University of Manitoba - School of Art -


Once a Total Art Happening: Revisiting "artario 72"

School of Art Special Collections Gallery
November 24 – December 22, 2017
Curated by Noor Bhangu
On the evening of October 12, 1972 artario 72 opened at nearly 500 different locations across Canada, including the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. The exhibition sold for $200 and was shipped out to its venues in compact boxes. It was conceived by the Slovenian-born, Toronto-based artist Peeter Sepp during his tenure as the Visual Arts Officer at Ontario Arts Council. His aim was to democratize the arts in Canada, or bring art to the people, who previously had little access to view or collect contemporary Canadian art. It included industrially-produced multiples from twenty Ontario-based artists working within a range of mediums and styles.

The School of Art Gallery invites you to revisit the exhibition, once referred to as a "total art happening." In exploring the archival materials of the exhibition, such as the study guide, press release, catalogue, and order forms, Once a Total Art Happening considers the cultural climate of Canada in the 60s and 70s, with a focus on the role of art in society.

Artists featured in the show include: Ron Baird, Ted Bieler, T. Michael Bidner, John Boyle, Louis de Niverville, McCleary Drope, Kosso Eloul, Wyn Geleynse, Arthur Handy, Michael Hayden, Don Jean-Louis, Rita Letendre, John MacGregor, Robin Mackenzie, Kim Ondaatje, Jacques Schyrgens, "Mike" Snow, Raymond Spiers, Tony Urquhart, and Dik Zander.

With support from Young Canada Works - Building Careers in Heritage
Image: Rita Letendre, Staccato II, 1972, silkscreen print in five colours. Collection of the School of Art Gallery.

Curator's Tours:
December 8, 1 pm
December 14, 11:30 am

Exhibition Essay
Noor Bhangu, Once A Total Art Happening: Revisiting "artario 72" [pdf]