About Sandra Meigs

Photo by Michelle Alger

Photo by Michelle Alger

For over 35 years Sandra Meigs has created vivid, immersive, and enigmatic paintings that combine complex narratives with comic elements. She derives the content of her work from her own personal experiences, and develops these to create visual metaphors related to the psyche.

Through her work, Meigs wants the viewer to feel richly engaged, jubilant, and most of all, transported to an imaginary universe.

Meigs is dedicated to painting and to the possibilities of enchantment that painting presents through colour and form. She believes that the very authenticity of one’s experience offers proof that what is imagined when looking at a painting is as real as anything else that one experiences in the world. She has also inter-woven sculpture, film, sound, and other media in her works.

Born in Baltimore in 1953, Meigs studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (B.F.A. 1975) and Dalhousie University (M.A. 1980). She has lived and worked in Canada since 1973. Sandra Meigs has been a dedicated teacher at the University of Victoria for over 20 years, and has mentored hundreds of visual art students throughout her professorship.

Represented by: Susan Hobbs Gallery  www.susanhobbs.com

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Solo Exhibitions


"Dogwatch World Series" (performances), Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, NS


"48 Dresses" (performance), Canadian Linen Supply Co., Halifax, NS


"A Dense Fog" (installation), Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, NS

"A Dense Fog" (installation), Vehicule Art, Montreal, QC


"The Pale Omnipresent Persistence" (installation), Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

 "The Pale Omnipresent Persistence" (installation), Saw Gallery, Ottawa, ON

 "The Pale Omnipresent Persistence" (installation), Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, NS


"The Maelstrom" (installation), Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, NS

"The Maelstrom" (installation), 112 Workshop, New York, NY

 "The Maelstrom" (installation), A Space, Toronto, ON


"Purgatorio, A Drinkingbout" (installation), Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, NS

"Purgatorio, A Drinkingbout" (installation), The Ydessa Gallery, Toronto, ON


"Semi Wind-up Bout" (installation), Main Exit, Vancouver, BC

"Semi Wind-up Bout" (installation), The Ydessa Gallery, Toronto, ON

"32 Watercolours from the Installation 'Purgatorio, A Drinkingbout'", 49th Parallel, New York, NY


"Heavens to Betsy" (installation), Art Gallery of the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB


"The Western Gothic" (installation), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC

"The Scab Picker" (installation), The Ydessa Gallery, Toronto, ON


"The Scab Picker" (installation), Laurentian University Museum and Arts Centre, Sudbury, ON


"The Room of 1,000 Paintings" (installation), YYZ, Toronto, ON


"Get Happy" (installation), Stride Gallery, Calgary, AB


"Creative Management", Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal, QC


"Love Muscle" (installation), Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal, QC


"Love Muscle" and "The Western Gothic" (installations), The Power Plant, Toronto, ON

"Orifaces" (installation), Sir Wilfred Grenfell Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL


"The desert left her free to think", Cold City Gallery, Toronto, ON


"Dead Roads", Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal, QC


"Reconciliation" (collaboration with Colette Urban), Forest City Gallery, London, ON


"Mary", Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, AB

"Baby", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


"Canadian", Emma Ciotti Gallery, Iroquois Falls, ON

"Canadian", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


"Dummies", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON

"Dummies", Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC


“Resin Heads”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON

“Reckless Days”, Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, AB

“Sandra Meigs”, Musée Régional de Rimouski, Rimouski, QC

“Canadian”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON


“JOYJOYSORROW”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


"The Newborn", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON

“Identity II,” Freedman Gallery, Reading, PA


“Reverie: Swoon and The Newborn”, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC

 “Swoon”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


“Ride”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


“Mary”, Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria, BC


“Scenes for My Affection”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


“Strange Loop”, curated by Diana Nemiroff, BC Scene Festival, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON


“The Fold Heads”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


“The Giants”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


“The Basement Panoramas”, Open Space, Victoria, BC


“The Basement Panoramas”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON

“The Basement Panoramas”, Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto, ON

Group Exhibitions


"Women's Bookworks", travelling exhibition organized by Powerhouse Gallery, Montreal, QC


"Monumenta", Mercer Union, Toronto, ON


"Water/Colour", The Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON

"Water/Colour", Glendon Art Gallery, York University, Toronto, ON

 "4 Artists Drawing and Painting Show", Open Space, Victoria, BC


"Toronto Painting '84", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

"Fifth Biennale of Sydney", Sydney, Australia

"Subjects in Pictures", 49th Parallel, New York, NY

"Subjects in Pictures", YYZ, Toronto, ON

"Toronto/Amsterdam", The Fodor Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

