the not-so-glamorous realities of festival gatherings, particularly in their connection to drug culture.

Fee: A+ seating (first two rows only) $29 general public; $24 McMichael members; $15 for students with valid ID. A seating: $19 general public; $15 McMichael members; $10 for students with valid ID.

Registration required. Call 905.893.1121 ext. 2216, email or visit for more information. Fee includes gallery admission.

About Sarah Anne Johnson

Canadian artist Sarah Anne Johnson (born in 1976) lives and works in Winnipeg. While her work is primarily photo-based, she also employs a full range of media including painting, sculpture and performance where she addresses issues that are environmental, social and personal. Johnson received her MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the University of Manitoba. Her work is featured in numerous public collections including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario, each of which has extensive holdings of her work. She has also received recent commissions from Louis Vuitton, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Bank of Montreal, and was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award in 2015.

About Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Each year, CONTACT presents the best of international photography, responding to new approaches and forms of visual expression, while showcasing a diverse range of lens-based work. CONTACT increases exposure and recognition for artists at all levels, and is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity, and innovation in photography. The Festival maintains an inclusive and accessible approach to the medium, and focuses on cultivating and strengthening relationships with the both the established and emerging photographic communities.

Founded in 1997, CONTACT is a not for profit organization committed to celebrating and fostering the art and profession of photography. It is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural event in Canada, bringing together over 1,500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area.


Images (left to right): Sarah Anne Johnson, Zombie Dance, 2015, photoshopped chromogenic print, 28 x 42 in., Courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto; Galerie Division, Montreal; Julie Saul Gallery, New York; Sarah Anne Johnson, Three Wise Guys, 2013, chromogenic print with oil paint 59 x 46 in., Courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto; Galerie Division, Montreal; Julie Saul Gallery, New York; Sarah Anne Johnson, Pink Forest, 2015, photoshopped chromogenic print, 28 x 42 in., Courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto; Galerie Division, Montreal; Julie Saul Gallery, New York

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 Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. 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 almost 6,000 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more


Media Contacts:

Daniela Travierso-Galati

Media Relations and Communications Coordinator

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2210

Nick Foglia

Director, Communications, Marketing and Sales

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2265