Mary Anne Barkhouse

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Mary Anne Barkhouse
EducationOntario College of Art, 1991
Known forJewellery maker and Sculptor

Mary Anne Barkhouse RCA (born 1961) is a jeweller and sculptor residing in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. She belongs to the Nimpkish band of the Kwakiutl First Nation.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Barkhouse was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1961.[2] She is related to several notable artists from the Kwakwaka'wakw art tradition, including Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin, and Charlie James.[3] She was a student of metalsmith Lois Betteridge.[3] In the 1980s Barkhouse played bass with the Ottawa, Ontario punk band The Restless Virgins.[4]


Beginning her professional career in the 1990s,[4] Barkhouse's artworks highlight modern environmental and indigenous concerns through the lens of personal and shared histories. Many of her works use animal imagery.[3]

A major breakthrough work for Barkhouse was Harvest, completed in 2009. The mixed media sculpture was created for the 2009 The Muhheakantuck in Focus exhibition at Wave Hill in the Bronx, NY. It depicts the names of Indigenous groups of the Hudson valley on porcelain objects, laid out on a European-style table. A bronze coyote pulls at the tablecloth, giving the impression that the table service may crash to the ground.[5] The piece was later acquired by the National Gallery of Canada,[6] and has been loaned for touring exhibitions.

After separating from her former partner, the Ojibwe artist Michael Belmore, they continued to work together on artistic projects, including the public installation Echo in Toronto.[4]

Barkhouse is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Public Sculpture and Installation[edit]

Beaver sculpture, part of Echo. Joel Weeks Park, Toronto

Barkhouse has an extensive public sculpture practice. Her works are permanently installed in cities and institutions including the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario in London, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph and the Millennium Walkway in Peterborough, Ontario.[7]

A major early installation of Barkhouse's is Lichen, a collaboration with Michael Belmore.[8] Installed at the McMichael Gallery in Vaughan, Ontario in 1998, it includes several bronze sculptures of wolves, and a transit shelter with a poster of a raven.[9]

The McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton, ON, permanently installed Covenant, a sculpture of two coyotes encountering each other, in 2012.[10]

In 2013, The Canadian Museum of History installed 'namaxsala (To Travel in a Boat Together), a bronze and copper sculpture of a wolf in a canoe, staring across the Ottawa River at Parliament Hill. The work was inspired by a story told to Belmore by her grandfather.[11]

Echo, installed in 2015 in Joel Weeks Park in Toronto, features three separate cast bronze sculptures. They include four squirrels worshiping an acorn, a beaver, and a fox.[4]


In 2017, the Koffler Centre of the Arts in Toronto organized a major solo exhibition of new and past works, Mary Anne Barkhouse: Le rêve aux loups, curated by Jennifer Rudder.[6] The show toured with additional works to the Esker Foundation in Calgary, Alberta.[12] It included major pieces such as Harvest, works previously included in group shows such as Red Rover from the 2014 Land Marks exhibit organized by the Thames Art Gallery,[13] and new works representing further development of the aesthetics and concepts represented in these pieces.

Red Rover, one of Barkhouse's major works exhibited in this show, continued the visual themes of wolves and poodles explored in May Contain Wolf, her contribution to the 2012 What is Land exhibition at the Tree Museum in Gravenhurst, Ontario.[14]

In 2005, Barkhouse and Belmore exhibited their collaborative works in the exhibition Sanctuary at the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Ontario. The show later toured to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound, Ontario.[15]

Selected works and exhibitions[edit]

  • Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, June 2 - August 18, 2019, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.
  • Reins of Chaos, 2014, Norfolk Arts Centre, Simcoe, Ontario.
  • Sakahan: International Indigenous Art, May 17 - September 2, 2013. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
  • Facing the Animal, 2012, Julie Andreyev, Bill Burns, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Close Encounters: The Next 400 Years, 2011, Group exhibition featuring 33 Indigenous artists from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand (Aoteara), Finland, and Brazil, Plug IN ICA, Winnipeg, Manitoba.[16]
  • Boreal Baroque, Mary Anne Barkhouse, 2009, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario, Espanade Art Gallery, Medicine Hat, Alberta.[17]
  • Beaver Tales: Canadian Art and Design, 2008, Toronto Art Centre] Toronto, Ontario.
  • Early Morning Wolf Stretching Exercises (1993) "Multiplicity: A New Cultural Strategy." Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[3]
  • Shades of Red, Pow Wow Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, 1991.[18]
  • Exposed: Native Women Photographers Group Show, Niroquois Gallery, Brantford, Ontario, 1991.[19]


