30 International Artists Provoke Dialogue About Violence, Women, and Art: Compelling Exhibition Aims to Create Empathy for Women’s Stories

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA: January 28, 2014: A new exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery aims to focus attention on violence experienced by women world-wide. Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art will open February 1, and run until April 20, 2014.

Featuring the work of 30 international artists, this compelling exhibition was curated by Randy Rosenberg, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Art Works for Change, an organization whose mission is to harness the transformative power of art to promote awareness, provoke dialogue, and inspire action.

Off the Beaten Path shows that art can be a powerful medium to bring new perspectives and understanding to audiences, thereby assisting in fostering important social change”, says Stephen Borys, Director & CEO of the WAG.

Premised on the visionary potential of art, the stories that underlie featured artwork by Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Mona Hatoum and Wangechi Mutu, among others, helps audiences to understand the complex issues that give rise to gender-based violence. The dialogue fostered through the art displayed–painting, photography, sculpture, multi-media, video, and installation–speaks to the pervasiveness of this social issue.

“We place exhibitions on our schedule for various reasons: academic scholarship, popular appeal, community outreach are but a few. Off the Beaten Path touches on a social issue –violence against women—that unfortunately is prevalent in Canada,” says Chief Curator of the WAG, Helen Delacretaz. “It affects us all globally. Our exhibitions committee felt strongly that this was a show we wanted to see here in Winnipeg, to foster dialogue, to bring attention to an important issue, and, hopefully, to enact social change.”

Manitoba, along with Saskatchewan, has consistently recorded the highest provincial rates of violence against women. In 2011, that rate was about double the national rate. A new PhD thesis by a federal civil servant in Ottawa has resulted in a database of missing or dead Canadian women, 824 of whom are identified as aboriginal.

Programming:
Member Opening • Friday, Jan 31, 11-4pm • tours at noon and 2:30pm.
Public Opening • Free, Friday, Jan 31, 7-10pm
Drop-in Tours • 2pm-February 9, 16, 23 & March 9, 16, 23, 30
Conversation Café • Violence against women: does culture matter? Feb 20, 6-9pm • register: 204.789.1290
Rebecca Belmore Performance • Sat, Mar 1, 11am-5pm • Come watch the live stream at the WAG! Presented in partnership with Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies and Ka Ni Kanichihk
Rebecca Belmore Artist Talk • Sun, Mar 2, 2pm • presented in partnership with MAWA
International Women’s Day • March 8 • Free admission • sponsored by Manitoba Government & General Employees’ Union

Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art is sponsored by the Donner Canadian Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Winnipeg Free Press, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, the Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies, Ka Ni Kanichihk, MAWA and the Islamic Social Services Association.

For more related programming please visit wag.ca. To learn more about Art Works for Change visit artworksforchange.org.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery and inspiration.

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For more information please contact:

Debra Fehr, Manager, Communications and Marketing, 204.789.1767, dfehr@wag.ca
Izzy Goluch, Public Relations Coordinator, 204.789.1295, igoluch@wag.ca

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