"Theatre of the Imagination: Francious Boulet, Genevieve Cadieux, Sandra Meigs", Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC


"Four Legs Good: The Dog Show", The Art Gallery at Harbourfront, Toronto, ON

 "Surface Moves", The Gallery/Stratford, Stratford, ON


"Patio Lawn Slope", The Gallery, Scarborough College, Scarborough, ON


"Trigger", Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC

"Written Images", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

"Sea to Shining Sea", The Power Plant, Toronto, ON


"Inaugural Exhibition", Grace Hopper Gallery, Toronto, ON

"It all Comes Out in the Wash", Hollywood Coin Wash, Toronto, ON


"Dangerous Goods", Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB


"The McIntyre Ranch Project", Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB

 "Le Dessin Rebel", Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, QC


"Inaugural Exhibition", Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


"Artists' Books”, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, SK


"Making Strange”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

"Exquisite Corpse", Cold City Gallery, Toronto, ON


"Painting in the 90's”, Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, AB

"Les lieux Communs”, Musée Régional de Rimouski, Rimouski, QC

"Les lieux Communs", Centre International D'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC


“Realities”, Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, Toronto, ON


“Recent Acquisitions” and “Love Muscle”, National Gallery of Canada, Toronto, ON

"Les Peintures", Galerie Rene Blouin, Montreal, QC

"Cutting Edge Collecting", Montreal, QC and Toronto, ON


"Intersections", Place Ville de Marie, Montreal, QC

"Intersections", Yonge Temperance Building, Toronto, ON


"Boxed", The Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, AB

"Group Exhibition", Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, AB

"To Remain at a Distance", Open Space, Victoria, BC


"Officina America", Biennale of Bologna, Italy


“Figuratively Speaking: Works by Modern and Contemporary International and Canadian Masters”, curated by Dr Josephine Mills University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB


“The Shape of Colour: Excursions in Colour Field Art 1950-2005”, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON           

“The McIntyre Ranch Exhibition”, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB


“The McIntyre Ranch Exhibition”, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary, AB

 “Help Your Self”, Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver, BC

“Trip-In: The Ontology of the Imaginative Realm”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON

“Telling Stories, Secret Lives”, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON


“Feelers”, curated by Jen Hutton, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON


“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry”, Museum London, London, ON

“It Is What It Is”, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON

“Adaptation: Between Species”, The Power Plant, Toronto, ON

“Monster”, The West Vancouver Museum, Vancouver, BC


“The Unreal”, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC

“This is Paradise: From the National Gallery of Canada Collection”, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, ON

“It Is What It Is”, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON


“60 Painters”, Humber College, Toronto, ON


“Le Projet Peinture/The Painting Project”, Art Gallery UQAM, Montreal, QC

 “The Room and Its Inhabitants”, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, ON

“Paradox”, Legacy Gallery, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC


“Through the Looking Glass”, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC



Baldissera, Lisa. Reverie: Swoon and The Newborn, Sandra Meigs. Victoria: The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 2002.

Barilli, Renato. Officina America. Bologna: Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, 2002.

Bradley, Jessica. Making Strange. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2001.

Bronson, A.A., ed. Sea to Shining Sea. Toronto: The Power Plant, 1987.

Burnett, David. Toronto Painting ’84, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1984.

Dery, Louise. Le Projet Peinture/The Painting Project. Montreal: UQAM, 2013.

Dompierre, Louise. Sandra Meigs: Pas de deux, 4-19. Toronto: The Power Plant, 1990.

Drouin-Brisebois, Josee; Hill, Greg; Kunard, Andrea. It Is What It Is (English) and C’est ce que c’est (French). Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 2010.

Fischer, Barbara. Dummies. Vancouver: Contemporary Art Gallery, 1998.

Kennedy, Garry Neill. The Last Art College. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012.

Landry, Pierre. “Sandra Meigs,” in Theatre of the Imagination. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1984

Luna, John. “Sandra Meigs: At the Bottom of Everything.” Canadian Art Online, November 20, 2013.

Marzolf, Helen. The Basement Panoramas. Victoria: Open Space, 2014.

Magenta Foundation. Carte Blanche, Vol 2: Painting. Toronto: The Magenta Foundation, 2008.

Monk, Philip. Subjects in Pictures. 1984.

Moos, David. The Shape of Colour: Excursions in Colour Field Art 1950-2005. Toronto: The Art Gallery of Ontario, 2005.

Nemiroff, Diana. Sandra Meigs, Strange Loop. Ottawa: Carleton University Art Gallery, 2009.

O'Neill, Colleen. Orifaces. St. John’s: Memorial University, 1991.

