Beaver Tales

September 11, 2008

By Mike Landry
Beaver Tales.

Check out Mary Ann Barkhouse's "Persevere," at Beaver Tales.

Living in Downtown Toronto it’s hard to relate to the stuff of Canadiana iconography. Heck, I couldn’t tell a maple leaf from an oak leaf. And yet images of beavers, moose, and other iconography are everywhere.

To illustrate why these images are so pervasive Rachel Gotlieb and Martha Kelleher in their exhibition Beaver Tales: Canadian Art and Design have brought together more than 100 pieces from artists, designers, and craft makers working over the last two centuries. The exhibition threads together souvenirs and Emily Carr by their consistent use in Canadian flora and fauna up to today.

“We’ve just taken them for granted. We look at the quarter and say yup and flip it over the counter,” says Kelleher. “This exhibition may be a way, I hope, to show these iconic images are meant to be important to our culture and our country.”

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