Visitors to the Global Centre for Pluralism to be greeted with Canadian artworks

The Art Bank works with a broad range of business and institutions through our art rental service and we were delighted to be approached by the Global Centre for Pluralism to help them tell the story of respect for diversity through art.

The Centre is an independent, not-for-profit international research and education centre. Its mission is to serve as a global platform for comparative analysis, education and dialogue about the choices and actions that advance pluralism. Inspired by Canada’s experience as a diverse and inclusive country, the Centre’s Chairman, His Highness the Aga Khan, chose Canada’s Capital as the host of its global headquarters.

Global Centre for Pluralism (photo: Marc Fowler, Metropolis Studio)

Located at 330 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, former home to the Dominion Archives of Canada and the Canadian War Museum, the building was recently renovated to restore and transform this heritage landmark into the Centre’s headquarters.

Leading up to the opening, the Global Centre for Pluralism created an art selection committee and worked with the Art Bank to choose artwork for the new space.

“The art showcased throughout the Centre’s headquarters presents a great opportunity for us to communicate the meaning of pluralism to visitors. The quality and breadth of the Art Bank collection allowed us to choose pieces that, together, tell a story about Canada’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity.”
– John McNee, Secretary General

The selected art illustrates pluralism in different ways, through the artists’ own life experiences and the pieces themselves. We are excited to present artworks from a range of styles, mediums and subjects from different cultural traditions.

See and learn about some of their choices:

Mayureak Ashoona (B. Cape Dorset, Nunavut, 1946), Shared Vision (1994), Work on paper
Ashoona’s artwork mixes depictions of traditional Inuit life and culture with complex and imaginative designs. The artist created Shared Vision as a symbol of gratitude to the bounty the land has offered.

Julie Oh (B. South Korea, 1984), Nine p.m. (2010), Photograph
As a Korean immigrant to Saskatchewan, Oh’s work looks at cross-cultural identity of a first generation immigrant to Canada. Nine p.m. is part of a series in which she reconstructs scenes of suburban life in Canada.

George Littlechild (B. Edmonton, Alberta, 1958), Never Again (1993), Hand-tinted photograph
Littlechild directly confronts the dark legacy of Canada’s residential school history when he combines a photograph of his mother during her time in the system with direct instruction – Never Again.

William Kurelek (Whitford, Alberta, 1927 – Toronto, Ontario, 1977), A Roofing Bee (1976), Oil on Panel (photo: Marc Fowler, Metropolis Studio)
A reoccurring thematic in Kurelek’s work is his parent’s experience as Ukrainian immigrants settling and farming in the Canadian Prairies.

Gershon Iskowitz (Poland, 1921 – Toronto, Ontario, 1988), Deep Green # 8 (1977), Oil on Canvas
After surviving persecution during World War II and the Holocaust, Iskowitz studied art in Germany before immigrating to Canada in 1949. His early work depicted painful wartime memories eventually moving to loose landscape subjects. After a helicopter ride in 1967 and seeing the Canadian landscape from above as shapes of colour, his work became fully abstract expressionist in style. Iskowitz’s paintings are the artist’s own interpretation of the landscape of his adopted home, Canada.

You can visit both the Global Centre for Pluralism and the Canada Council Art Bank on Saturday, June 3rd from 10am-4pm during Doors Open Ottawa.


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