Cabinet of Curiosities of the Durham Magicians and Shape Shifters, 2022

May 9 to May 29, 2022
Location: Founders Gallery
Presented by:  Bruce Parsons

The Cabinet of Curiosities of the Durham Magicians and Shape Shifters, 2022 is a select extension from Bruce Parsons’ WALKING IN CIRCLES: TREADING WATER Bruce Parsons / Art Projects, 1971 to 2022 exhibition.

Bruce Parsons is a painter and conceptual artist from the 1970’s.

This will be his third appearance at the NPCC gallery with new work from the time of “Sheltering in Place”. It is also a journey back to share some earlier art pieces from the past 50 years practice.

To view Bruce Parson’s Elemental Time video, click here.  Video edited by by John Parsons with Canadian dancer Marc Boivin.

To view Bruce Parson’s Conch Shell Dance video, May 2022, click here.

To view Bruce Parson’s Walking in Circles video, May 2022, click here.

To view My Brother Bruce, Always Changing video, May 2022, please click here.

The Man Who Wore Many Hats

Bruce Parsons has been exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions through out his long practice as a painter, printmaker, muralist and installation artist. He was part of Emma Lake workshops lead by Frank Stella, Ken Noland, Jules Olitski, John Cage and Clement Greenberg. Parsons was part of the conceptual art practice at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from early to Mid 1970’s.

From Late 1970’s to late 2000 he was a Director of Graduate MFA programme and Associate Professor at Fine Arts Department at the York University. His extensive exhibition record includes solo and group exhibitions across Canada in both private, artist run spaces and public galleries as well as in exhibitions in Beijing, New York City, Hong Kong and New Castle Upon-Tyne, England.

Throughout his career as an art educator he was responsible for installing more than 150 commissioned murals by Fine Arts Students at the York University campus. 

Post Cards From My Father - Bruce Parsons

This month I have had the pleasure of curating a retrospective show of works by my father, Bruce Parsons. The show, now hanging at the Neilson Park Creative Centre in Etobicoke, is a collection of works spanning almost my whole lifetime.

Bruce’s early works document him amongst natural settings. The first images in the show are a self portrait and a painting of Lake Louise where in the sixties he worked as a busboy to support his passion for mountain climbing. His later works veer away from landscape painting but in reality they are mindscapes – postcards of his mind traveling to new places – climbing new peaks. Each piece can be sourced from busy sketchbooks filled with explorations and imaginings. These books in themselves are a vibrant visual diary tracing Bruce’s travels through time crammed with multiple drawings and plans that could all be featured in a show of their own.

The works presented in the show are mementos from my childhood – that feel akin to family. His talent for summoning the nature of place has been a constant throughout his lifetime of work. Each work represents images from Bruce’s mind’s eye at a point in time. Bruce is an artistic hunter-gatherer or maybe a Bowerbird adorning his canvases with iconic images and found objects. Once the images and objects are laid out, a dance begins that weaves the tableaux into structures of meaning – articulating a message to mystify and cajole you.

This is a rare opportunity to see a collection spanning an artist’s life. An artist who is still creating work at a furious pace. The show is open until Saturday, May 7th until 2pm at the NPCC gallery in Etobicoke. Please come out and meet the artist – query him on the world he presents.

~Chris Parsons