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 longstanding career as a film production designer, Marian is also a visual artist with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCADU.

As a painter, her work has been shown at numerous galleries including Edward Day, Bau-xi Gallery, Oeno, Rotunda Gallery, Art Gallery of Regina, Ottawa’s Cube Gallery, and Third Avenue Gallery in Vancouver, and she is a member of Toronto’s Loop Gallery. Her current work integrates her design and visual art practices to develop new possibilities in immersive and experiential environments with her installations having been shown in Toronto at Word on the Street, Nuit Blanche, Hazelton Lanes, Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room, The Toronto Design Offsite Festival, and in Cleveland, Ohio at IngenuityFest.

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

CV (pdf)


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 siteresponsive 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 use 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 viewerparticipant 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



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 1977 with Distinction – Theatre major/Visual Art minor

-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

Banff School of the Arts: Theatre program, Stagecraft Apprenticeship, 1975



2018     Marking Time, Loop Gallery, Toronto (upcoming October 2018)

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


2018     Ouroboros, Artists x 5, St. Anne’s Anglican Church (upcoming August-Sept, 2018)

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

2017     Excavation (…closer to where we began), Sculpting New Reads, Word on the Street, Toronto

2017     Élan Vital, Come Up To My Room at the Gladstone, Toronto Design Offsite

2015     Tidelines, IngenuityFest, Cleveland, Ohio, USA (October, 2015)

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 & M. Gotfrit, 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 & Tahireh Lal

2012     Small Works, Arts Etobicoke Gallery, Toronto

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

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

             Group Show, Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County

             Homage, Cube Gallery, Ottawa

2008     Made to Measure, Arts Etobicoke Gallery, Toronto

             Aeolian, Mysteria Gallery, Regina Sask.                                                                                  

             Insomnia,  RedHead Gallery, Toronto (affiliated with Nuit Blanche)

             Art 401, The Gladstone Hotel, Queen West Art Crawl, Toronto

2007     30th Annual Juried Show, Art Gallery of Mississauga with Visual Arts Mississauga

             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

              29th Annual Juried Show, Art Gallery of Mississauga with Visual Arts Mississauga

              Insomnia, RedHead Gallery, Toronto (affiliated with Nuit Blanche)

              Whodunit, OCAD, Toronto

              Holiday Glow, Engine Gallery, Toronto

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

              Square Foot 2005, AWOL Gallery, Toronto

              Whodunit, OCAD, Toronto

2004      Light Falls, Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County

              Whodunit, OCAD, Toronto

2001      RBC Private Counsel, New Canadian Painting Competition; Exhibition of 5 Eastern Finalists, Gallery One, Toronto

1997-2003     Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Annual juried exhibition


DesignLines Magazine online, January 25, 2018;

Come Up To My Room 2017: Gladstone Hotel’s Annual Alternative Design Event, pg.37

DesignLines Magazine online,January 20, 2017;

Toronto Life Magazine online, January 20,2017;

Akimblog by Terence Dick on July 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, Dr. Twyla Gibson, May/06

The Show of the Summer”, Gallery Going, The Globe & Mail, R9, Aug. 13/05

Shine the Light on New Shutter Talent”, Peter Goddard, Toronto Star, Aug. 19/05]

Lightscapes”, 401 Update, Fall 2005, Volume 12, Issue 3

The RBC New Canadian Painting Competition 2001 Catalogue.

TV or not TV”, Montage Magazine, Winter 1999, pg.29


Cygnus Investment Partners, Toronto

The Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina

Urban Space Property Group, Toronto

The Ontario Power Authority, Toronto

The Salman Partners, Toronto

The Salman Partners, Calgary

Danpack Incorporated, Kansas City, Kansas, USA

Private Collections in Canada and the USA


2018     Design Lines Magazine’s ‘Love Tag’ for Excavation (…closer to where we began) for 1 of 100 Best during Toronto Design Week

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

2017     Design Lines Magazine’s ‘Love Tag’ for Élan Vital, for 1 of 100 Best during Toronto Design Week.

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


Member of: CARFAC



Pacamambo; Set Design, Canadian Rep Theatre, Dir. Ken Gass

Exquisite Vibrations; Design Consultant, Esprit Orchestra, Dir. Alex Pauk, in collaboration with Edward Burtynsky & John Price

Bethune Imagined; Set Design, Factory Theatre, Dir. Ken Gass

Featuring Loretta; Set Design, Factory Theatre, Dir. Ken Gass

Apple; Set Design, Factory Theatre, Dir. Ken Gass

The Leisure Society; Set Design, Factory Theatre, Dir. Ken Gass

            * Dora Mavor Moore Nomination for Best Set Design*

At Last; Set Design, Harbourfront Danceworks, Choreographer Heidi Strauss


Mulroney: the Opera; Production Design, Rhombus Media/Prod:Jessica Daniels/Dir. Larry Weinstein

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story; Production Design, Lifetime/Sony Pictures/Exec Prod: Zev Braun & Philip Krupp/Dir:Agnieszka Holland

Heyday!; Production Design, CBC/Triptych Media/Pope Productions /Prod: Anna Stratton, Robin Cass, Paul Pope/Dir: Gordon Pinsent.

            * Gemini Nomination for Best Production Design *

            * DGC Nomination for Best Production Design *

Burnt Toast; Production Design, CBC/Rhombus Media with Marble Media/Prod:J.Daniel, M. Homburg/Dir: Larry Weinstein

Julie Walking Home; Production Design, ImX, The Film Works, Art OKO Film, Studio Film One / Dir: Agnieszka Holland

Milgaard; Production Design, CTV/BarnaAlper/Alliance/Prod: Laszlo Barna/Dir: Stephen Williams

            *Gemini Award for Best Television Film*

Pit Pony; Production Design, CBC/Cochran Entertainment/Prod: Andrew Cochran/Dir: Eric Till

            *Gemini Award for Best Production Design*

Dido and Aeneas; Production Design, CBC/Rhombus Media/Mark Morris Dance Co./Prod: Niv Fichman/Dir: Barbara Willis Sweete

September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill; Co-Designer with Michael Levine, Rhombus Media, CBC, ZDF/Prod: Niv Fichman/Dir: Larry Weinstein

            *Gemini Award for Best Production Design*