Organized by the University of Toronto Art Centre, Beaver Tales: Canadian Art and Design showcases both emerging and established designers and craft makers, alongside seminal artists who spearheaded the tradition of interpreting and celebrating Canadian countryside and wildlife in their artwork.
Guest curators Rachel Gotlieb and Martha Kelleher selected just over 100 pieces, to illustrate how artists, designers and craft makers, working over the last two centuries, have managed to transcend the pitfalls of kitsch and cliché, while creating universal works drawn from and inspired by motifs of Canadian identity: antlered animals, the beaver, the Canada Goose, the evergreen, the maple leaf, and the trillium.
By bringing together works from art, design and craft, often regarded by scholars and curators as distinct and separate disciplines, the curators also address this low art/high art bias by revealing that Canadian symbolic flora and fauna are vital sources of inspiration and discourse across the craft, art and design communities.
Works by the following artists are included in the exhibition:
Alumnus Mauricio Affonso, Stuart Ash, unknown Anishnaabe artist, Natasha Bailey, alumna Mary Anne Barkhouse, Anne Barros, Amy Bélanger, Douglas Boyd, Carol Bradley, Keith Campbell, Emily Carr, Clarice Cliff, Brent Comber, E.B. Cox, George Dancy, Robert Davidson, Dominion Glass Company, George Emery, Excelsior Glass Company, OCAD faculty member Todd Falkowsky, Bob Ford, Michael Fortune, Bud Fujikawa, Andrew Fussell, Frank Gehry, Gordon & Keith, Frédéric Guibrunet, former OCAD faculty member Emanuel Hahn, Thor Hansen, Lawren S. Harris, Cynthia Hathaway, Arthur Heming, Robert Hendery, Heather Cooper Company, Sabina Hill, Robert Holmes, Hothouse Design Studio, Elizabeth Wilkes Hoey, George Huel, A.Y. Jackson, Virginia Johnson, J.W. Kilgour & Bros., Yvon Laroche, Tilman Lichter, former OCAD principal Arthur Lismer, Loyal Loot Collective, former faculty member JEH MacDonald, Thoreau MacDonald, Anthony Mann, Eric Matthew, Laura McKibbon, David Milne, Minton, alumna Katherine Morley, Melissa Morrow, Earl Muldoe, unknown Northwest Coast artist, Ontario Glass Company, Charles Pachter, Pierre-Yves Pelletier, Reeva Perkins, Ann Pocket, Pierre Poulin, Christopher Pratt, Mark Preston, Bill Reddick, Bill Reid, Bo Scaife Casey, Elda Smith, Steven Tracy Smith, alumnus Robert Southcott, Guy St. Arnaud, Harold Stacey, Thomas Furnival & Sons, Thout Design, alumnus Harold Town, Oksana Ulisko, Frederick Arthur Verner, alumna Anneke van Bommel, Edward Walley, alumnus Don Watt, Joyce Wieiland, alumnus Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Thomas Wyon, alumnus Thea Yuzyk, and alumnus Tristan Zimmerman.