movie day: Victor Cicansky – The Gardener’s Universe

The MacKenzie Art Gallery was pleased to host, as part of the weekend opening events for Victor Cicansky: The Gardener’s Universe, a panel discussion on Regina artist Victor Cicansky. Cicansky’s artistic universe is firmly rooted in place and in his garden. For over fifty years, ideas for sculptures in ceramics and bronze have grown out of his intimate relationship with gardens, plants and trees. His approach embraces both the immigrant knowledge of his Romanian-Canadian family and more contemporary concerns around urban ecology and environmental sustainability. Rooted in local realities, his work speaks to the wider world of the joys and trials of supporting life in an urban prairie space. Each panelist was invited to present a 15 minute version of their essay to be included in the forthcoming exhibition catalogue. The presentations cover Cicansky’s early days as a student of Jack Sures (University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus) and Robert Arneson (University of California, Davis), his Funk and Nut-inspired sculptural ceramics, his monumental ceramic murals, his later bronze furniture and his garden. The panel presentations are now available on the gallery’s YouTube channel. Below is the order of the presentations.


Saturday, June 8, 2019 – 1:00–3:30 pm

Shumiatcher Theatre, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Welcome – John Hampton, Director of Programs, MacKenzie Art Gallery

Introduction – Timothy Long and Julia Krueger


PART 1 – “Entering the Garden Universe”

An exploration of how Victor Cicansky’s garden imagery engages art, history, community, and environment.

Trevor Herriot – Writer, Regina

“This Garden Universe”

Timothy Long – Head Curator, MacKenzie Art Gallery

“The Whole Earth Romanian Icon”

RESPONSE – a conversation with Victor Cicansky, Trevor Herriot and Timothy Long + questions from the audience


PART 2 – “Troubling Paradise”

An appraisal of how Victor Cicansky has challenged and expanded the definitions of “folk,” “craft,” and “prairie” through his murals, furniture and sculpture.

Susan Surette – Art Historian, Concordia University, Montreal

“Victor Cicansky’s Fine Folk”

Julia Krueger – Craft Historian, University of Western Ontario, London

“Radioactive Fossils and Virtual Gardens: Victor Cicansky’s Craft Redux”

Alison Calder – Poet and Professor, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

“Victor Cicansky’s Post-Prairie Imaginings”

RESPONSE – a conversation with Victor Cicansky, Susan Surette, Julia Krueger and Alison Calder + questions from the audience