Perrault, Marie. Sandra Meigs. Rimouski: Musée Regional de Rimouski, 2000.

Racine, Yolande. Introduction, Theatre of the Imagination. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1984.

Rickett, Helena. Adaptation. Toronto: The Power Plant, 2010.

Schaefer, Carey Ann & Blomgren, Lance. Help Your Self. Vancouver: Helen Pitt Gallery, 2006

St. Pierre, Gaston. Les Lieux communs; culture populaire et art contemporain. Saint-Jean-Port-Joli: Centre de sculpture Est-Nord-Est, 1998.

Tousley, Nancy. The Newborn. Toronto: Susan Hobbs Gallery, 2001.

Writings by the Artist

Meigs, Sandra. "Cookie." Descant (76-77): p.121-127.

_______. "The Western Gothic." Sandra Meigs: Pas de deux. Toronto: The Power Plant, 1990.

_______. "Semi Wind-up Bout." Descant 56-57 (Spring-Summer): p.44.

_______. "The Western Gothic." Theatre of the Imagination. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1984.

_______. "This Door Out of Purgatory." C Magazine 1, Winter 1983-84: p.35-39.

_______. "Scenario." Descant 41, Summer 1983: p.19-21.

_______. Heavens to Betsy. Lethbridge: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 1983.

_______. Dogwatch Works. Halifax: the artist, in conjunction with the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1975

_______ and Moon, Cecily. Virtue vs. Vice. Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, 1993.

_______. Canadian. Toronto: Susan Hobbs Gallery, 1995.

Reviews and Articles

Amos, Robert. “Open mind needed for Meigs’ exhibit.” Times Colonist, January 26, 2006

Balfour Bowen, Lisa. Toronto Star, January 16, 1982.

Bennett, Matthew. “Weird Paint.” Paint, March, 1997.

Blouin, Rene. Canadian Art, March, 1985.

Browne, Kelvin. The Financial Post, July 4-6, 1998.

Burnham, Klint, “Seven artists and a collective invite you to Help Your Self.” The Vancouver Sun, January 19, 2006.

Burns, Aileen. “Adaptation: Between Species.” Art in America, June 30, 2010. artinamericamagazine.com

Daigneault, Gilles. Le Devoir, December 15, 1984.

Dault, Gary Michael. "Chasing Truth Through the Looking Glass." The Globe and Mail, June 6, 1998.

Dault, Gary Michael. “A Puppet Show that Veers into Tragedy.” The Globe and Mail, February 20, 2010.

Dault, Gary Michael. "Sandra Meigs Catches a Wave." The Globe and Mail, September 4, 1999. 

Dault, Gary Michael. "A Nice Afternoon's Journey into Light." The Globe and Mail, 8 September 8, 2001. 

Dault, Gary Michael. "Exhibition has Touch of the Enigmatic." The Globe and Mail, June 6, 2003.

Dault, Gary Michael. "Secrets Harboured, Faces Revealed." The Globe and Mail, October 27, 2007.

Dault, Julia. “Gallery Gone.”  The National Post, August 3, 2006.

Drouin-Brisebois, Josee. “Sandra Meigs.” Border Crossings 28.4, no. 112, December 2009.

Everett-Green, Robert. "Finding New Beauty in Beasts." The Globe and Mail, May 28, 2012.

Ghaznavi, Corinna. "JOYJOYSORROW." D’Art International (Winter 2000).

Goddard, Peter. "Simply Deceptive." Toronto Star, November 4, 2004.

Goodden, Sky. “Adaptation: Interspecies Investigations." Canadian Art, July 28, 2010. Canadianartmagazine.com

Gopnik, Blake. "Coming Face to Face with Our Paranoia." The Globe and Mail, September 12, 1998.

Unknown. "Putting a new face on painting." The Globe and Mail, September 18, 1999.

Grande, John K. “Sandra Meigs.” Artforum, April 1990.

Gravel, Claire. “Sandra Meigs: Le Saississement du reel.” Vie des arts. Sommaire 140, September 1990.

Unknown. Le Devoir, December 23, 1989.

Griffin, Kevin. “Art Gallery gets Unreal with new exhibition.” Vancouver Sun, January 29, 2011.

Grison, Brian, “Mary.” Focus Magazine, February, 2006.

Guest, Tim. "80/1/2/3/4." Vanguard, May, 1984.

Harris, Michael. "Artist Inspired by Trip to Florida Everglades." The Vancouver Sun, April 1, 2002 .

Heather, Rosemary. "Sandra Meigs." Tema Celeste, November-December 2001: p. 87.

