WAG Celebrates Canadian Museum for Human Rights Opening with Special Exhibition

The Winnipeg Art Gallery announces the presentation of a special exhibition to salute the upcoming opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Seeing Rights and Liberties: Celebrating the Canadian Museum for Human Rights opened Saturday, August 10 and runs until early 2015.

Human rights have engaged artists for centuries, whether it be the right to practice one’s religion, to equality irrespective of gender or race, or to a clean environment and a safe place to live. The WAG is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting such artworks to further engage the topic of human rights within community dialogue.

Drawn from the WAG’s permanent collection, Seeing Rights and Liberties features works that speak to the theme of human rights. Compelling images—Jack Shadbolt’s response to the atrocities he witnessed as a World War II war artist, Edward Burtynsky’s exploration of the human toll industry takes, Käthe Kollwitz’s renderings of defeated workers, and Jamasie Pitseolak’s personal account of abuse suffered at school—that immediately inform the viewer of the plights humans face.

“The opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in September 2014 is a tremendous, historic event here in Manitoba and around the world,” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “We welcome the CMHR to Winnipeg’s cultural community, and look forward to collaborating for years to come.”

Dedicated to the evolution, celebration, and future of human rights, the CMHR is Canada’s first national museum to be built in nearly half a century, and the first to be located outside of the National Capital Region. The CMHR is known as a “museum of ideas,” a designation with which the Winnipeg Art Gallery is very familiar. Indeed, the WAG is a “museum of art,” but each of the 26,000 objects in its collection and the 1,000s more that it has borrowed and displayed over the years, has been informed by an idea, a concept, a message, a narrative. Art is a universal communicator, one that does not require a written or verbal language to deliver its message. Through line, colour, shape, material, movement, sound, and more, artists communicate their ideas to audiences, leaving their works open to interpretation and to being informed by individual experience.

“Art is a powerful medium for relaying human rights messages,” said Mr. Stuart A. Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  “What an honour to have the WAG help celebrate the country’s new national Museum in this meaningful way.”

To learn more about Seeing Rights and Liberties, visit wag.ca. For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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For more information, please contact:
Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media and Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Tammy Sawatzky
Public Relations Coordinator
Winnipeg Art Gallery

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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