February 19, 2021 - September 12, 2021
A gathering of more than 100 cradleboards representing Indigenous communities from across North America. This exhibition showcases the strong legacy and beauty of traditional baby carriers —including miniatures, toy cradles and baskets— of the many Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. Through a wide range of imagery, beadwork, and specialized materials the cradleboard is honoured as a vessel of motherhood, cultural traditions, community, and resurgence.
Fresh Perspectives: Secondary School Exhibition 2021
June 8, 2021 - July 31, 2021
Celebrate the artwork of students from within Northwestern Ontario including Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Red Rock, and Dryden. For over 30 years, this annual exhibition has showcased youth creativity and personal expression at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery through a variety of media, materials, technologies, tools, and techniques.
Lakehead University Honours Exhibition 2021
June 4, 2021 - June 27, 2021
Presenting works by HBFA graduates Julia Mills and Erika Niva.
Lakehead University Student Juried Exhibition 2021
April 16, 2021 - May 30, 2021
The LU Student Juried show is one of the Gallery’s most anticipated exhibitions of the year. This year, for the first time, we’ve moved the exhibition online due to COVID-19. Students created these works at home across Northern Ontario, Southern Ontario, and China.
October 22, 2020 - January 10, 2021
Canada’s most beloved folk artist, Maud Lewis (1903–1970) has captured the hearts of many with her dazzling depictions of rural Nova Scotia. Her paintings describe a way of life in the Maritimes that was rapidly changing, as the horse and buggy gave way to the automobile and small-scale net fishing was overtaken by industrial fisheries.
July 10, 2020 - January 3, 2021
Whether originating from myth, legend, religion, history, or pure imagination, wabooz, rabbit, lapin feature in stories which have been used to share wisdom, issue warnings, or to amuse and delight. This exhibition aims to take a deeper look at the rabbit, how it has been seen, used, spoken of, and reproduced.
A Year on the Water
November 13, 2020 - December 20, 2020
A Year on the Water is a year’s worth of paintings of a single view of the marina harbour in Leamington, ON. Every morning at 7:30 AM Rosemary Dzus photographed this view and documented it in painting.
July 22, 2020 - October 11, 2020
Anchored by the Art Gallery of Guelph’s major Tom Thomson canvas of the same title, the exhibition The Drive situates the work of Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their peers in relation to diverse Canadian and Indigenous artists in order to highlight the complexity of the representation of landscape – particularly as it relates to the land and the history of resource development.
Lakehead University Honours Exhibition
March 6, 2020 - July 5, 2020
The Lakehead University Honours Exhibition is a culmination of what the fourth year honours students have worked towards since their first year. Much of their work explores complex emotions and their identities in relation to their heritage or experiences.
Lakehead University Annual Student Juried Exhibition
March 6, 2020 - July 5, 2020
The annual exhibition of works by students in all four years of the Visual Arts program, celebrates a range of expression by young artists studying at Lakehead University.
The Age Friendly GIANTs
March 4, 2020 - March 22, 2020
The GIANTs are Grand Individuals Aging with Neighbours in Thunder Bay and they want to make aging independently better with the help of friends and neighbours. In 2017, ten strangers came together to learn how to make a digital video story over three days. Age Friendly GIANTs (Grand Individuals Aging with Neighbours in Thunder Bay) is a celebration of people who are aging together in our city.
The North Now
November 15, 2019 - March 1, 2020
Featuring art from across Northern Ontario, this multi-disciplinary juried exhibition provides a glimpse of the immense creativity, diversity and innovation by established and emerging artists living in the north of the province. Artists were invited to submit original works of art created within the last two years for consideration by a jury of arts professionals. Artists were encouraged to submit work that challenges, expands and innovates.
Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy
December 6, 2019 - March 1, 2020
This exhibition comprises a comprehensive selection of Chee Chee’s works gathered from galleries and individuals across Ontario. The exhibition presents a personal perspective, achieved through multifarious collaborations, including those with close friends of Chee Chee’s.
Water is Life
January 17, 2020 - March 1, 2020
Featuring the work of Grade 7 and 8 students from Kingsway Park School. The students used photography to connect with science and nature.