Kunard, Andrea. C Magazine, Spring 1990.

Laurence, Robin. "Swooning for the Strange, Sinister." Georgia Straight, April 2003: p.17-24.

Laurence, Robin. "Exhibit Charts Unreal." Georgia Straight, February 1, 2011.

Lehmann, Henry. "What the Bosses are Buying." The Gazette, Montreal 1 April 2000.

Lepage, Jocelyne. La Presse, December 22, 1984.

Linsley, Robert. “The Shape of Colour.” Canadian Art 22, Fall 2005,

Luna, John. “Sandra Meigs: At the Bottom of Everything.” Canadian Art, November 20, 2013.

Madden, Aaren. “An Architecture of Experience.” Focus Magazine, November, 2013.

Mandel, Corinne. Art Magazine, Summer 1982.

Mark, Lisa Gabrielle. “Realities.” Artforum, March, 1999.

Martinde, Deahne. Halifax Mail Star, November 17, 1977.

Mays, John Bentley. “A Harrowing Ride Through Sandra Meigs’ Maelstrom.” The Globe and Mail, April 22, 1980.

Mays, John Bentley. "Funnel to Revive Warhol Film Classics." The Globe and Mail, December 29, 1982.

Mays, John Bentley. The Globe and Mail, September 16, 1982.

Mays, John Bentley. "The Snakes in the Garden: The Self and the City in Contemporary Canadian Art." Visions: Contemporary Art in Canada, 1983. 

Mays, John Bentley. "The Thinking Person’s Artist." The National Post, September 1, 2001.

MacLean, Douglas, “Alberta: The McIntyre Ranch Project, SAAG, Lethbridge.” Galleries West, May, 2005.

McMackon, Jennifer, “Scenes for My Affection: Sandra Meigs @ Susan Hobbs Gallery.” Big RED & Shiny: An Art Journal, no. 73, December, 2007.

Meredith, Pamela. “The Little Ghost in Natural Colours.” Susan Hobbs Gallery, CD-ROM for Art Forum Berlin, 2003.

Milroy, Sarah. "Eminent Victorian: Sandra Meigs and the Sculpture of Painting." Canadian Art, Summer 2010.

Milroy, Sarah. “Contradictions on Canvas.” The Globe and Mail, November 12, 2004. 

Monk, Philip. “Subjects in Pictures.” Parachute, no. 37, 1985; (also published in Struggles with the Image, 1988)

Oille, Jennifer. “Sandra Meigs.” Vanguard, March, 1982.

Oille, Jennifer. “Sandra Meigs.” Vanguard, September, 1984

Osborne, Catherine. "JOYJOYSORROW." Lola 5, Winter 1999/2000.

Paulsen, Ingrid. “Painter Puts Emotion in the Picture.” Victoria News, October 17, 2002.

Regan, Kate. “Feelers, Susan Hobbs Gallery”, Art News, November, 2009.

Rhodes, Richard. “Sandra Meigs.” Parachute, Winter 1982.

Reckitt, Helena. “Touching Animals.” C Magazine, no. 107, Autumn 2010.

Rodney, Lee. “Realities.” Parachute, no. 95, Summer 1999.

Sabbath, Lawrence. The Gazette, December 15, 1984.

Sandals, Leah. “At the Galleries: Cameron House Arts Scene.” National Post, July 1, 2011.

Sayej, Nadja. “The Shape of Colour.” Border Crossings, Summer 2005.

Smart, Amy. “The art of grief - Brought Up from the Basement.” Victoria Times Colonist, October 20, 2013.

Tamir, Chen. “Sandra Meigs, the Bump and Ride Paintings.” C Magazine, Winter 2005.

Tourangeau, Jean. "Theatre of the Imagination." Vanguard, April, 1985.

Tousley, Nancy. "Mary." Calgary Herald, June 12, 1994.

Tousley, Nancy. "Strange Enchantment." Canadian Art, Winter 1997.

Tousley, Nancy. “Artists Unmask Absurdities of Everyday Life.” Calgary Herald, November 14, 1998.

Town, Elke. "It's a Strange World." Vanguard, April, 1987.

Vaughan, R.M. “If We Could Talk to Animals.” The Globe and Mail, July 3, 2010.

Welch, Wendy. "Contemporary Spaces, Contemporary Faces." Monday Magazine, January, 2003: p.2-8.

Whyte, Murray. “Power Plant Engages Our Animal Instincts.” oronto Star, July 15, 2010.

Whyte, Murray. “Artist Mines Depth of Personal Tragedy.” Toronto Star, February 16, 2014.

Wood, William. C Magazine, Winter 1987.