Open Studio Gallery

Richard Sewell



September 4, 2020October 3, 2020


Richard Sewell, 'wHerWare 11:00am', 2020, mixed media, variable dimensions, $250. Photo courtesy: Cleo T. Sewell.

Exhibition viewings scheduled by appointment, please email the Programming & Office Manager, Laura Bydlowska, at

Richard Sewell views his work as “occurrences” because they are a gathering of possibilities that he allows. He chooses to avoid rushing toward a conclusion to better notice what he is actually doing in the now, in front of him. The three works featured in wHerOccurence titled Memory, Memoir, and Mimic, together reflect on Sewell’s past and his present– new works created from before, and now, populated with narratives and allowed “mistakes”.

Memory, Memoir, and Mimic come out of Sewell’s interest in how new developments occur during the creation process. Sewell is interested in the manipulation of materials across time, and how these lead to an unexpected occurrence, a “mistake” that suggests a different way. His daily physical relationship with evolving work locates his ideas, not the reverse.

He has considered at length how cultural norms interfere with personal discovery in life and in art, and has explored how a focused experience with physical manipulation tends to work past this.

Born 1942, Richard co-founded Open Studio in 1970, taught with several art schools, including the Ontario College of Art and Design, the Alberta College of Art and Design, the University of Saskatoon. Richard retired in 2008, professor emeritus Sheridan College of Art and Design. Across 50 years of exhibiting, Richard made and helped others to make over 160,000 images: with his students, with artists in printing and publishing, in collaborations with photographers, dancers, composers and musicians, and within his current work wHer: helping one to locate, understand, among sequences and objects.