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Home & Migration

A Travelling Group Exhibition of:

Visual Artworks



November 8, 2023 – Decemebr 23, 2023



Upper Gallery

The Alberta Society of Artists Galleries

222-1235 26 Ave SE

Calgary, AB

Opening Reception

Saturday, November 18, 2023

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM




The Alberta Society of Artists is excited to present “Home & Migration,” a travelling exhibition of visual artworks from a varied selection of Alberta Artists. Now in Calgary at the Alberta Society of Artists Upper Gallery after its initial run at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. All presented works were selected from submissions to the Alberta Society of Artists’ call by a blind Jury.

Where is home?
What is home?
Is it  a settled place of ‘now’?
A nostalga of  a time and place long past?
Does it follow migration and the diaspora of community?

The Artists

Artists are listed alphabetically by First Name. Artist’s name followed by “ASA” denotes a Juried or Life Member of the Alberta Society of Artists (ASA).


  • Asal Andarzipour

  • Bonnie Scott, ASA

  • Cynthia Cabrera

  • Deborah Lougheed Sinclair, ASA

  • E Ross Bradley, ASA
  • Eleanor P. Boyden, ASA
  • Liz Sullivan, ASA
  • Mitra Samavaki
  • Mona Sahi
  • Ricardo Copado
  • Sahar Hakimi
  • Sharon Lensen, ASA
  • Sharon Rubuliak
  • Shea Proulx
  • Tatianna O’Donnell, ASA
  • Ting Pimentel-Elger

See the exhibition works, including the Artists’ statements below. Use the arrows on the left and right sides to navigate through the 18 works, or use the small dots below the images to jump forward.


This painting was created to honour the beauty of my birthplace, the Alberta Prairies. To have a sense of home is a deep-rooted need of DNA, and the imprint of the prairies on the psyche becomes an imprint that lasts a lifetime. To be human and walk the earth under the immense blue dome of the sky is to recognize the power of nature, the fragility of life, the luxury of abundant space, the magic of towering cloudscapes and the enduring order of the universe.

Bonnie Scott, ASA
Oil Paint 
24 in. x 36 in.

Mrs. King’s Castle

Not Here, Nor There series

This series is both a love letter to the people and places I left behind when I emigrated to Canada and an examination of the beautiful and difficult parts of embracing a new home and new friends and all how it changes you in a magnitude you could have never imagined. It is a requiem to the person you left behind and the one you could have been. But more than anything, it is a visual representation of feeling torn apart between places, decisions, people or ideas, that never-ending feeling of waiting, having sailed but not having yet arrived.

Do you remember? The places you wanted to go to?
The never-ending list of dreams and projects. They weren’t grand but earnest.
They may have been written in crayons,
unsubstantial like a house of cards;
But the humble plans were your most faithful company, filling every minute of your waiting.

You are never lonely when you are building:
You cut, you glue, you write…
There is not dying but growing when you are dreaming.

Mrs. King’s Castle, 2021
Cynthia Cabrera
Transparent Watercolor Paint on Paper
34 in. x 26 in.

House On the Hill

While visiting Peace River, I went for a hike along the old, now-defunct highway that meanders through a valley. Across the way was a house high up on a hill. It faced the vast, breathtaking view of the river surrounding the Peace. I looked up at this house for quite a while, wondering what that would feel like, to live there. Stunning vistas, calm isolation, slower pace perhaps and surely offering me a different perspective of my life. I could make this my home, couldn’t I? Will my family share this dream of a new place to call home?

House On the Hill, 2023
Sharon Lensen, ASA
Acrylic on Canvas
28 in.x 22 in.


The immigrant looks for a place to feel secure. They imagine themselves in a safe place like their mother’s womb, but in reality, they put a fence between themselves and others, divided from society. The new place is unknown to them, scary and dangerous. The immigrant takes refuge in their depth of existence, afloat in their imagination. The triangle in this artwork is a symbol of a mother’s womb.

Floating, 2023
Mona Sahi
Scratch on wood panel
8.5 in.x 10 in.

A Place in The World

Migration is driven by a desire to find our place in the world. Imagine travelling to a strange place at a great distance from your current home out of necessity or a promise of opportunity. At some point, many of my ancestors have been displaced and established new homes in distant lands. In these digital pieces, I reflect on the transitions and struggles of the early Alberta settlers, particularly with reference to my personal family stories. My paternal Metis ancestors came just before 1800 and travelled extensively across Rupert’s Land and other parts of North America that later became the United States before settling in what eventually became Alberta.

A Place in The World, 2023
Deborah Lougheed Sinclair, ASA
Digital Image
12 in. x 18 in. 

