May 23 to June 21, 2015


AGORA GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition of recent work by renowned artist and theatre designer, John Pennoyer. The exhibition consists of sumptuous, colourful paintings – reminiscent of French masters like Cezanne and Picasso – and more experimental digital sketches, prints and paper cutouts. Most of the works depict the human form, as one might expect of an artist who works in the theatre. Whether figurative or abstracted, Pennoyer’s work unites line, form and colour to create beautiful paintings and works on paper.


John Pennoyer is an accomplished artist and internationally-respected theatre designer, and Lecturer of Costume Studies at Dalhousie University. After receiving his BA from McMaster University, John Pennoyer began his theatrical career as a props apprentice at Stratford, Ontario in 1972. Three years and several theatres later, he began design training under Daphne Dare, Stratford’s first Head of Design. In 1976 Pennoyer designed Robin Phillip’s production of Hamlet. This was followed by Ghosts, The Devils, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, Henry VI, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Measure for Measure, Pericles, Twelfth Night and Of Mice and Men, among others done at Stratford, Ontario. Pennoyer has also designed for Tarragon Theatre, Young Peoples’ Theatre, Le Theatre du P’tit Bonheur, the National Ballet of Canada, and the Canadian Opera Company. Outside of Toronto, he has worked for Le Theatre du Trident in Quebec City, the Banff Centre, Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox Ma, the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, the Welsh National Opera, and Tawandang Brewery in Bangkok.

Artist’s Statement

Making images is my way of remembering, recording, and analyzing. My training at McMaster involved drawing and printmaking. In the print studio the works of Schmidt-Rottluf and Baskin watched over our efforts. In the painting and drawing studio the presiding gods were Degas, Vuillard, and Sickert. These are the judges who still hover and are sometimes welcomed and sometimes banished while I work. Time is dissolved in the act of making and the resulting object is a source of disappointment or encouragement. Either way the inevitable reaction is to try again.