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Sandra Meigs

Born:  Baltimore, Maryland, 1953

For some 35 years, Sandra Meigs has created vivid, enigmatic paintings that combine dense narratives with comic elements. Her works gradually reveal layers of meaning, giving viewers insight into psychological spaces and philosophical ideas.

In 2015 she was a recipient of a Governor Generals Award in Visual Art and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in Visual Art. Her work has been shown in close to 100 exhibitions across Canada, including solo exhibits at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; The Power Plant, Toronto, the Saidye Bronfman Centre and the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Montréal. Internationally, her works have been shown at the Bologna Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, and the Fodor Museum, Amsterdam, among others. Her work has enjoyed critical acclaim and has been reviewed in major art publications such as Artforum, Canadian Art, Border Crossings, the Globe and Mail and the National Post. She is represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.

Sandra Meigs is a dedicated educator and has taught and mentored hundreds of students over her 20 years as a professor in visual arts at the University of Victoria. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland, has lived in Canada since 1973, and is currently based in Victoria.

Degrees and Diplomas

M.A.      Philosophy          Dalhousie University       1980
Title of Thesis or Dissertation:Universalization and Respect for Persons

B.F.A.     Mixed Media     Nova Scotia College of Art and Design  1975

 Selected Solo Exhibitions

 1984       "The Western Gothic" (installation), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal

1990       "Love Muscle" and "The Western Gothic" (installations), The Powerplant, Toronto ON

1994       "Mary," Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary AB

                "Baby," Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON

1995        "Canadian", Emma Ciotti Gallery, Iroquois Falls ON

                 "Canadian", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON

1997         "Dummies", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON

                 "Dummies", Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver BC

1998         “Resin Heads”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON

                  “Reckless Days”, Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary AB

                  “Sandra Meigs”, Rimouski Regional Museum, Rimouski, PQ

                  “Canadian”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON

1999           “JOYJOYSORROW”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON

2001           "The Newborn", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON
                   “Identity II,”  Freedman Gallery, Reading PA

2002            “Reverie:  Swoon and The Newborn”, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria,                                    Victoria BC
                    “Swoon”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON
                     “Ride”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto ON

2006            “Mary”, Deluge Art Gallery, Victoria, BC

2007             "Scenes for My Affection”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
                     “Strange Loop”, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario                                            “The Fold Heads”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

2011              “The Giants”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

2013              “The Basement Panoramas”, Open Space, Victoria, BC     

2014              “The Basement Panoramas”, Susan Hobbs Gallery and Georgia Scherman                          Projects, Toronto, Ontario

2015              “All to All”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

2016               “What is the Mind of the Mystic”, Winchester Gallery, Victoria, BC

Selected Group Exhibitions

1984                "Toronto Painting '84", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON

                          "Fifth Biennale of Sydney", Sydney Australia

                          "Subjects in Pictures", 49th Parallel, New York NY

                          "Subjects in Pictures", YYZ, Toronto ON

                          "Toronto/Amsterdam", The Fodor Museum, Amsterdam

                          "Theatre of the Imagination:  Francious Boulet, Genevieve Cadieux,                                      Sandra Meigs", Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal QU

1987                "Written Images", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON

                         "Sea to Shining Sea", The Power Plant, Toronto ON

1990                 "Dangerous Goods", Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton AB

1996                 "Making Strange”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON

                         "Exquisite Corpse", Cold City Gallery, Toronto ON

1997                 "Painting in the 90's”, Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary AB

                         "Les lieux Communs”, Musée Régional de Rimouski, PQ and CIAC                                      Montreal

1998                “Realities”, Ydessa Hendeles Foundation, Toronto ON

                        "To Remain at a Distance", Open Space/ec4 Galleries, Victoria BC
                         "Officina America", Biennale of Bologna, Italy
                         “The Shape of Colour”, AGO, Toronto

                         “McIntyre Ranch Exhibition”, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge
                          Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary
                         “Help Yourself”, Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver
                         “Telling Stories”, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston, ON                                              “Trip-In, the Ontology of the Imaginative Realm”, Susan Hobbs Gallery,                               Toronto
                          “Bureau de Change”, Walter Phillips Gallery Banff, Alberta                                                    “Comic Relief”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
                         “Monnster”, West Vancouver Museum”, West Vancouver, BC

                          “I Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry”, Art Gallery of London, London,                               Ontario
                         “Adaptation”, The Powerplant, Toronto, Ontario
                         “The Unreal”, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
                         “It Is What It Is”, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
                         “This is Paradise”, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto

2015                  “The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2015”, The                                 National Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario

Work in Major Collections:
National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada Artbank,  Musée d’Art Contemporain, Ydessa Hendeles Art, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Art Gallery of
Greater Victoria



  • Canada Council "B" Grant

1988                 Canada Council "B" Grant

1990                 Ontario Arts Council Senior Grant

1991                 Canada Council "B" Grant

1992                 Ontario Arts Council Senior Grant

1993                 Canada Council "A" Grant

1997                 Artist Residency - Est-Nord-Est, Centre de Sculpture

1999                 Canada Council “A" Grant

2001                 BC Arts Council Grant

                         Canada Council Travel Grant, Europe

2002                 Canada Council "A" Grant- Canada Council International Studio and                                    Curating Residency Program in  New York

