BIO

Canadian multi-disciplinary artist Marian Wihak was born and raised in the city of Regina, in the great plains of South Central Saskatchewan, and lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. Originally trained in theatre design, and with a long-standing career as a film designer as well as an established painting practice, Marian holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCADU.

Marian’s recent work builds on her familiarity with and understanding of spatial responsiveness and metaphoric narrative, integrating her design and visual art practices to develop new possibilities in immersive and experiential environments. This serves her overarching interest in the overlapping perceptive and phenomenological aspects of chaos, the sublime and duration.

Her installations have been shown at Loop Gallery, Toronto Design Offsite Festival, Word on the Street/Sculpting New Words, Come Up To My Room, Nuit Blanche, Art Spin, Hazelton Lanes, The Artist Project, and Cleveland’s IngenuityFest. Her painting and drawing have been shown at the John B. Aird, Edward Day, Bau-Xi galleries in Toronto, Kitchener’s Rotunda Gallery, Prince Edward County’s Oeno Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Regina.

Marian Wihak has been the recipient of numerous nominations and awards for her theatre and film design work, and as a visual artist has been supported by the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council. She was also a Finalist in the RBC Painting Competition (2001). Her work has been exhibited across Canada and can be found in private and corporate collections across North America.

CV (pdf)

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

My practice focuses on developing environments that are situated within the realm of phenomenological and aesthetic experience, vacillating between the haptic and the evocative. Driving my inquiry are overarching notions of connectivity, duration, and the vicissitudes inherent within the evolutionary process. These concerns are manifested in substantial site-specific and site responsive installations completed in recent years including The Veil of Nature, Deep Circularity, Tidelines, and Élan Vital.

My work is strongly informed by my experience as a painter and also as a conjurer of three-dimensional, metaphoric, narrative spaces. I’m drawn to the ephemeral nature of light, and the sustenance it provides in physical, psychic and symbolic terms and uses frames within frames, reflections and translucency as both physical and psychological demarcation. My current installation-based work signifies the important integration of my visual art and design practices, in which I employ a wide range of analogue, theatrical and sculptural-material elements situated within site-responsive, multi-sensory, three-dimensional environments.

At the core of my practice resides the belief in the potential of the aesthetic experience to inform and transform our lives; through its capacity to show us something we didn’t know we knew. My goal is to engage the viewer-participant in a compelling scenario that invites questions amid confusing pleasure, prompting thoughtful reflection upon one’s own state of being in the world and within the larger, encompassing, fluid sense of time.

— Marian Wihak

CV

EDUCATION & RESIDENCIES

OCADU, Interdisciplinary Masters in Art, Media & Design (Part-Time Program) — 2010-2014

SSHRC affiliated Internship on ‘The Secret Doctrine’ theatre workshop —  June 2012

Fogo Island Thematic Residency, Fogo Island, Newfoundland — May 2011

Banff Centre, Self-Directed Creative Residency in Visual Art — March 2009

Studio Arts Centre International, Florence, Italy: Painting, Drawing, Art History — 1984

Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto Part-time studies, painting — Various Years

University of Regina, Sask., BFA with Distinction – Theatre major/Visual Art minor — 1977

Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax, Selected studio classes,

Nova Scotia Technical College, Halifax, N.S. Selected architecture studies

Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.Theatre studies

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018 Marking Time, Loop Gallery

2018 Excavation (…closer to where we began), TODO Festival, Toronto

2014 Deep Circularity, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Toronto (April 2014)

2012 Boundless: Sublime Maelstrom, Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener

2011 Boundless: Sublime Maelstrom, Cube Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario

2009 Boundless: Sublime Maelstrom, Art Gallery of Regina, Regina Saskatchewan

2007 Boundless: The View From Here, Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener

2006 Interior Spaces: LIminal Places, Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018 Ouroboros, Artists x 5, St. Anne’s Anglican Church

2017 Excavation (…closer to where we began), Sculpting New Reads, Toronto

2017 Élan Vital, Come Up To My Room, Gladstone Hotel, curated by J.Macalik & C.Jivraj

