Listed below is a SELECTION of past exhibitions held at Acadia University Art Gallery. For a full list please contact the Art Gallery

François Gaudet: Stories from the Forest Primeval

July 4 - December 4, 2019

Through explorations of the mythmaking of Evangeline, the landscape of Grand-Pré and the horses of Sable Island he explores themes of exile, of memory and heritage. The exhibition presents sculptural, photographic and installation based work. The artist will have an on-site base camp where he will continue to expand, reflect and create work in which he seeks to articulate a homeland for himself.  Curator: Dr. Laurie Dalton

Lucas Morneau: The Queer Mummer

March 1 – April 14, 2019

The Queer Mummer is an exhibition of photographs, prints, and wearable pieces that blends the traditional Newfoundland practice of mummering with the queer art of drag in order to deconstruct homophobic, heterosexist, and essentialist attitudes that are still very much prevalent in Western society.  Curator: Dr Laurie Dalton

This is What 40 Looks Like

October 12 – November 25, 2018

Founded in 1978,  the Acadia University Art Gallery celebrates 40 years with an exhibition that explores how the collection was built over four decades. Discover the themes of the collection and learn about the history.Curator: Dr. Laurie Dalton.

Maud Lewis: a life collected

August 3 - September 30, 2018

Much of the way in which people have come to understand the artist has been a result of storytelling. This exhibition presents a selection of Maud Lewis artwork from private collections, along with memories of how people have come to collect her work. These demonstrate the ways in which we have come to remember, know and situate the work of the artist.


While Maud Lewis is firmly embedded in the folk art canon her work can also be understood within wider discussions of art history. Modern artists presented new ways of seeing and brought experimentation into their work. Paintings of landscape, for example, no longer adhered to strict rules of perspective, realism and colour, but rather challenged our perspective and used colour as an expressive form in and of itself.

Curator, Dr. Laurie Dalton


March 2 - April 12, 2018

Many Worlds is a collection of images, sculpture, and video

which presents the viewer with fictionalized landscapes,

characters, elements and events from imagined worlds.

The anaglyphic 3D process creates immersive work: virtual

spaces for the viewer to enter, spend time with, and explore.

Bob Hainstock: Emptying Landscapes: An Altered Place
October 6 - December 1, 2017

The artist explores shifting rural landscapes that have been subjected to human, environmental and social alterations.
 Looking first at Hainstock’s work, the viewer may be struck by the aesthetic treatment of the landscape, or of the visible mark-making inherent in the printmaking process. Underlying the work, however, is the way in which landscape is an important social site, in which we impose our associations, history and cultural values on the land. The images of abandoned villages, decaying barns, the scorched earth from mining and lumber speak simultaneously to the wreckage of human intervention and the aesthetic found in decay. Curator: Dr. Laurie Dalton

From the Vault/ Alex Colville: Living Things

August 11 – September 30, 2017

The exhibition presents a selection of Alex Colville’s work from the permanent collection of the Acadia University Art Gallery. Much of the artist’s work has explored themes of memory, locality and place. They are constructed with meticulous detail and precise geometry.

The Boundless & the Framed

July 21 - August 6, 2017

Drawing from the permanent collection, the exhibition presents a range of artistic expression from Atlantic Canadian artists, to Inuit works of art, to Asian imperial textiles. The wide-ranging selection demonstrates how artists have represented, reflected, and responded to the imagery and symbolism of birds in art. Special thank you to Acadia Wildlife Museum and Esther Clark Wright Archives for loan of objects to exhibition.

Face Value

May 2017

Drawing from the permanent collection of Acadia University Art Gallery, the exhibition explores how the human experience is represented in portraiture. The selected works emphasize women’s experience and the under representation of women in art.

The exhibition is the result of research undertaken by students enrolled in HIST 3693-Special Topics: Introduction to Curating.

Duly Noted

March 10 - April 21, 2017

Jennifer Angus: Hope is the Only Bee

Fall 2016

I came for the View

July 8 - August 28th, 2016

In Sequence

Selections from the Permanent Collection

May 13 - June 26, 2016

This exhibition presents a selection of work from the permanent collection and explores the way in which artists approach sequence and series in their work.

