Road Construction: Perspectives on Driving Through Saskatchewan

Works from the Collections of the MacKenzie Art Gallery and University of Regina
June 30 to September 9, 2018

Located in the Sim Gallery

Saskatchewan is rich in roads. With 228,200 kilometres of paved and unpaved public roads, this province has a larger network than any other in Canada. It is small wonder that roads feature prominently in the work of so many Saskatchewan artists.

A wide range of perspectives open up when looking at this exhibition. The development of an early network of roads allowed Saskatchewan’s first professional artists to visit the Qu’Appelle Valley and other sites of scenic beauty and cultural significance. Fred Moulding’s sculpture Road Building Outfit recalls the horse teams which were used to build many of these vital arteries. A post-war vision of progress is found is in the photographs of George Hunter and in the designs for modern roadside shelters by Regina architect Clifford Wiens.

In more recent years, artists have looked at those same roads through a critical lens. David Garneau and Cheryl L’Hirondelle uncover colonial narratives of erasure and displacement in their exploration of the impact of roads on Métis and First Nations peoples. Other works demonstrate how the highways of this province are embedded in memory, personal narrative, and imagination. Whether in the visions of self-taught painters such as Ann Harbuz, Eva Dennis and W.C. McCargar, or in the contemporary work of Richard Gorenko, Richard Holden, and Rachelle Viader Knowles, this exhibition show us that roads define much of life in this expansive province.