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Two exhibitions celebrate a truly Canadian art form and the inspiring work of John Hall

Nickle Galleries launches winter season with new exhibits and lineup of lunchtime events
January 20, 2017

Hooked rug with beaver, Canada, c. 1940, Textile Museum of Canada.

John Hall, 3.02.99, 1999, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the artist.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday this year, Nickle Galleries presents HOME ECONOMICS: 150 Years of Canadian Hooked Rugs, an exhibition that explores the craft of rug hooking and the stories that inspired the pieces. Highlighting how craft and commerce are deeply entwined, HOME ECONOMICS sheds light on the ingenuity of artists across the country and how they embrace tradition and innovation.

HOME ECONOMICS features over 100 hooked rugs, dating from the late 19th century through to 2015, and includes iconic Canadian scenes and symbols: lobsters, beavers, polar bears, cabins-in-the-woods.

The exhibition, on display from Jan. 26 to April 8, features the work of a number of contemporary artists including Calgary-based artist Yvonne Mullock and seldom-seen pieces by Emily Carr, Clarence Gagnon, Florence Ryder and Georges-Édouard Tremblay. The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Textile Museum of Canada and curated by Shauna McCabe, Natalia Nekrassova, Sarah Quinton and Roxane Shaughnessy.

A second exhibition, John Hall: Travelling Light: A Forty-Five-Year Survey of Paintings explores more than four decades of art by leading Canadian painter and former University of Calgary professor John Hall. Throughout his long career, Hall has gained recognition for his highly realistic still lifes in which complex observations and perceptions are carried in deceptively simple objects and bric-a-brac.

From his early studies in the 1960s at the Alberta College of Art, to his return from studies and painting in Mexico and New York, to more than 25 years teaching at the University of Calgary, John Hall is a nationally recognized artist who has made indelible contributions to the art community of Calgary. He is known for his detailed, highly realistic paintings, and for the consummate skill and the conceptual investigations he brings to his photorealist approach.

“Nickle Galleries is very pleased to welcome back professor emeritus John Hall to Calgary for the opening celebration of his retrospective exhibition,” says Christine Sowiak, chief curator of Nickle Galleries, “John has been an important figure both nationally and in this community, and we are fortunate to have this opportunity to view his work in such breadth and hear him speak to it.”

The exhibition was most recently on display at the Kelowna Art Gallery, which organized the show in collaboration with Nickle Galleries, where it will be on display from Jan. 26 to April 29, 2017.

Hall will lead a tour of the exhibition on Thursday, Jan. 26 at noon as part of the popular Nickle at Noon event series. That evening, an opening reception for both HOME ECONOMICS and Travelling Light takes place. Hall will also give a lecture in the Department of Art the following day.

A number of events related to the exhibitions take place in the following weeks. All are free and open to the public. Learn more by subscribing to updates from Nickle Galleries.


Opening reception event details: 

  • Thursday, Jan. 26, 5-8 p.m.
  • Gallery Hall, Taylor Family Digital Library