Anthony Clementi: Critical Incident. Spring 2016

Jaime Black: Redress Project. Fall 2015.

Image. Word. Design: Exploring Picture Book Illustration in Atlantic Canada/ July 9 – August 23


This exhibition presents a selection of work by

four artists working in picture book illustration in

Atlantic Canada: Molly Lamb Bobak (NB),

Brenda Jones (PE), Darka Erdelji (NL), and

Leonard Paul (NS). The works selected

demonstrate the changes in illustration over 30

years, from hand-drawn to digital, from picture

book to graphic novel. The installation invites the

viewers to explore the process of design and the

relationship between word and image at various

stages of book production.

Consuming Conflict /September 17 – December 4, 2014

In the 100th anniversary year of the First World War, this exhibition explores popular culture to examine how conflict as concept, and war as a historical moment, is internalized into the daily experience of citizens. Exhibition draws from works in the permanent collection, university archives, private collections and works by contemporary artists and designers. Curator: Dr. Laurie Dalton

Barry’s world

Summer 2014

Solo exhibition of artist  folk Barry Colpitts, exploring the role of humour and personal biography. Curator: Dr. Laurie Dalton

Holly Carr: Light In the Forest

October 4 – December 1, 2013

The installation explores nostalgia and childhood memories and is comprised of large-scale paintings on silk that create an illustrated environment of storybooks where the viewer is immersed in veiled apparitions. As a child, Carr was drawn to the details that surrounded her: from wallpaper patterns, strangers, church hats, swooping ravens and the neighbours’ underwear hanging on the line. Carr uses these past experiences that bridge both fear and awe to create a complex realm of narratives from her youth that interrogates the relationship between myths, fears and safe places.

Robert Pope: Metamorphosis

August 14 – September 29, 2013

Social realist painter Robert Pope (1956-1992) is best known for his collection of paintings that explore his experience of healthcare and healing as a cancer patient. His cancer series movingly portrays his experiences as a cancer patient and gives a voice and visual form to the experiences of suffering fellow patients. This exhibition celebrates the artist and his belief in the power of art as preventive medicine that generates hope, healing and inspiration.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Curated by Tom Smart.


May 9 – June 19, 2013

This exhibit explores the relationship between artists and travel. In particular, it examines the way in which places are presented, situated and located through the artist’s creative lense. Selected works from the permanent collection include Victorian prints by artists such as E.W Evans, World War I travel etchings by Marcel Augis, early Canadiana by William H. Bartlett, as well as works by modern Canadian artists, such a new acquisition by Arthur Lismer. Curator: Laurie Dalton

Portable Mosques: The Sacred Space of the Prayer Rug

curated by Natalia Nekrassova

October 4 - November 29, 2012

An important element of worship within the Islamic world, the prayer rug is a powerful expression of world view, integrating local aesthetics and materials as well as textile practices shared across centuries and generations of weavers. Drawing on the Textile Museum of Canada’s significant collection of carpets and rugs, Portable Mosques: The Sacred Space of the Prayer Rug features 30 prayer rugs created during the early 19th and early 20th centuries.

Jody MacDonald:

Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?

August 18 - September 30, 2012

The series details the attempt to maintain a genuine, unadulterated identity in contemporary, consumer-driven society. Identities may be worn as accessories, enabling us to function in a world of dysfunction. However, they can also leave us feeling trapped, locked into a life and a narrative that does not quite feel like our own.

Earth skins: Three Decades of Drawing by Susan Wood

June 18 - August 11, 2012

This retrospective exhibition documents the production of Halifax artist Susan Wood, whose practice is devoted primarily to drawing. Her work of the past decade embodies the idea of finitude, reflecting on mortality and loss. A range of graphic techniques, often on textured handmade papers, begins within the frameworks of geography, museology and botanical illustration and broadens into an appreciation of the drawings as metaphors of entropy and death. This exhibition includes the dramatic series Devil’s Purse (1985) and Dress (1989-91), which were inspired by various stages of women’s corporeal experiences.Organized and circulated by MSVU Art Gallery with financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Curator: Susan Gibson Garvey. Catalogue available

