Skip to content
Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Admission always free

Today's hours
12 pm - 6 pm
12 Sep 20until12 Dec 20

Deanna Bowen

A Harlem Nocturne

OBORO, Groupe Intervention Video, Ada X, Montreal

A black and white cast photo from a theatre play with a large group of smiling people standing and crouching in rows. The people appear to be in costume and positioned in front of the stage backdrop.

Deanna Bowen, Theatre Under the Stars’ cast photo from Finian’s Rainbow, circa 1953, 2019. Courtesy the artist, Theatre Under the Stars and Cecilia and Roger Smith

Produced by the Contemporary Art Gallery and presented to Vancouver audiences in spring 2019, the solo exhibition of Toronto-based artist Deanna Bowen will continue its national tour in Montreal this fall, with a joint presentation at OBORO, Groupe Intervention Video and Ada X.


Deanna Bowen is a descendant of two Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneer families from Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been the central pivot of her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works since the early 1990s. She makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. In recent years, her work has involved close examination of her family’s migration and their connections to Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley and Black Strathcona, the “All-Black” towns of Oklahoma, the Kansas Exoduster migrations and the Ku Klux Klan in Canada and the US. Bowen is a recipient of numerous awards including a 2020 Governor General Award for Visual and Media Arts, a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. Her writing, interviews and art works have been published in Canadian Art, The Capilano Review, The Black Prairie Archives, and Transition Magazine. Bowen is editor of the 2019 publication Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada.

This exhibition tour is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.