January 5, 2023
By Andrea Klassen
A new year is upon us and with that, we look ahead at what’s happening at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). In the curatorial department, 2023 is shaping up to be a very busy year indeed, with several exhibit projects on the horizon.
In the last days of 2022, MHV’s Curatorial department dismantled our latest exhibit “Leaving Canada: The Mennonite Migration to Mexico” and with volunteer help, we got the gallery walls patched up and painted, to get the gallery ready for something new. I always find it a bit sad to take down an exhibit because I enjoy working on them and seeing the public enjoy them, but once the process gets going, the sadness turns to excitement. An empty gallery is a blank canvas full of possibility and opportunity to tell new stories in new ways! Although MHV is still closed this week, early next week we will begin installing the next exhibit, “Resurfacing: Mennonite Floor Patterns,” with artist Margruite Krahn. The exhibit will be part works of art, part history, as we explore the historical practice of Mennonite floor painting and the role women played in this art form.
Alongside the larger exhibit in the Gerhard Ens Gallery, “Beauty in the Ordinary,” a new exhibit of original pieces from the Southeast Artists will be gracing the walls of the Art Hall. Mark your calendars to join us for the opening of both exhibits on January 18 at 7pm.
Our exhibit work this year will also extend far beyond the bounds of MHV’s physical galleries as we, together with our exhibit partners the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, and the Plett Foundation, are also working on a traveling exhibit about the Mennonite migration to Mexico. This is a project that has been years in the making and so it was very exciting for us to finally start production late in 2022. The traveling exhibit is based off on the larger version that was held at MHV in 2022. It is scheduled to be “on the road” for about two years, until the end of 2024, to help share the history of this major migration that changed Mennonite life in Canada and throughout the Americas. Currently we have about a dozen stops in every province from Ontario west to British Columbia on the schedule, starting with Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery in Winnipeg in March. This is an exciting opportunity for MHV to join with community partners to help tell this important story to an audience far broader than the one that is able to come through our museum doors.
Alongside all the indoor exhibit projects happening, our new “Winter in the Village” events invite everyone to join us outside for all kinds of winter fun including skating, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, kick-sledding, and a village lit up with festive lights. See the village from a whole new perspective this winter! Visit mhv.ca for more details on the winter fun we have for you this season. With all these plans, we are gearing up for a busy year of exciting possibilities at MHV. Happy New Year from all of us and see you soon!
MHV will be closed from December 24 – January 9. Thank you for an incredible year!
MHV Village Books & Gifts shop and Galleries are currently closed and will reopen January 10, 2023.
Winter in the Village, January 13 till March (see specific times on our website), bring your friends and family to see the festive lights at MHV! You can skate along our trail or outdoor rink. We will also rent out skates, snowshoes and kicksleds for you to try out in the village. Then end the night with some hot chocolate. Our warming hut (located at the back of the General Store) will be open for visitors.
Exhibit opening: “Resurfacing: Mennonite Floor Patterns,” January 18, 2023, 7 pm – Join artist Margruite Krahn for a presentation followed by a Q&A and exhibit opening. This is an exhibit produced with our partners, the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada and the Plett Foundation.