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By REBECA KUROPATWA Born and raised in Winnipeg, Micah Lexier graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1982 and, in 1984, with a Masters in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.


It was in 1986, in Toronto, that Lexier’s career as a full-time artist took off. He has lived in Toronto ever since, with the exception of nearly a decade dwelling in New York City (from 1999-2008).
Lexier (54) has been exhibiting his artwork regularly since about 1987 in every province in Canada, as well as numerous other countries, including the U.S.A., Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.


Coming from a very creative family, Lexier’s mother worked as an interior designer and his father was an engineer who ran a modernist architectural office in Winnipeg. “They always encouraged us three kids to be creative,” said Lexier of his parents, in reference to him and his siblings.
“I was lucky and had some success fairly early on. Perhaps, if I had struggled more as an artist they [Lexier’s parents] might not have been [so supportive of his artistic pursuits], but the fact that I was able to survive making art from the very beginning has given them some comfort.”
Lexier has been a full-time artist for the past 25 years. Since then, he has mainly kept busy with his artwork, as well as doing some graphic design work on the side and producing almost a dozen public sculptures.
Over the years, Lexier has had a number of exhibitions in Winnipeg, the most recent of which was at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) which opened at the end of April last year. Information on that show can be found at this link: http://wag.ca/art/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/display,exhibition/152/micah-lexier-this-that-those.
When asked why he felt he was chosen to receive the Governor General’s 2015 Visual and Media Arts award, Lexier found it hard to put it into words. “I really can’t answer that,” he said. “But, here is a quote from my nominator’s letter: ‘Micah Lexier’s intellectual rigour, conceptual ability, generosity, compassion, limitless energy, and work ethic are unparalleled and widely recognized. [He] is an indefatigable instigator, and his infectious enthusiasm has served as a catalyst for countless significant events in recent Canadian art history…The vast scope of his work exemplifies his boundless creativity.
‘He has produced work across every medium, including large scale installations, dance performances, sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographic series, tattoos, bus shelters, magazine projects, web-based projects, and an immense number of artists’ books and multiples that have entered the Canadian canon as classics.
‘Lexier’s work is wholly integrated with his life. Every meal is a meeting, every walk is a scavenger hunt for materials, every conversation a brainstorming session. He is a social convener, a booster, a galvanizing force in his community, and a prolific maker of things.’” These are the words of Lexier’s nominator of the GG award, Jan Peacock. A link to the GG website with that quote and a video that was produced on Lexier can be viewed at: http://ggavma.canadacouncil.ca/archive /2015/winners/micah-lexier.
“Once this flurry of press attention dies down, I don’t really think it will affect my career that much,” said Lexier. “I have been making [art]work for close to 30 years. I am thinking of this award as a mid-career moment and hope that I have another 30 years ahead of me.
“I just want to continue to make the work that I want to make. Hopefully this award will bring me a larger audience and I will have more opportunities to continue to do what I like to do.”
Lexier opened a project in Winnipeg just before Passover that will be visible on outdoor media signs placed at various street corners around the city.
The project is called, “Hands Holding Things,” and consists of eight different images. It was curated by Sharon Switzer for PATTISON and the project will be viewable from April through to May. For more information about “Hands Holding Things”, visit: http://www.artintransit.ca/archives/portfolio/micah-lexier-hands-holdings-things-april-2015.

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