A Generational Retrospective

5RowennaandI copy

A Generational Retrospective

Sandra Semchuk

February 7 - April 5, 2020
Join us for the Opening on Thursday, February 6, 7 PM
In A Generational Retrospective, Ukrainian-Canadian artist Sandra Semchuk shares stories that look beyond her own perspective and her own lifetime. The exhibition includes work made across almost fifty years of practice including early co-operative photographs made with her father, Martin Semchuk and her daughter, Rowenna Losin, and collaborations with her late husband, Rock Cree actor, orator and artist, James Nicholas, and with singer/composer, Jerry DesVoignes. The exhibition also includes recent video portraits dedicated to future generations that are made in collaboration with Vancouver Island-based Cree, Tsimshian, Gitksan, and M├ętis artist Skeena Reece. Also featured are photo and video installations that consider generations in relation to the ocean and the forest.
Sandra Semchuk has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally, and her works reside in the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and many others. She was a co-founder of the Photographers Gallery in Saskatoon, and was Associate Professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver from 1987 until her recent retirement. In 2018 she was awarded the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

A Generational Retrospective brings together works from Semchuk's lifelong dialogue across ages and cultures, and is the final show in a year in which Nanaimo Art Gallery asks the question "What are generations?"
Download Sandra Semchuk in conversation Nanaimo Art Gallery Curator Jesse Birch.

Image: Sandra Semchuk
Co-operative self-portrait, hand play, Rowenna and I, RR6, Saskatoon,Saskatchewan
Silver gelatin print


The Stories Were Not Told (Cancelled due to COVID)

Book Launch & Reading
April 4, 1 pm

In addition to her work as an artist, Semchuk has recently published The Stories Were Not Told, a book of writing and photographs that brings to light the experiences of Ukrainian Canadians during the First World War. Join us in the gallery for a special reading and book signing.
From 1914 to 1920, thousands of men who had immigrated to Canada from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire were unjustly imprisoned as "enemy aliens," some with their families. Many communities in Canada where internees originated do not know these stories of Ukrainians, Germans, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, Alevi Kurds, Armenians, Ottoman Turks, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Slovaks, and Slovenes, amongst others. While most internees were Ukrainians, almost all were civilians.
The Stories Were Not Told presents this largely unrecognized event through photography, cultural theory, and personal testimony, including stories told at last by internees and their descendants. Semchuk describes how lives and society have been shaped by acts of legislated discrimination and how to move toward greater reconciliation, remembrance, and healing. This is necessary reading for anyone seeking to understand the cross-cultural and inter-generational consequences of Canada's first national internment operations.
The Stories Were Not Told is published by University of Alberta Press and has been made possible by a grant from the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.


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