Artistic Pairings

Artistic Pairings peers into the lives and studio practices of 6 art making couples;

Renée Duval & Dennis  Ekstedt (Montreal), Barbara Milne & Bill Laing (Calgary),
Ben Skinner & Genevieve Dionne (Vancouver), Laurel Johannesson & Marty Kaufman (Calgary),
Nicole Collins & Michael Davidson (Toronto) and Katie Ohe & Harry Kiyooka (Calgary).
The exhibition will show each couples’ work, side by side, along with text from the artists on how their partner in life and art influences, inspires and supports their own art practice. Mediums include photographic lightbox, paintings,
multi-media, text-based, ceramics, glass and sculpture.

Renee and Dennis.jpeg

Renée Duval
Dennis  Ekstedt (Montreal)

Folie a deux


Dennis and I met in art school at Emily Carr in 1983 and we’ve been painting in a shared space pretty much non-stop since then. One of the great privileges of any long-term association with another artist is bearing witness to the singular evolution of their work. When Dennis and I look at each other’s paintings we are aware of all of the previous paintings that we’ve made, all of the discussions about art that we’ve had, all the exhibitions we’ve seen together and all of the art work that has influenced us over the years. So, although our work and even our taste in painting can be very different, we value each other’s  feedback above all others and it’s enormously helpful during the painting process. Throughout our life together, Dennis and I have both sought to maintain a focus on art making. It’s a vastly rewarding but challenging objective to sustain. Working together has helped make it not only less challenging but more rewarding as well.


Because our artistic development has been connected for so long I feel Renee has been my creative shadow, always there to give me inspiration and feedback. She is actually one of my favourite artists and I’m constantly inspired by what she does. We have supported each other over the years as we’ve navigated the world of art making, and I feel privileged to have had such profound and rewarding relationship with her all these years.

Renee Duval_ Pup_60x72.jpg
Dennis Ekstedt_Burning Man # 2, oil on c

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