Black & Blue: Wayne Boucher and Don Pentz

April 27th - June 10, 2012

This exhibition presents the work of two artists working in Nova Scotia, who for 35 years have embarked on a journey through abstract painting. Both Boucher and Pentz began their painting practices in the mid seventies, working separate but parallel paths. For example, the shift from black and white to colour happened in tandem, and they both are engaged in the physicality and process of paint application. In using a strong horizon line in his works, Pentz’ work occupies an in-between of landscape, as he scrapes and edits the surface with a restricted earth stain palette. Boucher’s structure and veiled layers contained in a limited colour palette suggest both theatricality and atmosphere of the spaces between. This exhibition will mark the first time their work has been shown publicly together in the Annapolis Valley. The exhibition is organized by the Acadia University Art Gallery and curated by Laurie Dalton. The exhibition will then tour to Cape Breton University Art Gallery in summer 2012 and ARTsPlace in Fall 2013. catalogue available.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Inuit art at Acadia

March 2 - April 20, 2012

There are over 250 works of Inuit sculpture in the permanent collection, the majority of which were donated by Acadia alumnus Dr. Arthur W. Rogers in c.1966. The sculpture collection is very significant as it represents a key period in Inuit sculpture with works from the ‘historic’ period to the time when James Houston was helping to expand Inuit art production and purchasing works for the collector’s market for places like the Canadian Handicrafts Guild. Another key component to the Inuit collection are over 50 works on paper, stonecuts, stencils and drawings. These works have been acquired through purchases from a special acquisitions endowment fund, made possible through the support of many, including Helen Beals and Constance Hayward, while other works have come from donors such as Ralph Taylor.

The exhibition present highlights of key works from the permanent collection and explores the works in the context of cross-cultural translation of art in the North. This exhibition marks the first time that the sculpture and prints have been researched in depth, and the first time many of them have been on public view at Acadia. A catalogue will accompany exhibit, made possible with support from Research and Graduate Studies. Curator: Laurie Dalton

Susan Malmstrom: Fortune Seeking

August 3 - September 25, 2011

For the series Fortune Seeking each photograph was inspired by a paper fortune cookie. The digitally created photo-collages incorporate art reproductions, household and found objects to produce visual narratives of the collected fortunes.

Anatomy of a Print

May 30 - July 25, 2011

The exhibition presents highlights of the printmaking collection at Acadia University of both Canadian and international artists. Works are explored through the various techniques of printmaking. Curated by Laurie Dalton.

Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America

March 4 – May 17, 2011. 

The exhibition presents an examination of many of the forms of prison art: ranging from paper weaving, soap carving, toilet paper sculptures, handkerchief art as well as painting and drawing. Artworks in the exhibition range from personal experiences, to tattoo culture and daily prison life. As a university gallery, it is important to bring other ‘voices’ of artists into the gallery space that do not typically fall within the canon of art history, fostering an environment of visual literacy and engagement with exhibitions. While the exhibition has toured widely in the United States, the presentation at Acadia University will mark the first time it has been on view in Canada. The exhibition is presented with support from the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage.

Sarah Saunders: Between Presence & Absence,

October 28 - December 8, 2010

The works in this show all deal, in some way, with presence, absence and the ephemerality of our personal history.

Dick Groot: Tidelines, September 10 - October 22, 2010

Tidelines is an integrated, simultaneous presentation of music, poetry and photography inspired by the tidal landscape of Minas Basin. The emotion engendered by the tidal landscape is reflected in recorded poetry and music integrated in a sound space designed specifically for this installation by composer Derek Charke. The poetry is by the Dutch poet Onno Kosters

and John Frederic Herbin. The photography is a selection of Dick Groot’s Tidescapes series, a project in a continuing state of becoming.

FrancisDaSilva, July 17 – September 1st, 2010

In conjunction with the Hantsport Memorial Community Centre this exhibition presents the work of DaSilva (1841-1920) a Portuguese sailor who in the early 1860s,settled in Hantsport, NS. The works on view at Acadia showcase DaSilva’s early paintings of landscapes and animals, but also his interest in the

political climate of the period, when Confederation and other political issues were debated across communities in the region.

Steven Rhude: Temple of the Mind , May 22 – July 11, 2010

In this recent body of work Rhude juxtaposes Maritime regional symbols within the context of museums and the canon of modern art. As Rhude states “This exhibition features paintings which impose regional artifacts upon the urban temple, the modernist legacy upon the ordinary coastal shed, and rural objects of our maritime collective fishing history.”

