Mendel at night

Celebrate 50 years

The mid-20th century saw the emergence of new, regional cultural centres across Canada. On October 16, 1964, the Mendel Art Gallery opened its doors on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon. The aspirations for this civic art museum, the largest public art museum in the province, were ambitious and international. Please join us as we launch the Mendel Art Gallery’s 50th anniversary celebration!

Mendel Art Gallery 50th Anniversary Launch Party
& Opening of Modern Visions: The 50th Anniversary Exhibition

Program: 7 p.m.
Reception & celebration: 8 p.m.
Free & open to everyone.
Please join us throughout this 50th anniversary year as we celebrate the achievements and legacy of the Mendel Art Gallery.


• A fall exhibition, Modern Visions, will explore the touchstones that have shaped the history of the Mendel Art Gallery and its role and impact within Saskatchewan and across the country. All four gallery spaces will be used for this project, which will showcase works from the permanent collection.

• A November 1 gala, Bewitched: the magic continues, will be presented at the Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon Hotel. Funds raised through the gala will support an annual lecture program at Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, honouring the legacy of the Mendel Art Gallery.

• Lively public programming will offer visitors many ways to commemorate this year:

  • Attend birthday party festivities.
  • Enjoy an exhibition talk/tour with the curators.
  • Participate in an art appreciation series developed around the permanent collection.
  • Get involved with local writers inspired by visual art.
  • Flash back to the groovy 1960s through fashion, dance, and music.
  • Learn art techniques with exhibiting artists.

• 50th-anniversary themed LUGO, January 2015 will top off the celebrations with this sixth annual art party featuring amazing performers and artists.


Convoluted Beauty: In the Company of Emily Carr

June 27 to September 14, 2014

The work of Emily Carr (1871-1945) is nationally respected for its pioneering of modernity in Western Canada. In her early career, Carr travelled to the United Kingdom to study art, determined to expand her creative vision. Instead, her time there (1899 to 1904), proved to be among the more challenging ordeals of her life, culminating in an 18-month hospitalization with the diagnosis of “hysteria.” Surprisingly, it became a formative point in her career, one where she resolutely declared her sense of her own Canadian as well as artistic identity.

This project, curated by Lisa Baldissera, Chief Curator, Mendel Art Gallery, is the first significant presentation of Emily Carr’s work in Saskatchewan in almost 20 years. It considers Carr’s London years to explore notions of the artistic imaginary and artistic identity. It touches on a variety of critical frameworks: the theme of exile, readings of affect and interspecies theory; an examination of hysteria and the clinic which moves beyond the psychoanalytic frameworks of the 1990s, and the concept of “unproductivity” in creative work.

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A Vital Force: The Canadian Group of Painters

June 27 to September 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.
Talk/Tour: Sunday, June 29 at 1 p.m. with curator Alicia Boutilier

The significance of the first exhibition … is that it sums up the growth and development of the liberal spirit and demonstrates what a vital force it is. — Robert Ayre, The Canadian Forum, 1933

The Canadian Group of Painters (CGP) was the first to aspire to cross-country representation of modernist artists. It lasted from 1933 to 1967, but its strength of influence lay in the first two decades of its existence. When it burst upon the scene in its founding year, the Group pronounced itself “a direct outgrowth of the Group of Seven … drawn from the whole of Canada.” Twenty years later, it proclaimed a “tremendous development” had taken place: “This does not necessarily mean that localized imagery has been abandoned by artists, but it does mean that the imagery employed has become more cosmopolitan.”

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Adad Hannah

Sympathetic Magic

June 27 to September 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.
Talk/Tour: Saturday, September 13 at 1 p.m. with curator Troy Gronsdahl

Canada has cultivated and maintained a strong symbolic connection with the northern landscape. The artistic production of Canada’s renowned early painters, the Group of Seven and their ilk, has both defined artistic practice at home and Canada abroad. As art historian John O’Brian observes in Wild Art History, “The land and its representations are knotted together, not unlike two other words with an affinity to landscape in contemporary thought — nation and nationalism.” The country as depicted by the progenitors of the Canadian landscape tradition is a pristine, untamed, and unpeopled place. A history of colonization and the development of the modern Canadian state are registered on countless paintings and postcards. Popular depictions of the landscape are telling: Canada is rich in natural beauty, abundant in resources, and open for business.

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Sean Weisgerber

Marie Lannoo and Sean Weisgerber: Ricochet

June 27 to September 14, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m.

Sean Weisgerber and Marie Lannoo have shared studio space for close to three years and they have developed their project in response to working in such close proximity. Although working independently, through ongoing critical dialogue and feedback they have created new pieces that are in conversation with one another. Ricochet includes a selection of recent paintings and sculptural works by Weisgerber and Lannoo that reflects their rigorous process-driven practices.

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Alison Norlen: Luna

Alison Norlen: Luna

The gallery has published a beautifully illustrated 64 page softcover book that documents Alison Norlen’s exhibition, Luna. The publication includes thoughtful essays by Troy Gronsdahl, exhibition curator Shauna McCabe, and London-based academic and curator Gilda Williams.

Alison Norlen maintains a rigorous studio practice, presenting her work nationally and internationally, while making important contributions to the local arts community as a volunteer, mentor, board member, and since 1999, as a distinguished professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Saskatchewan. Her work is held in many public collections, including the Mendel Art Gallery’s, and we were pleased to acquire several new pieces from this exhibition.

Full colour, 60 pp., $20
ISBN: 978-1-896359-82-3
Distributed by ABC Art Books Canada.
Available in the Gallery Shop and

Exhibition Tour

Free exhibition tour every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Meet in the lobby. No registration required.

Mendel Podcast

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Location & Hours

950 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Regular Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Free admission