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The Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory

Indian Candy - Dana Claxton

June 27, 2014

Exhibition runs until September 7th, 2014

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents nine works from Dana Claxton’s most recent series, “Indian Candy."  The works articulate her attempts “to bring forth a reversal of a whitewash of history by using vibrant colours to beautify the history and make historical discourses and research documents into critical contemporary art that has been influenced by pop art, political art, and shared and contested histories.”

Dana Claxton reflects on historical archives and highlights the human propensity to render itself, from Indigenous rock art, to photography, to governmental correspondence. She addresses the complexities of colonialism, past and present, through strategic subversion, and investigates the buried histories of the Wild West, with specific attention to Sitting Bull who shares her Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux ancestry. Curated by Toby Lawrence.

Artist Talk - August 21 2014 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

 ... (more) »


A Spectacle and Nothing Strange

July 24, 2014

Opens Thursday, July 24, 2014, 7-9 pm. To August 23, 2014.

Saturday 1 - 5PM • Tuesday 6 - 9PM

ARTISTS: asianpunkboy (Terence Koh), Keith Cole, Todd Evanger, Brendan Fernandes, Eve Fowler, Paul de Guzman, Jeffrey Hallbauer, Luis Jacob, Attila Richard Lukacs, Will Munro and Patryk Stasieczek

The use of text has been a significant feature of artists’ practices over the past century. Within the gay community, language has functioned as a system of binding people to overcome the days when homosexuality was deemed, during Oscar Wilde’s lifetime, the love that dare not speak its name. This exhibition intends to explore the ways in which contemporary gay artists have used language in their art to explore their identity.

Playful manipulation of language is demonstrated in Luis Jacob’s work, a print derived from the action of him kissing a sheet of paper, a la Joyce Weilland, while singing the disco funk anthem, Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”. Keith Cole  ... (more) »


About the Department


Art History and Visual Art were first taught at The University of British Columbia when noted Canadian painter, B.C. Binning, was appointed to the faculty of the newly-formed School of Architecture. The Department of Fine Arts was established as an independent department within the Faculty of Arts in 1955. Since its inception the Department has grown steadily and now includes 23 full-time members of faculty (13 art historians and 10 visual artists). In 2001, the Department changed its name from Fine Arts to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory to better to encapsulate the innovative teaching and interdisciplinary research interests of the faculty.

The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory comprises three streams of research-based learning and practice: Art History, with a particular focus on theoretical and critical discourses concerning the social impact of art and visual representation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; Critical and Curatorial Studies, examining through research and exhibition projects issues in contemporary visual culture and display; and Visual Art, with an undergraduate curriculum placing art production, academic learning and a graduate emphasis on preparation for participation in the field of contemporary international art.

The Department’s faculty are actively involved in research and bring this strength into their teaching at all levels. Undergraduate and graduate seminars enhance student experience in advanced academic research and practice. As a result many of our graduates have established distinguished careers in the creative, scholarly and gallery fields.

The main goal of Art History, Visual Art and Theory is to foster critical and reflexive thinking within an inclusive and supportive environment. The Department thus maintains the highest standards of intellectual and administrative practice, seeking to be innovative in pedagogy and international in scholarly perspective.


Our Galleries

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery


The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery has an international reputation for its exhibitions, publications and projects in the area of contemporary art. Its collections and archives are an invaluable resource for scholars.

Visit the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery »


The AHVA Gallery


The mission of the AHVA Gallery is to promote research and discourse in the field of visual art by facilitating collaboration and experimentation within the department, the university, and the community. The gallery is dedicated to providing resources and opportunities to students, faculty and the community through exhibitions, public programs, and providing a venue to engage in dialogue.

Learn more about the AHVA Gallery »


AHVA Events


June 27, 2014

Indian Candy - Dana Claxton
Exhibition runs until September 7th, 2014  (more) »



July 24, 2014

A Spectacle and Nothing Strange
Opens Thursday, July 24, 2014, 7-9 pm. To August 23, 2014.  (more) »



May 07, 2014

GU XIONG: a journey exposed
Exhibition runs May 7 - August 23, 2014  (more) »



Featured Profile

Samuel Sackeroff
MA in Art History degree, 2011

Sam Sackeroff graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History in 2009 and in 2011 with a Master of Arts in Art History. He recently entered Yale University's PhD program in the History of Art, where he is specializing in the Italian Renaissance.  (more) »