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Susan Low-Beer: Specimen

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Low-Beer’s series Specimen has a quality that distinguishes it as a brave next chapter in her practice. Specimen also remains true to the themes that have grounded her practice for decades: the dynamics of human relationships, the interwoven experience of the physical and the psychological, and the simultaneous power and vulnerability of the body. The Specimen works are domestic-size ceramic sculptures that integrate other found and modified elements, including fabric and wire. The assemblages are rooted in abstraction and embrace absurdity, resisting any easy or conclusive reading. Elements of the sculptures serve as stand-ins for larger human forms and have a narrative quality. Specimen also offers a look inward, at the insides, the viscera of the body. Through her work in general, and most vividly in this recent Specimen series, Low-Beer speaks precisely about her own experiences and observations, while simultaneously giving space for the viewer to be triggered, engaged and enchanted.

Opening Reception

Saturday, March 9 at 1:00-3:00pm

All are invited to a relaxed reception for MSVU Art Gallery’s spring exhibitions, Susan Low-Beer: Specimen and  Sarah Maloney’s Pleasure Ground: A Feminist Take on the Natural World. MSVU Art Gallery is committed to making our events accessible to everyone. Access, location and interpretive services information can be found in the About section of our website and please contact art.gallery@msvu.ca with any access requests, service needs or inquiries.

Artist Talk

Friday, March 8 at 11:00am

Please join artist Susan Low-Beer for a public presentation about her practice. The event is co-presented with NSCAD University will take place at NSCAD University Port Campus, room P209 – visit nscad.ca for location details. Please contact art.gallery@msvu.ca with any access requests, service needs or inquiries.


About the Artist

Susan Low-Beer was born in Montreal and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at Mount Allison University. She also acquired a Masters of Fine Arts, from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. In 1999 she received the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts and in 2000 was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. She has exhibited in Europe, United States, Japan and Korea, as well as nationally in both juried and invitational exhibitions and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards.

About the Curator

Sheila McMath is a facilitator, community organizer, independent curator and Artistic Director of Inter Arts Matrix, an interdisciplinary incubator and producer based in Kitchener, Ontario. McMath’s work in the arts has maintained a balance of work with larger institutions and direct involvement with artist-run initiatives. In addition to the tour of Low-Beer’s Specimen series, McMath curated an exhibition called Petrichor, featuring sculptural and installation works by Nicholas Crombach and Nurielle Stern that debuted at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario in summer 2023.

Sheila McMath acknowledges the Ontario Arts Council (Arts Response Initiative) for supporting her independent curatorial practice.