Moose Factory to the Grand

Migration is driven by a desire to find our place in the world. Imagine travelling to a strange place at a great distance from your current home out of necessity or a promise of opportunity. At some point, many of my ancestors have been displaced and established new homes in distant lands. In these digital pieces, I reflect on the transitions and struggles of the early Alberta settlers, particularly with reference to my personal family stories. My paternal Metis ancestors came just before 1800 and travelled extensively across Rupert’s Land and other parts of North America that later became the United States before settling in what eventually became Alberta.

Moose Factory to the Grand, 2023
Deborah Lougheed Sinclair, ASA
Digital Image
12 in. x 18 in. 


My lived experience says that immigrants tend to connect and maintain contact with other immigrants. An unintentional force brings us together, so we can tell stories from our past while we share a current space and build communities together. Being a part of the Iranian diaspora means simultaneously being quiet and loud, which leads to a constant need for contact with and connection to other humans. I spend good amounts of time alone in a little downtown Edmonton apartment and long for the moments that silence breaks by a friend from Tehran or Prague, or both.

Contact, 2022
Asal Andarzipour
Polaroid Polyptych SX-70 Film
10 in. x 8.5 in.

In Between: Yearning for Home

This work explores the conflicting thoughts and feelings of an immigrant as they leave their place of birth, family, and roots to begin a new life in another country. While migration can present endless possibilities and newfound hope, feelings of nostalgia, despair, and longing often cloud one’s emotions. My work depicts these varying sentiments in a surreal way while showing that when a new home is created in a new physical space, immigrants often find it challenging to settle and struggle with feeling like they belong in one place while they are in the other. For an immigrant, the concept of “home” is more than just a place or a space and is deeply linked to one’s memories, experiences, connections, and emotional attachments. Consequently, once you leave one home to find another, you become suspended between two worlds and the perception of “home” is never quite the same.

In Between: Yearning for Home
Ricardo Copado (2022)
Oil Paint on Cotton Paper
21 in x 29 in

Women in My Mother's Village

My mother left Ukraine in the early 1940’s, when she was taken to Germany to work as a slave labourer. Later, she migrated to Canada. Many years later, in the 80’s, she returned home and these are the women in her village that greeted her upon her return. She knew each one of them. I painted this to remember where she was and where she came from; where I came from. Migration leaves holes in the memory of future generations.

Women in My Mother’s Village
Tatianna O’Donnell (2008)
Acrylic Paint on Canvas
23 in x 34 in


This piece was created to be the cover art for an anthology of short comic stories I co-edited by Albertan creators called Alberta Comics: Home. I imagined what the microseconds after a cataclysmic shift in our planet’s gravitational force would look like from the point of view of someone watching me draw in my home studio.

Home, 2021
Shea Proulx
Watercolour Paint

16 in. x 16 in.

The Homesick World

Homesick world According to a 2020 report by the United Nations, 3.6 percent of the world’s population live in a country where they were not born.[1] Millions of people around the world are experiencing the challenges and complexities of immigration and struggling to find a sense of home in a new place. We are living in a homesick world, says sociologist Jan Willem Duyvendak[2], where increased mobility and immigration have made belonging a fleeting concept.

As an immigrant myself, I know this struggle all too well. Our home in Tehran was once filled with warmth and laughter as a family of five. But as time passed my sisters left one by one, seeking a better future elsewhere. With their departure, our home became a silent witness to the echoes of memories, longing for a time when we were all together. Faced with the same difficult decision, I too left my home country behind, in search of a future that held more promise. Our parents could no longer bear to stay in the empty shell of a home their daughters left behind. Instead, they roamed between our home country and the places where my sisters and I now reside. The silence is deafening now, and the memories of us together become nothing but echoes.

Stuart Hall’s words, “Migration is a one-way trip. There is no ‘home’ to go back to,”[3] deeply resonate with me as an immigrant. I am constantly torn between longing for a place that may no longer exist and the challenge of building a new home. Through my photographic project, I aim to capture the essence of my personal and emotional journey as an immigrant, exploring the complex concept of home in a new place.

[1] https://worldmigrationreport.iom.int/wmr-2022-interactive/

[2] Duyvendak. (2011). The politics of home belonging and nostalgia in Western Europe and the United States. Palgrave Macmillan.

