Ken Lywood: Anything Goes

Cape Breton University Art Gallery, September 24 – November 19, 2021

PLEASE NOTE: Visitation during current, regular gallery hours (Tuesday-Friday 10am-12pm and 1-4 pm), requires proof of vaccination to be presented to security upon arrival on campus (a security station is located in the Great Hall near the Gallery entrance).

Anything Goes presents an extraordinary selection of paintings and drawings by the established Canadian artist, Ken Lywood. Classical mythology, figuration, landscape, the nude, history painting… all come together in Ken’s work to present a vibrant and complex portrait of the artist in an exhibition that defies convention and embraces the risk of life and art.

About the Artist:

Formerly an instructor at The New School of Art in Toronto, Ken Lywood left the city’s art scene over twenty years ago to retreat into the woodlands of Unama’ki / Cape Breton to raise his family and paint.


Ko’kmanaq emittukutijik I Yonkhinatá:res ne onkwara’séhson I Our Cousins Visit

Cape Breton University Art Gallery, September 26, 2020 – present (ongoing)

Curated by Elizabeth Doxtater & Greg Davies

Available for onsite, gallery viewing by appointment. Please contact greg_davies@cbu.ca to book.

Opening on September 26th and continuing through 2021, The CBU Art Gallery presents an exhibition of visual work by young Indigenous artists from Eskasoni, Potlotek and the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario. The exhibition is at once a celebration of emerging talent and the coming together of younger ‘cousins’ hosting their older cousins across Turtle Island, where the gallery space becomes a site of peace and friendship and a meeting ground for sharing expressions of experience, thoughts, ideas and values. The Two-Row Wampum (or Peace and Friendship Treaty), was made over 1,000 years ago between Indigenous nations.

There were also three Two Row agreements made with Europeans that historically goes back to the 17th century. The latter is more commonly referred to because of the impact of contact. The visual signification reflects two vessels (a canoe and a European vessel), side-by-side, each navigating the river of life. It resembles a mathematical ‘equal’ sign when held sideways. Regarded lengthwise, it is understood that the ancestors had expectations for the coming faces when they placed their canoe in those waters so many years ago.

Each concurrent generation of matriarchs and leaders have been responsible for control of the paddle to guide to calm waters while protecting everything in that canoe. These young people currently have a responsibility to prepare to take that paddle as they become the next generation to fill those leadership roles. As we look at the works brought together in this exhibition, we are reminded that these young artists are also the ‘coming faces’ to the world of Indigenous Art.





Cape Breton University Art Gallery, April 9 – August 27, 2021

Curated by Greg Davies

Exhibition visitation by online reservation only due to COVID-19 restrictions. Note that seating is limited for visitation during regular gallery hours (Tuesday-Friday 10am-12pm and 1-4 pm). To book a seat, please contact Deanna_Manolakos@cbu.ca

This exhibition brings to Cape Breton a body of work initiated in Germany by local, multi-media artist, Onni Nordman. In 2020, just prior to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Onni was invited to the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Munich, for a three-month residency to produce and exhibit work related to his interests in the molecular composition of the human body and its links to the subatomic world. This was to have been followed by a second residency at the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Garching, Munich before the global pandemic compelled Onni and his partner and manager, Paula Muise, to return home to South Bar. Fortunately, the larger portion of the first residency was complete by the time of his departure.

Of his time at the Institute, Onni notes:

“I went there with a question, for the experts. Is life, going from the single cell, to consciousness, to civilization – is it an unbroken chain of cause and effect, or, does there, at some point, exist a break, where the patterns of our life are independent of the laws of the subatomic world? Are we different, or, is everything an infinite lineage from the big bang?”

Onni Nordman: Max Planck Residency Works presents art inspired by this line of questioning and the  conversations held with scientists and researchers in Munich. The exhibition is both a celebration of this special moment of intersection between science and art, sparked by curiosity, and an invitation to join with Onni on his path of enquiry about the fundamental questions of life itself.

Artist’s Bio:

Onni Nordman is an established multi-media artist, from Sydney, Cape Breton. Formally trained at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, he has exhibited widely across Nova Scotia and has had solo exhibitions in Michigan, Helisinki and Munich. His work is represented in private collections across Canada as well as New York, Munich, Prague, Dublin, Tallinn, Dubai, Melbourne, Helsinki, Turku, Lahti, Joensuu. In 2009, Onni was the recipient of an Established Artist Recognition Award from the Nova Scotia Arts & Culture Partnership. He also received a Visual Art Award from the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in 2015. His professional work has included teaching in the field of painting and regular activity in local arts initiatives. Onni’s contributions to the arts in Cape Breton have also involved ongoing mentorship and support for colleagues and aspiring artists.

Following two exhibitions in Germany and Finland, as well as a two-month residency in Munich in 2015, Onni returned to that city for three shows and two residencies, the first of which happened to be at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry where the scientists were studying the pandemic before it took hold. The third show and residency were postponed when Canadians were called home. The work featured in this exhibition is an extension of the interests and explorations he cultivated there.




Continuing online! To Be Frank features work by the celebrated Swiss-American photographer Robert Frank, and Cape Breton photographer Chad Tobin. A paired exhibition of nine prints by Frank from the permanent collection of the CBU Art Gallery along with twenty prints by Tobin taken over a ten year period during which he visited Robert and June Leaf at their summer home in Mabou. The exhibition is a deeply personal and resonant celebration of friendship and mentorship. Please be sure to revisit this space as we expand the selection of gallery images, notes and videos featuring insights and commentary from from the artists and curator. Currently the exhibition must remain online due to COVID-19 quarantines; however, we will provide notification here and on our social media platforms should there be any changes to the public access restrictions. We thank you for your patience and understanding.





August 16, 2019 – October 4, 2019

First You Dream: Celebrating 75 Years of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust 

Artist: Charley Young, Dan O’Neill, Despo Sophocleous, Emily Vey Duke, Jordan Broadworth, Lucy Pullen, Lux Habrich, Pamela Ritchie, Sandra Brownlee, Sara Hartland-Rowe

Organized by MSVU Art Gallery in partnership with Cape Breton University Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust was founded in 1944 and has been awarding scholarships to visual artists since 1949. To celebrate the NSTT 75th Anniversary, First You Dream developed out of a call for entries to all scholarship recipients, inviting submissions of recent work. The final exhibition selection resulted in a broad range of media, including drawing, ceramics, fibre, jewellery, mixed-media, painting, printmaking, sculpture and video. The generational mix of the artists (indicated by the dates of their Talent Trust scholarships) ranges from 1979 to 2016—a span of 37 years. The exhibition includes work by Jordan Broadworth, Sandra Brownlee, Lux Habrich, Sara Hartland-Rowe, Dan O’Neill, Lucy Pullen, Pamela Ritchie, Despo Sophocleous, Emily Vey Duke, and Charley Young.

The Nova Scotia Talent Trust and partner galleries recognize the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Proletariart 2019:

Proletariart 2019 is scheduled to open on Friday November 4, from 2-4 p.m. Details regarding submission guidelines and dates will be announced this summer on our social media and webpage platforms.