New Acquisitions

The story behind the making of Supernatural Eagle Bringing the Sun Back to the World by father-son team William and Joel Good. Installed at the Nanaimo Art Gallery on Oct. 11, 2018. Closed-Captioned Video produced by Jennifer Wynne Webber.



 In 2017/18, thanks to the generosity of artists, donors, and funders, the following works have been exhibited and accessioned to the Gallery's permanent collection:   

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

Vancouver based artist Sean Alward’s painting, Blossom, was donated to Nanaimo Art Gallery in 2017, in conjuction with our year-long inquiry 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 Alward states:

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 (on Wharf street), 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.

In conjunction with the Gallery's 40th anniversary, Inquiry to the Newcomers was purchased for the permanent collection.The 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

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 on the occasion of her 2017 solo exhibition Spectral Tides, and it was exhibited as part of the Gallery's series "Notes from the Collection." Yoon also donated two copies of her 2017 postcard series Long View.


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