Inspired by the lifecycles of plants, this exhibition explores themes of impermanence, regeneration, and resilience. It presents the work of artists Kaeli Cook and Roger J. Smith in conversation with a selection of work from the Owens’ permanent collection, including early botany studies by students from the Mount Allison Ladies’ College and artists such as Lizzie McLeod, Amy McLeod, and Violet A. Gillett. It also features Diaspora Series (2015), a recently acquired work by Innu/English artist Melissa Tremblett, in which she returns to her roots in Sheshatshiu, Labrador.
The Owens Art Gallery’s permanent collection contains approximately 4,000 works of art including paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and multi-media work by established Canadian and international artists. It began with an initial group of approximately 300 predominantly European paintings, prints, and drawings acquired in 1885 as a teaching collection for art students to study and copy. A few significant gifts were made to the Owens’ collection in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s that the focus shifted towards actively developing the collection.