[3] https://pages.mtu.edu/~jdslack/readings/CSReadings/Hall_Minimal_Selves.pdf

The Homesick World
Mitra Samavaki (2023)
17 in x 22 in


Nightmare reflects Sahar Hakimi’s exploration of the everyday lives of Iranian women through emotional combinations of realism and surrealism. Hakimi, originally from Tehran, Iran, works are inspired by her memories from the past (home) and what she experienced as a woman in Iran before her migration. Now residing in Calgary, Alberta, without access to old family photographs, nor these physical spaces, Hakimi seeks out images online that spark her memory. Using paint, she creates visual collages from these architectural remnants and spaces for her figures/subjects reminiscent of her past/homeland. By using various different tonalities of grayish colours as well as intense, vibrant colours and noticeable brushstrokes, she illustrates her emotions such as anger, loss, grief and fear.

This statement has been edited for length and clarity.

Nightmare (diptychs)
Sahar Hakimi (2022)
Oil on Canvas
24 in x 36 in (each)

Ancestral Home

My family’s ancestral home was a complex comprised of a historic castle, an arched portal into a courtyard, and an early 1900s farmhouse in the Netherlands near the Dutch-German border. Caught in the crossroads of history in the 1940s, family and home were no longer safe. Tragedy was instrumental in my parent’s migration to a new homeland, Canada. Theirs was an act of resilience and hope in the aftermath of loss and war. Home is family: past and present, place and people, connection and culture.

Ancestral Home
Liz Sullivan (2021)
Acrylic Paint
22 in x 13 in

Making a Home at Buffalo Jump

In the early 1900’s young British women were recruited to the Canadian West to earn a living. Most were ill-suited to the hard work of homesteading, but the hardier ones stayed and built vibrant communities. Despite the difficulties, life had its rewards… freedom from the pre-determined roles in British society and countless opportunities to adapt their skills and abilities to building a rewarding life for themselves and their families. Through their daring and perseverance these women helped to establish a modern society in a undeveloped land. Importantly, they also laid the foundation for the suffrage movement in Canada.

Making a Home at Buffalo Jump
Sharon Rubuliak (2012)
36 in x 15.5 in

Self Portrait (Pin Hole Camera)

Home is where you are safe and comfortable, surrounded by things that encourage you to be creative. For me, that place is often my studio space which at times also spreads over to my actual living space. With today’s technology, what is born in the studio, is easily transferred and manipulated on the computer at home. The original image was created using one of the earliest technologies, the pinhole camera, used by artists since the Renaissance and mentioned in ancient Chinese and Greek history. When combined with contemporary digital manipulation, we open new possibilities.

Self Portrait
(Pin Hole Camera)
E Ross Bradley (2023)
Archival Digital Print
12 in x 24 in

Manila Lights - Storm/Bagyo

This piece “Manila Lights” sub title “Storm” or “Bagyo'” in Tagalog- reminds me of the busy sometimes chaotic place where I was born- that I used to call home. When you walk on the busy streets- you will see the lights flickering, sounds of horns honking, feel the heat and taste the flavors of the local spices. In many ways it can be stormy and invasive-

Manila Lights – Storm/Bagyo
Ting Pimentel-Elger (2021)
Acrylic paint/mixed media on recycled paper
22 in x 28 in

About the Land

Home & Migration reflects the many journeys of Albertans, both finding and leaving “homes” behind. Regardless of where each journey began or may end, recognizing those that came before, whose lands hold many homes, is an important part of that journey.

The Alberta Society of Artists (ASA) acknowledges that what we call Alberta, where our organization has found its’ home, is the traditional and ancestral territory of many peoples, presently subject to Treaties 6, 7, and 8. Namely: the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) Confederacy (Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika), the Nehiyawak (Cree), Dene Tha’ (Slavey), Dane-zaa (Beaver), Denesuliné (Chipewyan), Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Iyarhe Nakoda (Stoney) (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley), and the Tsuu T’ina Nation and the Métis People of Alberta. This includes the Métis Settlements and the Six Regions of the Métis Nation of Alberta within the historical Northwest Metis Homeland.

The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA), the current home of this exhibition, is located in what is commonly called Edmonton; however, this land has many names: amiskwacîwâskahikan – Cree (Beaver Hills House); ti oda – Nakota Sioux (Many Houses); and Amakowsis, or omahkoyis – Niitsitapi (Big Lodge).

Home & Migration showcases the work of Artists who currently live in Alberta. As our province continues to grow and evolve, numerous people have migrated to these lands with many stories and for various reasons. Reading the statements each Artist has submitted with their displayed art may help you to see where they find their “home.”

While viewing the exhibition, everyone is encouraged to reflect upon what they consider home. Is it a physical place? A feeling? A person? A moment in time? Has another person also called that “home”?

Are you interested in learning more about the First Peoples who call and have called Alberta home?

native-land.ca has an interactive map showcasing many of the Territories, Languages, and Treaties that impact Alberta, Canada and other parts of the world.

Below is an interactive embed of the native-land.ca, to view the full-screen version visit their website.