Nanaimo Art Gallery plays an important role in making the visual arts more accessible and raising public awareness of art in Nanaimo and across Central Vancouver Island. Our collection serves to preserve the visual culture of the region for future generations, supports professional artists, and provides an accessible educational resource.
Nanaimo Art Gallery began collecting in 1985, with the acquisition of a small watercolour and ink sketch by Lloyd Witham from the Eaton Foundation. Today, the Gallery collection is small but eclectic and includes works on paper, paintings, photographs and sculpture, and deals with a variety of subject matter. The work of prominent artists is represented, including B.C. Binning, Alexander Calder, Jack Chambers, Akira Fujioka, E.J. Hughes, Carole Itter, Wang Jinglong, Max Maynard, George Littlechild, Mary Okheena, Bill Reid, Charles H. Scott, Joane Cardinal-Schubert, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.
In 2015 we initiated Notes From The Collection: a showcase of selected work from the permanent collection that changes with each gallery exhibition.
Joane Cardinal-Schubert's mixed media work Prairie Letter II
is presented alongside Out of Sight
, a touring exhibition from the Vancouver Art Gallery that features a selection of recently-acquired photographs by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) and Harold Edgerton (1903-1990). The painting of horses running is reminiscent of Muybridge and Edgerton’s photographic motion studies, however, by surrounding the frame with plastic figures sourced from mass-produced “Cowboys and Indians” sets, Cardinal-Schubert confronts stereotypes and reminds us that images, in any media, are never neutral.
Joane Cardinal-Schubert (1942 - 2009) was a Canadian artist of Kainaiwa ancestry. She was also a writer, curator, lecturer, poet, and activist for First Nations artists and individuals engaged in the struggle for Native sovereignty.