December 3, 2019 - January 12, 2020
Mindful Makers Collective (formerly Workman Arts Northwest Ontario) provides multi-disciplinary, professional art training led by + for artists/makers with mental health and/or addiction experiences. Through creative public presentations and events, we nurture and develop a compassionate community engaged in social change work.
Unfold Time: The Art of Leo Yerxa
September 13, 2019 - December 1, 2019
Unfold Time celebrates the life and work of Leo Yerxa (1947–2017), the award-winning artist, poet, and writer from Couchiching First Nation. The exhibition brings together Leo’s writings – his memories, reflections, and poems – with his art. Combined, they take us on a journey, revealing how Leo’s extraordinary talents unfolded over five decades.
Community Made Visible
November 6, 2019 - December 1, 2019
An exhibition featuring some of the community based art projects created with Betty Carpick, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery's Public Programming Coordinator.
Beads, they’re sewn so tight
September 27, 2019 - November 10, 2019
Beads, they’re sewn so tight features the work of four contemporary artists who innovate in the field of beading and quillwork. Over 40 beaded works by Bev Koski, Katie Longboat, Jean Marshall, and Olivia Whetung included in the this exhibition guest curated by Lisa Myers and organized by the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto.
Their Breath in Beads
September 27, 2019 - November 10, 2019
Featuring the work of 10 regional bead artists their work represents a microcosm of the diversity of what is happening in the contemporary beading scene in this region. These artists show how beading has changed (or not) and what stories are being told (or retold). Each piece has its own story.
Displacement | Karen Cornelius & Peter Tittenberger
October 3, 2019 - October 29, 2019
Two reflections on childhood histories of displacement and the plights of displaced peoples as seen through the mediums of sculpture and printmaking. The exhibit is based on becoming unwanted due to political, economic, social, cultural, or religious change.
Norval Morrisseau: Works from the Permanent Collection
April 11, 2019 - September 22, 2019
Norval Morrisseau (1932-2007) was one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. His successes and challenges are evocatively recounted in his art.
Northwest Coast Masks
June 21, 2019 - September 22, 2019
Featuring a range of Northwest Coast masks from our Permanent Collection.
Shattered basin, fired thing
June 21, 2019 - September 22, 2019
Multimedia artist Andrea Pinheiro projects a 16 mm film of various nuclear and geographically significant sites across the Southwestern United States and Northern Ontario onto a large screen made of clay and roots.
The Writing on the Wall: The Work of Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert, RCA
June 14, 2019 - September 8, 2019
An artist, activist, curator, poet, writer and mentor from Western Canada, Joane Cardinal-Schubert, RCA addresses and reassesses the history that Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples share. Featuring forty pivotal pieces in painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and installation gathered from collections across Canada.
Unmasking Brain Injury
May 28, 2019 - June 23, 2019
Unmasking Brain Injury is an international movement and, through the coordination of the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA), who have disseminated more than 1,600 masks to 26 participating brain injury associations/partner organizations across the province.
May 24, 2019 - June 16, 2019
Fresh Perspectives the 2019 Secondary School Exhibition featuring an accomplished and entertaining array of art from high school students.
April 11, 2019 - June 2, 2019
Through the selected works, the concept and experience of Francophone identity is at the heart of this exhibition. Each artist enters into a dialogue with his/her cultural heritage to consider its relationship with his/her family identity.
Our Garden of Art
May 8, 2019 - May 22, 2019
This exhibition highlights the work from participants and the remarkable artists who facilitate the creative process for Willow Springs Creative Centre’s many art programs.
April 11, 2019 - May 19, 2019
Highlighting a significant moment in Indigenous art history – the foundation of the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association (NIIPA). They felt that, for far too long, Indigenous peoples had been portrayed through someone else’s lens, and that it was time they took control of the image in order to contest and demystify stereotypical representations of Indigenous peoples.
Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School Student Exhibition
April 3, 2019 - May 5, 2019
In this annual exhibition, students weave their voices and identities to explore art, culture, language, traditions, and perspectives using a wide variety of media and approaches.
Nibi iwe bimaadiziwin: Water is Life
February 26, 2019 - March 31, 2019
Featuring works by Hammerskjold High School, Grade 9 and 10 students in the Indigenous Cultural Program for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students, from across Northern Ontario, illustrating the importance and sacredness of water through art.