2015 Tidelines, IngenuityFest, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

2014 Deep Circularity, Art Spin, Toronto

2013 Take a penny, leave a penny, Scotia Bank Plaza, Nuit Blanche, Toronto

in collaboration with Martha Griffith

Ovum Quadratum, site-specific installation, Hazelton Arts Festival, Toronto

Veil of Nature, multi-platform installation in collaboration with P.Gruben and M. Gotfrit,

SFU, Goldthorpe Arts Centre, Vancouver

Ebb and Flow, Video ArtBox, Artist Project, Toronto

2012 Archaean, Gladstone Hotel, Nuit Blanche, Toronto

in collaboration with Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea and Tahireh Lal

2011 Weather, Airspace Gallery, Terminal I, Pearson International Airport, Toronto

2009 Forces of Nature, curator Christian Bernard Singer, Rouge Concept Gallery, Toronto

         Homage, Cube Gallery, Ottawa

         Group Show, Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County, Ontario

2008 Aeolian, Mysteria Gallery, Regina Sask.

2007 City at Night: A Tribute to Brian Kipping, Bau-Xi Gallery, Toronto

2006 You Are Here: The Emotional Geography of Place, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto

2005 Hi-Light, curator Kelly McCray at Edward Day Gallery, Toronto

2004 Light Falls, Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County

2001 RBC Private Counsel, New Canadian Painting Competition,

         Exhibition of 5 Eastern Finalists, Gallery One, Toronto

 

REVIEWS, ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS

“Marian Wihak & Yael Brotman at Loop, Nathan Flint for ArtToronto.ca —Oct. 13, 2018

“Ouroboros at St. Anne’s Anglican Church”, Terence Dick for Akimbo — Oct. 3, 2018

Come Up To My Room 2017: Gladstone Hotel’s Annual Alternative Design Event, pg.37 DesignLines Magazine online — Jan. 20, 2017

Toronto Life Magazine online Jan. 20, 2017

Akimblog by Terence Dick on Jul. 3, 2014 (re: Art Spin 2014)

“Must-sees this week: June 26-July 2, 2014”, Canadian Art

“Power Play”, Canadian House and Home — March 2009, pg. 107

“RBC Painting Competition: Ten Years”, published by RBC, edited by Laurel MacMillan

“Marian Wihak Interior Spaces: Liminal Places”, catalogue, intro by Dr. Twyla Gibson — May 2006

 

COLLECTIONS

Cygnus Investment Partners, Toronto

The Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina

The Ontario Power Authority, Toronto

The Salman Partners, Toronto and Calgary

Danpack Incorporated, Kansas City, Kansas, USA

Private Collections in Canada and the USA

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

2018 Design Lines Magazine ‘Love Tag’ for 100 Best of Toronto Design Week

2017 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (Excavation…closer to where we began)

2017 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (Élan Vital)

2013 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (w Martha Griffith; Take a Penny)

2012 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (w Gustavo Benjumea: Archaean, Gladstone Hotel, Nuit Blanche)

2012 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (Sublime Maelstrom, Rotunda Gallery)

2009 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (Boundless: Sublime Maelstrom, Art Gallery of Regina)

2008 Canada Council for the Arts Research and Creation Grant

2007 Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant (Boundless: the view from here, Rotunda Gallery)

2001 Eastern Finalist, The RBC New Canadian Painting Competition

 

AFFILIATIONS

Member of: CARFAC, LOOP Gallery, DGC, IATSE 891

INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST-DESIGNER

Marian Wihak is an award-winning Production Designer in film and television and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design. Having designed and overseen major studio builds as well as location retrofits for many film productions in Canada and abroad, her personal projects integrate her design and visual art practices in the form of large-scale immersive and experiential environments that have been enthusiastically received at Art Spin, Nuit Blanche, Come Up To My Room, and Sculpting New Reads. She has been supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and was a Finalist in the RBC Painting Competition.

See Marian Wihak’s Production Design Work