David R. Harper: Atlas March 12 - May 17, 2010

For the exhibition Atlas, Harper juxtaposes the trailer home against historic illustrations from medieval chronicles to explore the significant relationship between person and place. Harper questions the role of the modern day mobile home in its ability to allow the person to relocate, and reinvent their lives. Through the installation of textile and embroidery Harper hopes to explore, “one of the most fundamental questions of the human condition, how do you know that where you are is where you are meant to be.” Harper’s starting point for this exhibition came from city walls, geometric models, the Libre Chronicarum, and a 1951 model trailer home named “the Space Queen.”Atlas is a new body of work that is being exhibited publicly for the first time at the Acadia University Art Gallery with support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage. Acadia University Art Gallery is pleased to work in partnership with the Culture Division to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

The Kingston Prize: November 6 - December 10, 2009

Organized by the Kingston Arts Council, the exhibition celebrates artistic achievement in contemporary Canadian portraiture and will tour across Canada (Kingston, Toronto, Calgary), with Wolfville, NS being the only East Coast stop on the tour.

Guerilla Girls: September 17 - November 1st, 2009

Established in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls are an internationally recognized group of artists, known for their use of printed media with strong text and graphics to promote awareness of women and people of colour in the arts, as well as other issues of inequality in culture and politics. Acadia University Art Gallery presented an exhibition of their work spanning 1985-2007 along with a public talk and workshops led by two of the original founding members.

Curated by Laurie Dalton

Acadia Collects: Alex Colville: July 4 - September 6, 2009

Curated by Laurie Dalton

Edward Burtynsky: September 19 - November 9, 2008

A selection of Burtynksy's work on loan from the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Acadia Print Series: April 4th - June 30, 2008

A selected exhibition from the permanent collection that highlights rare 19th century British satirical prints. Shown for the the first time at Acadia!

Curated by Laurie Dalton

Broken Ground: Canadian Photographs from the New World:

March 8 - April 8, 2007

In the light of contemporary discussions about the environment, this exhibition challenges stereotypical views of the land of Canada and its peoples. Works by six contemporary Canadian photographers, whose images address themes of landscape, people and paradox are juxtaposed with 19th and early 20th century Canadian and European photographic views of Canada as “the endless landscape” inhabited aboriginal peoples and white settlers. The historical photographs are in the collection of Archives Canada, while the contemporary component includes works by Thaddeus Holownia, Rafael Goldchain, Serge Clément, David Hlynsky, Brenda Pelkey and Andrew Danson Danushevsky - who participates as both a photographer and curator of the exhibition.

Fernand Toupin: Surveyor of Wide Spaces: November 7 – January 21, 2007

Fernand Toupin was a founder of the Plasticiens, a group that focused on the abstract elements in a painting – form, line and texture and how they relate to music. Toupin also explored the relationship of abstraction in his paintings to the Quebec landscape. Fernand Toupin: Surveyor of Wide Spaces is organized by the Musée du Bas Saint-Laurent in Rivière du Loup, Quebec and funded for its national tour by Heritage Canada.

Thelma Pepper, Abundant Life: The Journey Home: September 12-October 29, 2006

Thelma Pepper Abundant Life: The Journey Home is the third exhibition of photographs by Thelma Pepper in her trilogy exploring community life in Saskatchewan. All of the works in this exhibition were taken in the Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon, a non-profit, long-term care facility, in which her husband Jim spent his last years. The exhibition begins its national tour at Acadia, where it can be seen from September 12– October 29, 2006.

Mary Pratt Prints: July 5—September 10, 2006

In the mid 1990s, Mary Pratt collaborated with the Japanese artist, Masato Arikushi to produce a series of woodblock prints in the traditional Japanese manner, in which the functions of the artist and printer are separate. Pratt supplied the paintings and drawing from which the master printer, Arikushi carved the woodblocks for the prints. In this series, Pratt continued her interest in the iconic depiction of fruit. Apples, mangoes, pomegranates and watermelon reveal their distinctive and portrait-like individuality in dramatically focused light, overwhelming the viewer with the colours, texture and the sensual evocation of smell and taste.