Carl Beam’s Exorcism
December 13, 2018 - March 3, 2019
Thirty-five years ago, internationally acclaimed artist Carl Beam (1943–2005) from M’Chigeeng First Nation completed his monumental art installation Exorcism. This work was Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s first commissioned work; measuring 7 ft by 20 ft, it remains the most massive and materially complex piece in the permanent collection.
December 13, 2018 - March 3, 2019
Award-winning sculptural glass artist Cheryl Wilson-Smith shares her first installation, 21 PILLOWS. This interactive installation features 21 pillows placed on the gallery floor. Cheryl invites visitors to enter the dimly lit gallery, reminiscent of dusk, and pick a glass rock – one from thousands designed and kiln-fired by the artist – to place on the pillows.
Lessons: The Artistry of Learning
December 13, 2018 - March 3, 2019
Lessons: The Artistry of Learning features work by artists dedicated to the accumulation and sharing of knowledge. While it might be tempting to think that an artist produces work alone in one’s studio, creativity in fact rarely takes place in isolation.
Building Our Bundles
November 8, 2018 - December 2, 2018
A project of the Ontario Native Women’s Association presenting stories of women in the Robinson Superior region in various mediums including books, painting, video, and audio.
UPRISING: THE POWER OF MOTHER EARTH – Christi Belcourt – A Retrospective with Isaac Murdoch
June 25, 2018 - November 25, 2018
Charting Christi Belcourt’s artistic career beginning with early works showcasing the natural world’s beauty and on to her large sweeping murals, including her collaborations with knowledge holder, storyteller, and emerging visual artist Isaac Murdoch.
April 20, 2018 - June 17, 2018
Tarlacan is a series of paintings created using roofing tar and floor varnish on a plywood base. The semi-reflective surface acts as a mirror offering the viewer an alternative view of themselves. The title of this work is a portmanteau of Tar and Lacan as in Jacques Lacan who famously wrote about the mirror stage, the point in a child's development where they recognize themselves in a mirror.
By Request: Collective Curation of the Permanent Collection
April 4, 2018 - June 4, 2018
Is the first show in the Gallery’s history that features works from the permanent collection chosen by people actively engaged in the region’s arts. Individuals, groups, and clubs were invited to act as co-curators resulting in arrangements that showcase the permanent collection in exciting, distinctive, and poignant ways.
Future Dreams and Aspirations
May 22, 2018 - June 3, 2018
To enhance the independence and quality of life of people with distinctive abilities, ceramist Kasia Piech guided 15 Community Living participants in the creation of owl piggy banks. The banks represent saving for the future and a commitment to financial freedom.
Lakehead University Visual Arts Department Annual Major Studio Exhibition
March 16, 2018 - May 13, 2018
Honouring our Stories
March 31, 2018 - May 13, 2018
This powerful collection of art and digital stories represents the culmination of a two year creative process that brought together women, artists and police to talk, make art and tell their stories about experiencing and responding to violence in their own words. Honouring Our Stories is an art and community-based project that centres the resilience, dignity and human rights of women surviving sexual violence.
Converging Lines: Recent Art from the Northwest
November 24, 2017 - February 25, 2018
Converging Lines features the work of regional Indigenous artists. Though each artist shares elements of their artistic approach and conceptual underpinnings to the innovative and groundbreaking work by their predecessors, the work by Kristy Cameron, Elliot Doxtater-Wynn, Shaun Hedican, and Cree Stevens also speaks to current issues and shed light on contemporary ways of making art.
On The Trail
September 29, 2017 - January 7, 2018
Each of the ceramic sculptures is an intricate wilderness scene. The pieces are arranged to create a park-like installation presenting a guided experience of personal and collective narratives about the Canadian park system. The works use commercially produced ceramic molds to reference and parody the kitsch souvenir and utilize the familiarity of kitsch as an “in” for the viewer. Each sculpture is a landscape diorama in the round; the viewer must walk around the whole piece to understand the full story.
Permanent Collection Spotlight: Angus Trudeau
September 29, 2017 - December 3, 2017
Angus Trudeau's inspiration is drawn from the world of Manitoulin, although his vision is imbued with deeply personal insight. His subjects —the lake freighters, ferry boats, bygone community buildings and events— are often portrayed through the diapason of memory or through reference materials he collected.