Barkhouse's work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada (Harvest, 2009 and Sovereign, 2007), Mendel Art Gallery, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, (Grace, 2007)[20] UBC Museum of Anthropology, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Banff Centre for the Arts, Archives of Ontario (Persevere, 2006) and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.[14]


  • Ahlberg, Yohe J, and Teri Greeves. Hearts of Our People. Native Women Artists. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2019.[21]
  • Hill, Greg A, Candice Hopkins, and Christine Lalonde. Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2013.[22]


  1. ^ "Mary Anne Barkhouse". Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  2. ^ Hill, Greg A.; Hopkins, Candice; Lalonde, Christine (2013). Sakahan: International Indigenous Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-88884-912-0.
  3. ^ a b c d Dysart, Jennifer; Bob, Tanya; Barkhouse, Mary Anne (2012). Old Punk Rockers Never Die, They Just Do Installation Art (PDF). Vancouver, B.C.: University of British Columbia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Warnica, Richard (19 June 2015). "Toronto sculpture squirrels worship a giant stone acorn: 'Why wouldn't they?'". National Post. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  5. ^ Genocchio, Benjamin (3 September 2009). "The River's Meaning to Indians, Before and After Hudson". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b Rudder, Jennifer (June 2017). Mary Anne Barkhouse: Le rêve aux loups | Koffler Centre of the Arts. The Koffler Centre of the Arts. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  7. ^ The Tree Museum. "Exhibitions - What Is Land". Akimbo. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  8. ^ Kerstin Knopf (2008). Aboriginal Canada Revisited. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 171–172. ISBN 978-0-7766-0679-8.
  9. ^ "Outdoors". McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  10. ^ "New Public Art: Mary Anne Barkhouse sculpture". McMaster Museum of Art Blog. McMaster University Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Wolf in canoe sculpture unveiled at civilization museum | CBC News". CBC. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Animals in the Parlour at the Esker Foundation". Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  13. ^ Fatona, Andrea; Morgan-Feir, Caoimhe; Dennis, Katherine (2013). "Land marks: Mary Anne Barkhouse, Wendy Coburn, Brendan Fernandes, Susan Gold and Jérôme Harve" (PDF). OCAD University Open Research Repository. Thames Art Gallery. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  14. ^ a b "2011-2012 Catalogue" (PDF). Tree Museum. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Akimbo - Events - Mary Anne Barkhouse & Michael Belmore open May 18 @ Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound". Akimbo. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  16. ^ Garneau, David. "Traditional Futures." Border Crossings 30.2 (2011): 72-78. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 23 Sept. 2015
  17. ^ Mary Anne Barkhouse : Boreal Baroque. Robert McLaughlin Gallery. 2007. ISBN 978-0-921500-85-8.
  18. ^ Hill, Lynn A. (Lynn Ann), 1961- (1995). AlterNative : contemporary photo compositions. McMichael Canadian Art Collection. ISBN 0777841282. OCLC 35930990.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Hill, Lynn A; McMichael Canadian Art Collection (1995). AlterNative: contemporary photo compositions. Kleinburg, Ont.: McMichael Canadian Art Collection. ISBN 9780777841280. OCLC 35930990.
  20. ^ "The RMG: Public Art". The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Retrieved February 4, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Ahlberg Yohe, Jill; Greeves, Teri (2019). Hearts of our people. Native women artists. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295745794. OCLC 1105604814.
  22. ^ Hill, Greg A; Hopkins, Candice; Lalonde, Christine; National Gallery of Canada (2013). Sakahàn: international indigenous art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada. ISBN 9780888849120. OCLC 822646597.