Listening to Pictures: Artists on the SFU Art Collection

June 16 – August 18, 2022
Radio and mail program

Lucien Durey on Allyson Clay / Christian Vistan and Kiel Torres on Roy Kiyooka / Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade on Bridge Beardslee / Carol Sawyer and Laurance Playford-Beaudet on May Wilson / Ken Lum on Corita Kent / Marian Penner Bancroft and Patrik Andersson on Christos Dikeakos / COSINIYE Paul and Sage Paul on Susan Point / Fabiola Carranza and Michelle Helene Mackenzie on Althea Thauberger / Kara Ditte Hansen and Steffanie Ling on Ken Lum / Laiwan on Jin-me Yoon 


The SFU Art Collection consists of over 5,800 modern and contemporary paintings, photographs, sculptures, works on paper, and large public installations. The Collection’s holdings were established soon after the University’s founding in 1965 and they continue to grow. The Collection is unique in its capacity to trace the complex social and cultural life connected to this region, and remains open to new inquiries and stories as they surface.

Listening to Pictures: Artists on the SFU Art Collection is a 10-episode radio program featuring voices of artists with lived experience on the West Coast. After selecting a work from the Collection that is meaningful to them, each participant (often together with a collaborator) was invited to develop a unique response to that artwork to share with listeners, which range from meditative homages to barbed political reflections to playful sonic experiments. This accompanying suite of limited-edition cards — each picturing one of the selected artworks — is offered as a visual reference while listening.

Listening to Pictures was inspired by a 1964 CBC Radio program of the same name, wherein subscribers were mailed postcards picturing works of art that were discussed on air each week by the renowned art historian Dr. Jean Sutherland Boggs. The aim of the original Listening to Pictures was to use visual art to connect a community of listeners dispersed across a vast geography. SFU Galleries’ iteration of Listening to Pictures similarly leverages the power of collective listening to draw us together, in this case to record and relate untold stories by and about artists, and to encourage new encounters with the artworks in the SFU Art Collection.

Listening to Pictures: Artists on the SFU Art Collection will air on CJSF radio (90.1 FM) on Thursdays at 2:00pm from June 16 to August 18, 2022, and will be archived as podcasts on our website. Image descriptions and transcripts of recordings can be accessed under each episode entry.

The set of cards will be available for free to gallery visitors. If you would like them mailed to you click the below link to subscribe. Shipping is $5:

Listening to Pictures tote bags sold at galleries are $15. If you would like to purchase them online with the set of cards, click the link below to subscribe. The tote bags including shipping is $20:

Organized by Kimberly Phillips and Karina Irvine

Sound production by Jean Brazeau  
Graphic design by Information Office

This project has been made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now program, and is produced in partnership with CJSF-FM.

SFU Galleries is generously supported by Simon Fraser University, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the BC Arts Council, along with numerous foundations, community partners, donors, and volunteers. We are especially grateful for the visionary support of the Marianne and Edward Gibson Trust.