Bev Pike

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Bev Pike is a Winnipeg-based visual artist who paints large (2.5 x 6.1 m/8 x 20 ft) cinematic baroque landforms. Grottesque,[1] her current work on climate catastrophe, is a series of interconnected underground sanctuaries based on seventeenth century shell grottos. Pike also creates video art and publishes artist's books as well as opinion pieces for CBC, MSN, and the Winnipeg Free Press among others.


Bev Pike graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design and took post-graduate studies in fine art at the University of Alberta.


In the Hysteria Chronicles[2] as well as the Grottesque paintings of which the Dunlop Gallery, Regina Public Library, circulated a show in 2018,[3] Pike explores playful and sardonic dystopian refuges using monumental scale and fragile glazes.

Curator Mary Reid,[4] described them as, "mountainous bundles of clothing...creating a visual topography of overlapping social histories and constructions of gender."[5] For the 2018–2020 Canadian tour publication, the Dunlop Art Gallery's Assistant Curator Blair Fornwald analysed the gouaches on paper: "...lumpen bezoars of bedclothes, knitwear, yarn, and fabric coalesce into compositions resembling quasi-landscapes, details from domestic spaces, and the cavernous fleshy interiors of the body." Museum London's Curator/Director Cassandra Getty wrote in their publication, "Evocative titles like Cavernous Sun Parlour, Buried Dance Pavilion, and Subterranean Day Spa suggest that these spaces comprise the leisure sites of a new underground civilization." In her June 2018 Border Crossings review, Sandee Moore called this work "...a tour de force of demented whimsy..."

Of the 1990 solo show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Curator Shirley Madill described Pike's Boudoir Series[6] as a "...balance on the threshold between reality and the inner space of imbue everyday reality with poetry, magic and doubt."[7]

The paintings have shown extensively at large public galleries and artist-run centres across Canada. Pike has received senior level grants from Canada Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council, including several prestigious Major Arts Awards.[8] In addition, paintings and artist-books are in public collections in Canada, the UK (Tate Britain,[9][10] Victoria & Albert Museum among others) and the US (National Museum of Women in the Arts among others).[11][12]

As a feminist activist and cultural advocate,[13] Bev Pike has lectured at universities and colleges across Canada. She has been on many boards and action committees, a mentor at Mentoring Artists for Women's Art[14] and is a founding member of the Wendy Wersch Memorial Lecture Series.[15]

Her Papers are at the Archives of Manitoba[16] and Artexte.[17]


Autobiography of an Eccentric Line (2001),[18]

Swallowing Safety Pins (2007)[19]

Agony Aunt's Cavalcade of Mysteries (2017).

Her videotapes, distributed by Video Pool Media Arts Centre, include Agony Aunt Tarot (2015) and Suffragette Sight Gags (2004).[20]


  1. ^ "Bev Pike: Grottesque". Galleries West. January 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Metcalfe, Robin (2005). Bev Pike: The Hysteria Chronicles. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: St. Mary's University Gallery. p. 3. ISBN 1-895763-87-8.
  3. ^ "Bev Pike: Grottesque". Dunlop Gallery. Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  4. ^ "Bev Pike: Hymenal Views" (PDF). e-artexte. School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba. March 2013. Archived from the original on 15 July 2021.
  5. ^ "University of Manitoba – School of Art". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  6. ^ "Boudoirs". August 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Madill, Shirley (1993). New Histories: The Manitoba Studio Series. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: The Winnipeg Art Gallery. p. 21. OCLC 604727192.
  8. ^ "Bev Pike – Major Arts Grant 2012". Manitoba Arts Council. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  9. ^ "iLink". Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  10. ^ Tate. "Library & Archive Reading Rooms at Tate Britain". Tate. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  11. ^ Retrieved 2022-04-14. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Retrieved 2022-04-14. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "CCCA Artist Profile for Bev Pike". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  14. ^ "Foundation Mentorship Program Participant List" (PDF). Mentoring Artists for Women's Art. Mentoring Artists for Women's Art. 2015.
  15. ^ "Equality through art". The Winnipeg Foundation. November 18, 2016. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Archives of Manitoba | Keystone Archives Descriptive Database". Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  17. ^ "Search results - e-artexte". Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  18. ^ Pike, Bev (2001). Autobiography of an Eccentric Line. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Lives of Dogs. ISBN 0-9683019-2-4.
  19. ^ Pike, Bev (2007). Swallowing Safety Pins. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Lives of Dogs. ISBN 978-0-9683019-3-7.
  20. ^ "vp . artist . Bev Pike". Retrieved 2016-03-05.