New Acquisitions

The Nanaimo Art Gallery collection is growing! In the last year, thanks to the generosity of artists, donors, and funders, we have included the following new works into our collection.  

2018 02 01 NAG listeningtothesea-25e
Sean Alward
Coal from Newcastle Island and acrylic resin on canvas
Gift of the Artist 2017

Vancouver based artist Sean Alward’s painting, Blossom, was donated to Nanaimo Art Gallery in 2017 as we explored the question “What Does it mean to live on an Island?” The colourant in this painting is made from Newcastle Island coal dust. Alward is not only interested in the relationship between coal and Nanaimo’s past, but also to the history of life on this planet. As he notes:

Coal is not an inert substance. It is susceptible to extreme flux and is highly combustible. Ancient green foliage was nourished by the light generated in the nuclear furnace of the sun. The energy of this combustion travelled millions of miles through space, from sun to earth. Stored within the plant carbon, it then travelled millions of years through time, from pre-history to now. Both time and space are compressed within the coal.

2017 08 01 NAG dream islands-8789e
Marianne Nicolson
Inquiry to the Newcomers
Vinyl Banner
Inquiry to the Newcomers is a public artwork by Marianne Nicolson, an artist of Scottish and Dzawada̱'enux̱w First Nations descent. Installed on the rear facade of Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nicolson’s artwork responds to this location, and was launched on the 150th anniversary of confederation, at a time when communities and institutions, including Nanaimo Art Gallery, initiated and highlighted conversations about the process of reconciliation.

The Gallery’s lot backed onto a tidal inlet until 1964, when it was filled in for industrial and commercial uses. Nicolson understands the reconfiguration of Nanaimo’s waterfront as part of a long history of the exploitation of environments and resources for the sake for profit. In her artwork she utilises early twentieth century pictographs from her community in Kingcome Inlet that show the influx of settlement and resource extraction on Dzawada̱'enux̱w traditional territory.  By paralleling these two sites and histories, Nicolson links early twentieth century state appropriation of Indigenous lands to the ongoing and widespread exploitation of land and water resources.

We are thrilled to announce that the gallery has acquired Inquiry to the Newcomers for our permanent collection so that it can be experienced by Nanaimo residents and visitors for years to come.The original production of this public artwork was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Nanaimo Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast.

2017 10 13 NAG SpectralTides-9e
Jin-me Yoon
Souvenirs of the Self
Set of postcards
Gift of the artist, 2017

This postcard series is an important early work by Jin-me Yoon that depicts the artist standing deadpan at iconic tourist locations in the Canadian Rockies. Souvenirs of the Self takes a humorous approach to serious questions about identity and belonging.
Yoon donated this work and two copies of her 2017 postcard series Long View to the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s collection on the occasion of her 2017 solo exhibition Spectral Tides.


Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Contact Us

150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G6
Tue - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm, Sun: 12 -5 pm (as of April 8)



You are here: Home Collection New Acquisitions