Mass MoCA's Oh Canada Tours

Stops Planned for The Maritimes and Calgary

By: - Jan 30, 2014

MASS MoCA's  2012 exhibition of Oh Canada  "Art from North North America," is hitting the road.  The expansive exhibition, which includes more than 100 works by over 60 artists, will travel to multiple venues across Canada. The exhibition will show in a multi-venue format, on view in The Maritimes from June 27, 2014, through September 21, 2014, and in Calgary from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015.


Oh, Canada showcases the vast expanse of art made in the country, spanning all media and crossing generations and geography. The audacious curatorial endeavor executed by MASS MoCA's Denise Markonish, who traveled to nearly every province and territory, covering over 400 studio visits, to assemble the exhibition, was hailed by The New York Times as having "fanatical dedication."


"We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with the museum and this wonderful exhibit as it now will be on display in Canada," said Scott Mullin, Vice President, Community Relations, TD Bank Group, which sponsors the show. "The Oh, Canada collection includes a group of very talented artists from all across the country showcasing works that are exceptional examples of contemporary Canadia

The multi-venue format of the traveling exhibition allows visitors the unusual experience of traveling to several galleries to view one show.  Of the singularly Canadian experience of viewing her show, Markonish notes, "In the Maritimes, you actually have to travel across two provinces to see the whole thing." Venues in the Maritimes installation include Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PE; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB; Louise and Reuben Cohen Art Gallery at the University of Moncton, NB; and Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, NB.  The city-spanning installation throughout Calgary in 2015 includes the Glenbow, The Esker Foundation, Illingworth Kerr Gallery at ACAD, and The Nickel Galleries at the University of Calgary.  Says Markonish, "We're thrilled that in many cases, the show is allowing these galleries to collaborate for the first time, as so many people wanted to come together to celebrate these artists.

The Boston Globe cites Markonish's choice to exclude "Canada's contemporary art superstars," choosing instead "to bring to light less established talent" as a "great decision."  A deep interest in landscape, identity, and a return to craftsmanship are prevalent themes among the more than five dozen artists whose works were chosen for the exhibition: Kim Adams, Gisele Amantea, Shuvinai Ashoona, Amalie Atkins, Nicolas Baier, Daniel Barrow, Dean Baldwin, Rebecca Belmore, Patrick Bernatchez, BGL, Valérie Blass, Shary Boyle, Bill Burns, Eric Cameron, Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonorealistes, Janice Wright Cheney, Douglas Coupland, Ruth Cuthand, DaveandJenn, Michel de Broin, Wally Dion, Mario Doucette, Marcel Dzama, Brendan Fernandes, Michael Fernandes, Eryn Foster, Noam Gonick and Luis Jacob, Hadley+Maxwell, David R. Harper, David Hoffos, Kristan Horton, Terrance Houle, Allison Hrabluik, Sarah Anne Johnson, Garry Neill Kennedy, Wanda Koop, Diane Landry, Micah Lexier, Craig Leonard, Kelly Mark, Luanne Martineau, Rita McKeough, Divya Mehra, Chris Millar, Kent Monkman, Kim Morgan, Andrea Mortson, Clint Neufeld, Graeme Patterson, Ed Pien, Annie Pootoogook, Ned Pratt, Michael Snow, Charles Stankievech, Joseph Tisiga, Hans Wendt, Janet Werner, Mitchell Wiebe, John Will, and Étienne Zack.

A comprehensive full-color 450-page catalogue by MIT Press accompanies the exhibition and provides insights into Canada's thriving contemporary cultural scene. The book guides readers through the provinces and territories of Canada, introducing them to Canada's cultural topography and the artists who inhabit it. Markonish provides a history of recent Canadian art, placing this new body of work into the context of 21st-century Canadian art. Featuring artist-to-artist interviews, the book also includes contributions from notable Canadian writers and poets Lisa Moore, Warren Cariou, Douglas Coupland, and Jane Urquhart. Contributing curators include John Murchie, Wayne Baerwaldt, Lance Blomgren, Candice Hopkins, David Liss, Lesley Johnstone, Steven Holmes, Louise Déry, Sarah Fillmore, Pan Wendt, Bruce Johnson, Cliff Eyland, Jen Budney, and Nancy Campbell.

Exhibition Support

MASS MoCA and its presenting partners are grateful to the generous sponsors who make its traveling exhibition possible. Lead sponsors of the exhibition are the Canada Council for the Arts and TD Bank Group.  Additional major support comes from The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation. Contributing sponsors include Francis J. Greenburger and Time Equities, Inc., and Associate sponsorship is provided by the Canadian Consulate General. Additional support comes from Manulife Financial, Scott and Ellen Hand, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


BFA Review of Oh Canada.

Michael Snow and Wanda Koop.

Part One of Interview with Curator Denise Markonish