2004                 BC Arts Council Grant

2008                Canada Council – Long Term Grant in Visual Arts for Production

                        Towards a Confirmed Exhibition

                         BC Arts Council Grant

                         Canada Council Senior Artist Grant

 2015                Canada Council Project Grant

                         Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

                         Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO

Selected Catalogues, Reviews

Baldissera, Lisa.  Reverie:  Swoon and The Newborn, Sandra Meigs,
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 2002

Barilli, Renato.  Officina America, Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, 2002

Burnett, David.  Toronto Painting '84,  Toronto:  Art Gallery of Ontario

Dompierre, Louise.  Sandra Meigs:  Pas de deux, Toronto:  The Power Plant, 1990,
pp 4-19

Fischer, Barbara.  Dummies Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 1998

Balfour Bowen, Lisa.  Toronto Star, 16 January 1982

Blouin, Rene.  Canadian Art, March 1985

Browne, Kelvin.  The Financial Post, July 4-6, 1998

Daigneault, Gilles.  Le Devoir, 15 December 1984

The Globe and Mail, June 6, 1998, Chasing truth through the looking glass.

Dault, Gary Michael. The Globe and Mail, 4 September 1999, Sandra Meigs catches a wave

Dault, Gary Michael. The Globe and Mail, 8 September 2001.  A nice afternoon's journey into light

Dault, Gary Michael. The Globe and Mail, 6 June 2003, Exhibition has touch of the enigmatic

Drouin-Brisebois, Josee.  Bordercrossings, December 2009, No. 112, Sandra Meigs

Gopnik, Blake.  The Globe and Mail, September 12, 1998, Coming face to face with our paranoia

Gopnik, Blake.  The Globe and Mail, 18 September 1999, Putting a new face on painting.

Gravel, Claire.  Le Devoir, 23 December 1989

Harris, Michael. The Vancouver Sun Tuesday 1 April 2002 , “Artist inspired by trip to Florida Everglades” 

Laurence, Robin.   Georgia Straight, 17-24 April 2003, “Swooning for the Strange, Sinister”

Lehmann, Henry. The Gazette, Montreal 1 April 2000, What the bosses are buying.

Lepage, Jocelyne.  La Presse, 22 December 1984

Magenta Foundation.  Carte Blanche, Vol 2:  Painting,  The Magenta Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, 2008

Mays, John Bentley.  "A harrowing ride through Sandra Meigs' Maelstrom", The Globe and Mail, 22 April 1980

Mays, John Bentley.  The Globe and Mail, 29 December 1982.  Funnel to revive Warhol film classics,

Mays, John Bentley.  The Globe and Mail, 16 September 1982

Mays, John Bentley.  Visions:  Contemporary Art in Canada,1983, The Snakes in the Garden:  The Self and the City in Contemporary Canadian Art

Mays, John Bentley.  The National Post, 1 September 2001, The thinking person's artist.

Milroy, Sarah.  The Globe and Mail, 12 November 2004, “Contradictions on Canvas”

Milroy, Sarah.  Canadian Art, Summer 2010, “Eminent Victorian”

Moos, David.  The Shape of Colour: Excursions in Colour Field Art 1950-2005, The Art Gallery of Ontario, 2005

Nemiroff, Diana  Sandra Meigs: Strange Loop, Carleton University Art Gallery, 2009

Reckitt, Helena, Adaptation: Between Species, The Powerplant, 2010

Sayej, Nadja.  “The Shape of Colour”, Border Crossings, Summer 2005

Schaefer, Carey Ann & Blomgren, Lance,  Help Your Self,  Helen Pitt Gallery, 2006

Tamir, Chen.  “Sandra Meigs, the Bump  and Ride Paintings”  C Magazine,  Winter, 2005

Tousley, Nancy.  "Mary," Calgary Herald, 12 June 1994

Tousley, Nancy.  “Artists Unmask Absurdities of Everyday Life.”  Calgary Herald, 14 November 1998


1993-           University of Victoria, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Visual Arts               Tenured Faculty, Current title:  Full-Professor

1990-93          Scarborough College, University of Toronto, Humanities Department, Foundation of Visual Arts, Introduction to Painting, lecturer

1991                Georgian College, Fine Art Department, Introduction to Painting (2 classes), lecturer

1990                York University, Graduate Division, Visual Art Department, Guest Thesis Counsellor

1988                Ontario College of Art, Experimental Art Department, Intermedia Sculpture, lecturer

1984-85          York University, Department of Fine Art, Interdisciplinary Studio 2, Interdisciplinary Studio 3, Foundation

1983                The University of Victoria, Department of Visual Art, Drawing

1982                The Banff Centre, School of Fine Arts, Chief Administrative Assistant to the Head of the Visual Art Department

1977-79             Dalhousie University, Department of Philosophy

                            Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Philosophy

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