October 6, 2017 - November 19, 2017
Quenti Maki's work often combines several elements including acrylic paint, various drawings, mediums, and collage. Collage has been an active component in his studio practice for many years and allows additional creative freedom. The end result is an attempt to reach a state of balance and unity in the final product. The experimentation with materials and techniques is aimed to engage the public and sustain interest.
The Perspective From Here
June 23, 2017 - September 24, 2017
To mark Canada’s sesquicentennial, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery will gather works by 150 artists for an ambitious contemporary art exhibition. With the goal of celebrating and demonstrating the artistic breadth, diversity, and excellence of artists who have called this area home, or still do, the exhibition will offer a glimpse of the recent artistic past and the present, while asking us to imagine the future.
April 21, 2017 - June 11, 2017
The three bodies of work in Confluence comprise arresting self-portraits that counter the stereotypical ways that Indigenous peoples have been, and sometimes still are, represented within a colonial framework, principally as objects rather than as subjects of the gaze. McMaster’s potent, mysterious photographs explore the fluid domain of identity, and the possibilities for examining and revisioning the self and its representation.
Bob Boyer Permanent Collection Spotlight
April 14, 2017 - May 28, 2017
Bob Boyer (1948–2004) has used a variety of media throughout his career, although he is probably best known for his blanket paintings. In the 1980s he replaced the traditional canvas surface with that of a blanket, addressing the political issues of Indigenous history in Canada, painting scenes alluding to injustice, betrayals, defeats, and environmental destruction
point of origin
April 21, 2017 - May 28, 2017
Point of origin was conceived of as a way of talking back to the idea that every pain has a direct source. How do we trace the pain of generational trauma? Where is the bruise from the systemic oppression? Does the virus of anti-black violence show when you see my blood under a microscope?
Stories of Contentment and Other Fables
January 13, 2017 - March 26, 2017
Using animal imagery to speak about lived experience and our own animal nature, Amanda Burk's large-scale drawings in Stories of Contentment and Other Fables focus on our aggressive impulses, particularly feelings of restlessness and anger brought about by a deep yearning for change.
December 2, 2016 - March 5, 2017
Intrigued by this complex duality of being both the consumer and the consumed, Swine explores pigs as metaphors for mass consumption.
Oxen of the Sun
November 16, 2016 - January 8, 2017
Oxen of the Sun refers to a passage in Homer's The Odyssey where Ulysses and his crew, having survived many dangers together, are stranded on the island of Thrinakia, due to unfavourable winds and after a month are without food or water. They had been repeatedly warned that if they landed on this particular island, they were not to harm the sacred oxen that belonged to Helios, the Greek god of the Sun.
April 29, 2016 - May 29, 2016
Acrobats are seen as daring, graceful and physically perfect. I want to valorize disabled bodies/minds/emotions by presenting us as acrobat-heroes, but in the same breath call into question the social construction of heroes by presenting us in all our awkward human wonder. I want to celebrate the creativity of our day to day acrobatics, but in the same breath critique the systems that force us to fly or fall.
The North Now 2014
October 25, 2014 - January 4, 2015
This juried exhibition marks an important milestone in the Gallery’s history. Not only is this the first juried exhibition in over a decade, it also features, for the first time, artists from across the whole of Northern Ontario, expanding the Gallery’s geographical encouragement and representation of artistic production.
Into The Woods: Etchings By George Raab
April 19, 2014 - June 15, 2014
For Raab, the forest has power both real and symbolic. Like the landscape artists of the German Romantic period, Raab taps into the sublime power of nature, specifically the primeval energy of the woods. His meticulously detailed and tonally rich prints show viewers the mystery of the forest floor underfoot, while also beckoning a look upward toward the upper canopy and its relationship with the sky and the sun.
Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: The Art Of Duncan Weller
April 2, 2008 - May 18, 2008
Pictures devised to accompany words interact with those words in many ways. Besides just showing what is described, they can add to what is mentioned, pull back and show less, cuing our imagination suspensefully, rather than substituting for it. Duncan Weller explores all these strategies in his art. Illustration is a very flexible medium, and one that humans have relied on upon since before writing to explain the world.