The latest exhibit at the Legacy Art Gallery is focusing on the first 20 years of UVic’s Department of Visual Arts. Titled Core Samples, this cross-section of work by Visual Arts faculty members presents an overview of the department’s first two decades, spanning 1966 to 1986.

"Black Diamond" by Donald Harvey (1964)

“Black Diamond” by Donald Harvey (1964)

From its earliest days as a breakaway department of the Faculty of Education to its current incarnation as a vital part of the Faculty of Fine Arts, the Visual Arts teaching faculty has individually and collectively earned reputations for innovation in painting, printmaking, drawing, photography and sculpture. Eighteen artists who were also appointed faculty members are included in this exhibition, including John Dobereiner, Donald Harvey, Pat Martin Bates, Gwen Curry, Douglas Morton, Roland Brener, Mowry Baden and Fred Douglas.

Primarily drawing on work from UVic’s permanent collection, Core Samples reflects a range of media and groundbreaking artistic practice. No question, strong personalities and artistic contributions shaped the direction of the department. Most of the work from this era is quite different from the artists’ recent output, but provides an overview of the calibre of work by artists who are now represented in world-class collections around the globe including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Gallery.

"Hudson Street Beet" by Mowry Baden (1984)

“Hudson Street Beet” by Mowry Baden (1984)

Highlights of the exhibit include the unusual and playful pop-inspired work of Peter Daglish, the strong abstract compositions of Douglas Morton (formerly of the Regina Five) and some of the pioneering “body work” by Governor General’s award-winner Mowry Baden. Baden will also present a free artist’s talk at 1:30pm on on Saturday, August 24.

A short 50-page publication will outline the department’s beginnings and profile some of the longstanding faculty members and their artistic contributions. This exhibition falls in the same year as the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary celebrations and provides an opportunity to look back at the department’s beginnings.

As for the current Visual Arts department faculty, whose work was seen during the brief Now Art exhibition during UVic’s recent Congress2013, a second Legacy exhibition entitled Paradox will present current faculty work in November.

Core Samples runs 10am to 4pm Wednesdays to Saturdays until October 25.