Bev Pike

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Bev Pike is a Winnipeg-based visual artist who works primarily in large-scale painting of baroque landforms. Current work is a series of underground rooms based on seventeenth century shell grottos. She also has created video art and artist's books.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bev Pike graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design.[2]


Bev Pike has exhibited extensively in Canada, at public galleries including Galeria Optica (Montreal), Open Space (Victoria), MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa) and the New Gallery (Calgary).[1] Her first significant body of work, begun in 1987, consisted of large-scale paintings of tangled bedding.[3] Many of these were exhibited at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1990 by curator Shirley J.-R. Madill, who wrote that these large-scale works in gouache on paper, "...balance on the threshold between reality and the inner space of dreams....The subject of the bedroom interior allows Pike to imbue everyday reality with poetry, magic and doubt."[4] Subsequently, Pike further abstracted the intimate folds of bedding and clothing in a series of monumental scale (8' x 20' each) that almost enveloped the viewer.[5] The titles of these paintings, "reference... bodily organs"[6] and fantastical interior landscapes.[7] Created between 2003 and 2011, they were exhibited in 2013 at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery curated by Mary Reid,[8] who described them as, "mountainous bundles of clothing...creating a visual topography of overlapping social histories and constructions of gender."[9]

Pike has received grants from Canada Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council, including the prestigious Major Arts Award in 2012.[10] In 1989-1990, 1996-1997 and 2009-2010 she was a mentor at Mentoring Artists for Women's Art (MAWA)[11] and has been a visiting artist at several universities and galleries including the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the University of Manitoba School of Art, the Alberta College of Art and Design, and the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum. Her work is included in such public collections as the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank, the National Library and Archives Canada, the Women's Library and the Tate Modern in London, England, and numerous artist-book collections throughout North America and England.[2]

Pike's artist's books include Autobiography of an Eccentric Line (2001),[12] Swallowing Safety Pins (2007)[13] and the forthcoming Agony Aunt's Cavalcade of Mysteries (October 2016). Her videotapes, distributed by Video Pool Media Arts Centre, include Agony AuntTarot (2015) and Suffragette Sight Gags (2004).[14]

Pike is also a feminist activist and cultural advocate, and a founding member of the Wendy Wersch Memorial Lecture Series.[15]


  1. ^ a b Metcalfe, Robin (2005). Bev Pike: The Hysteria Chronicles. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: St. Mary's University Art Gallery. p. 13. ISBN 1-895763-87-8.
  2. ^ a b "Bev Pike exhibition opens tonight, artist talk set for Friday - Living - The Western Star". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ Allison, Glenn (1994). Bev Pike: Intimate Embodiments. Brandon , Manitoba, Canada: Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. p. 18.
  4. ^ Madill, Shirley (1993). New Histories: The Manitoba Studio Series. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: The Winnipeg Art Gallery. p. 21. OCLC 604727192.
  5. ^ Metcalfe, Robin (2005). Bev Pike: The Hysteria Chronicles. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: St. Mary's University Gallery. p. 3. ISBN 1-895763-87-8.
  6. ^ "Bev Pike". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  7. ^ "Painter uses piles of laundry to create fantastical landscapes". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  8. ^ Reid, Mary (2013). "Bev Pike: Hymenal Views". E-Artexte. E-Arttexte. Retrieved 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ "University of Manitoba - School of Art -". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  10. ^ "Bev Pike – Major Arts Grant 2012". Manitoba Arts Council. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  11. ^ "Foundation Mentorship Program Participant List" (PDF). Mentoring Artists for Women's Art. Mentoring Artists for Women's Art. 2015.
  12. ^ Pike, Bev (2001). Autobiography of an Eccentric Line. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Lives of Dogs. ISBN 0-9683019-2-4.
  13. ^ Pike, Bev (2007). Swallowing Safety Pins. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Lives of Dogs. ISBN 978-0-9683019-3-7.
  14. ^ "vp . artist . Bev Pike". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  15. ^ "CCCA Artist Profile for Bev Pike". Retrieved 2016-03-05.