Located in the heart of historic Markham, a short stroll north of Unionville, the Varley Art Gallery is the hub of the community.
Following the extended closure caused by Covid, the Varley is back – some might say better than ever.
At the beginning of February, the Varley joined forces with the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association to present Lunar Lanterns of Indigenous Lights in the courtyard. Featuring beautiful artworks from local Indigenous artists, these lanterns were a way to connect the Indigenous cultures of Canada to the Asian tradition of celebrating the Lunar New Year. Through art, storytelling, and traditions, the Varley invited everyone to experience the community coming Together, Stronger.
Inside the gallery, the exhibit KAREN TAM: WITH WINGS LIKE CLOUDS HUNG FROM THE SKY 大鵬就振翼 is on display until April 24.
For the past several years, Montreal-based artist Karen Tam 譚嘉文 has searched for traces of Lee Chao Nam 李趙南. Lee was a Chinese Canadian painter who lived in Victoria, British Columbia in the 1930s. Little is known about Lee’s life and artistic practice. Having first discovered Lee in the journals of Canadian painter Emily Carr (1871–1945), Tam investigated historical archives, newspapers, and immigration records in an attempt to piece together what little information she could find. This evolving research culminates in the installation With wings like clouds hung from the sky 大鵬就振翼 (2017–ongoing), which re-imagines Lee Nam’s studio.
For the gallery’s 25th anniversary, they’ve gathered a selection of works that showcases new acquisitions and signals new directions in the ways in which they approach the work they do. Called Refracting the Lens, the show includes works by: Shuvinai Ashoona, Franklin Carmichael, Emily Carr, A. J. Casson, Maurice Cullen, Kathleen Daly, Clarence Gagnon, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, F. H. Johnston, Molly Lamb Bobak, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, Doris McCarthy, Norval Morrisseau, Lucius R. O’Brien, Albert H. Robinson, Jon Sasaki, Greg Staats, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk), F. H. Varley, and Mary E. Wrinch.