BANFF – The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies has three new exhibits arriving March 31 it hopes will get people thinking about their place in the natural world.
“We are hoping people will come in, enjoy the galleries and the exhibitions being installed,” said Anne Ewen, curator of art and heritage at the Whyte Museum. “Reflect on their perception of how they place themselves in this world and how they view the planet.”
The Explore by Chris Can exhibition features 23 optical-illusion portraits created by artist Chris Can that celebrates the accomplishments and discoveries of Canada’s greatest explorers. The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
“It is a very happy public celebration of a new relationship between the Whyte Museum and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society,” Ewen said. “Chris is an extraordinary artist who explores his art with a great deal of curiosity.”
Also on display as part of another exhibit in the main area will be paintings by Canadian, American and European artists that show the landscape of the region.
“We have Indigenous stories, ski poles, hiking poles, and all this is part of the passion of Banff and this mountainous area over thousands of years,” Ewen said. “We hope visitors explore the changing landscape around us with fresh eyes. When you walk in the room, you’ll be amazed how wonderful these paintings are.”
There are also works by Inuit artists that are part of a paintings and sculpture exhibit. It features prints, tapestries and carvings.
“We have a whole collection of smalls, including a duck that is about one centimetre,” Ewen said. “You can imagine someone on the ice hunting, or at camp at night, whittling away on a piece of stone or wood to create a piece like this.”
Another work, called Son and Father, features a whale bone sculpture that has been carved.
“What this does for the Whyte is it allows us to showcase Canadian and other artists who are working in practices about nature,” Ewen said. “It also allows us to use our incredible collection, art, archival, library, artifacts, to allow us to connect visitors to nature.”
The All Roses Sleep exhibit will also run through the spring, featuring the artists Alana Bartol and Bryce Krynski. The exhibit includes a video shot using ultraviolet so visitors can see the prairie landscape from the bee’s point of view. There is also a scratch and sniff card that gives a window into the pleasant and pungent smells a bee encounters in the modern world.
“We are bringing in from (Adrian Stimson), his bee tower, which is 10 feet tall,” Ewen said. “It is filled with buzzing bees thanks to a soundtrack hidden inside. It is adorned with gold leaf bees and an owl perched on top with a gopher nearby wearing a gas mask.”