Current Exhibitions


Between Madness and Delight
Marcia Pitch

The Grotto
September 25, 2014 - March 1, 2015

Detail photo of installation: 5' x 5", mixed media, found and recycled objects. Photographer:  Beryl Woodrow

Artist Marcia Pitch takes a turn and inspiration from her 2010 exhibit “Mongrels” to explore a dark and twisted world of playful but terrifying sculptures salvaged from children's toys and household objects.

As Pitch states, “Welcome to the madhouse.”

Maps of Weather
Willa Downing

February 5, 2015 - March 1, 2015

Willa Downing, Islands of Heat and Bodies of Water: Second Narrows, 2011, Mixed media on paper, mounted on wood panel, 24” x 24”. Image courtesy of the artist.

Maps of Weather presents a recent body of mixed media artworks by Willa Downing. Works in the exhibition consist of creative depictions of weather on real or imagined maps. The rational, grid-like structures of the maps are contrasted with the much more organic shapes used to describe natural phenomena.

This visual relationship mirrors the human impulse to delineate and measure the world around us, and the unpredictability of weather.  By extension, the layers of drawing and integrated materials Downing uses to create these works remind us of the impact that humans have upon our environment, and, conversely, the way that weather shapes our lives. Through the lenses of mapping, scientific phenomena and artistic imagination, Downing offers a reading of our place in the world that is at once reasoned and poetic.

About the Artist

Passionate about both art and science, Willa Downing has a PhD in biochemistry (UBC) and a diploma in painting (ECUAD). Her artwork, inspired by contemporary science and mathematics, has been exhibited in Metro Vancouver and Victoria. She lives and works in Surrey BC, where she is a founding board member of two community art organizations, Day of Drawing and Contemporary Art Matters.


Willa Downing will present an artist talk on February 17th at 10:30am as part of The Reach’s C3 Program. The artist will lead a tour of her exhibition Maps of Weather. Following the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy some refreshments, socialize and chat with the artist. Everyone is welcome, and registration is encouraged. You can register in person at The Reach - 32388 Veterans Way Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B3, by phone 604 864 8087 (dial zero for reception), or online at


100 Years of Loss - The Residential School System in Canada

The Lobby
January 10, 2015 - April 19, 2015

For over a century, beginning in the mid-1800s and continuing into the mid-1990s, Aboriginal children in Canada were taken from their homes and communities and placed in institutions called residential schools. These schools were run by religious orders in collaboration with the federal government and were attended by children as young as four or five years of age. Separated from their families and prohibited from speaking their native languages and practicing their culture, the vast majority of the over 150,000 children that attended these schools experienced neglect and suffering. The impacts of sexual, mental, and physical abuse, shame, and deprivation endured at Indian Residential Schools continue to affect generations of Survivors, their families, and communities today. Remarkably, in the face of this tremendous adversity, many Survivors and their descendants have retained their language and their culture and continue to work toward healing and reconciliation.

100 Years of Loss is one of three exhibitions developed by the Legacy of Hope Foundation, a national, charitable Aboriginal organization whose purpose is to educate and create awareness and understanding about the legacy of residential schools, including the intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, and continue to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. The exhibition serves an important role in educating about the complex histories and creating a space for people to share and heal.


Ancestry and Artistry: Maya Textiles from Guatemala
Andrea Aragón, Verónica Riedel, Jean-Marie Simon

The Great Hall
January 22, 2015 - April 19, 2015

Organized and circulated by Textile Museum of Canada and Curated by Roxane Shaughnessy

Detailed Photo: Jill Kitchener

Cloth holds great importance for Guatemala’s indigenous communities, and traditional dress plays an essential role in Maya identity today as a vital link with the ancestral past and a means of cultural reinvention. Whether worn for religious ceremonies or as an emblem of ethnic pride, textiles offer a medium for innovation and creative expression, as well as a marketable product for the tourist industry. Through an array of textiles patterned with evocative designs rich in iconography, Ancestry and Artistry traces a century of dynamic change as well as the remarkable continuity of ancient Maya traditions in the face of significant modernization, political upheaval, and religious transformation.

Integrated into the exhibition is the work of contemporary artists Andrea Aragón, Verónica Riedel, and photo-journalist Jean-Marie Simon.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour catalogue with essays by Roxane Shaughnessy, James C. Langley, Rosario Miralbés de Polanco, Ann Pollard Rowe, Donna E. Stewart, and Mary Anne Wise.


Decolonize Me

Sonny Assu (Laich-kwil-tach [Kwakwaka'wakw] | Vancouver)
Jordan Bennett (Mi'kmaq | Stephenville Crossing, Newfoundland)
Cheryl L'Hirondelle (Métis / Cree | Toronto)
Nigit'stil Norbert (Gwich'in | Yellowknife)
Barry Pottle (Inuit | Nunatsiavut, Labrador)
Bear Witness (Cayuga | Ottawa)
Heather Igloliorte (Inuit | Nunatsiavut, Labrador)

The Great Hall
January 22, 2015 - April 19, 2015

Organized and circulated by The Ottawa Art Gallery

Nigit'stil Norbert, Representation (detail / détail), 2011, stop motion video, courtesy of the artist

Decolonize Me features six contemporary Aboriginal artists whose works challenge, interrogate and reveal Canada's long history of colonization in daring and innovative ways. Deliberately riffing on the title of Morgan Spurlock's film, the pop-cultural phenomenon Super Size Me (2004), the exhibition's title emphasizes the importance of recognizing the role of the individual within larger discussions of shared colonial histories and present-day cultural politics. In the context of the recent efforts of many Indigenous communities to assert their sovereignty and right to self-determination, the artists in this exhibition explore the issues and outcomes of both colonization and decolonization while exposing how these processes have impacted Aboriginal and settler Canadian identity, both individual and collective.

Exhibition organized by the Ottawa Art Gallery / Exposition organisée par la Galerie d’art d’Ottawa

Funded by l Projet financé par :

Ontario Arts Council | Conseil des arts de l’Ontario
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario | Le Conseil des arts de l’Ontario relève du gouvernement de l’Ontario.

 Royal Bank of Canada | Banque Royale du Canada