From Page to Stage: Bringing Children's Storybooks to Life

A Celebration of Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia: May 10 - June 25, 2006

The Art Gallery at Acadia celebrates Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia with an exhibition highlighting the company’s unique creative process. From Page to Stage: Bringing Children's Storybooks to Life will feature in particular the innovative contributions of the company’s acclaimed Artistic Director, Jim Morrow, who began his career in the performing arts while a student at Acadia University in the seventies.

Nova Scotia Printmakers Association Bi-annual Exhibition: March 11 - April 30, 2006

Prints in the exhibition will include well-known techniques such as etching, woodblock, or lithograph, as well as digital prints and experimental works that push the traditional boundaries of printmaking. A Gathering of Visions is made up of recent work by members of the Nova Scotia Printmakers Association (NSPA) and invited guest printmakers including David Umholtz and Jennifer Belanger of New Brunswick, Lisa Turner of Alberta, Susan Groce of the State of Maine, and Jerry Evans of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Acadia University Art Gallery presents: Maritime Art: November 18, 2005  to January 10, 2006

Canada's first art magazine, Maritime Art, was published at Acadia by Walter Abell, professor of Art and Aesthetics. A total of 15 issues were printed. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, this exhibition includes every issue of Maritime Art.

Collection of Chambers Editorial Cartoons: September 18 – November 6, 2005

Acadia University will celebrate the donation of a unique collection of cartoons by Robert Chambers, former editorial cartoonist for the Halifax Herald. This collection of original cartoons chronicling the political career of George Nowlan from his election to the House of Commons in 1948 until his death, was donated to Acadia by the Honourable J. Patrick Nowlan, George Nowlan’s son.

Acadia Collects: Flora, Fauna and Fungi: April 25 - May 29, 2005

The Art Gallery at Acadia University welcomes spring with a new exhibition that focuses on images and objects drawn from the natural world. The Gallery opened its doors on Monday, April 25 with works by the artists Cecil Day, Gwendolyn Hales and the Lorenzen family of ceramic artists.

Cecil Day’s An Atlantic Bestiary is a portfolio of twenty colour etchings of native small animals coupled with sayings from local folklore: some are well-known, while others are archaic.

Group of Seven Landscapes: January 20 - February 20, 2005

A private collection of oil sketches, paintings and drawings by artists associated with the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. This show included works by Franklin Carmichael, Maurice Cullen, Lawren Harris, Clarence A. Gagnon, Robert Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H MacDonald, Goodridge Roberts and Frederick Varley. These artists inspired new working methods and a fresh way of looking at the Canadian landscape.

Caught in the Presence of Dreams: October 15, 2004 - January 16, 2005

Caught in the Presence of Dreams featured the work of five New Brunswick artists who were winners of the prestigious Strathbutler Award between 1996 and 2000. They include: Marie Hélène Allain (sculpture), Rick Burns (sculpture), Suzanne Hill (painting and mixed media), Freeman Patterson (photography) and Roméo Savoie (painting).The Strathbutler Award is given annually by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation to a New Brunswick visual artist or craftsperson in recognition of excellence in the visual arts and a substantial contribution to the cultural life of Canada. Caught in the Presence of Dreams was curated by Tom Smart, Director of the Frick Gallery, Pittsburgh. The exhibition showed at Acadia University as part of a national and international tour.

Origines : An installation by Lise Robichaud: July 9 – September 3, 2004

Origines, an installation by visual artist, Lise Robichaud was shown at Acadia this summer to coincide with the Congrès mondial acadien. This installation made of wood and natural elements is a contemporary vision of what it means to be an Acadian. Born in Caraquet New Brunswick , Robichaud uses her own genealogy, which combines Acadian, English and Irish roots to explore concepts of identity, time and memory. Her work is inspired by the poems of the Acadian poet, Raymond Guy LeBlanc.

Mothers/Daughters: New Ceramics by Alexandra McCurdy: April 25 - June 27, 2004

This exhibition of new work by Halifax-based ceramic artist Alexandra McCurdy explores notions of femininity and familial associations of three generations of women. It focuses on the ideas, thoughts and emotions the artist felt after the death of her mother and the marriage of her only daughter.


Past Exhibitions