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Concordians make significant contributions to the Biennial Contemporary Native Arts Exhibition – Concordia University News

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While countless cultural events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis, the Contemporary Native Art Biennial (La Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone, or BACA) launched in April, on schedule — though visits are happening a little differently.

On April 23, BACA hosted an online, virtual opening of the multi-gallery exhibition, much of which is viewable until June 21.

Every two years, the biennial is overseen by a different curatorial team that explores a new theme. The 2020 edition is hosting works by roughly 50 artists engaging with the topic of honouring kinship.

Kahwatsiretátie: Teionkwariwaienna Tekariwaiennawahkòntie, Honouring Kinship

Curator David Garneau describes the way in which the term “Indian” was wielded by colonizers in order to reduce Indigenous North American populations to a homogenous group.

At the same time, this year’s theme invites reflection on how colonial history has served as an impetus for many of these diverse Indigenous communities to come together.

Many Concordia faculty, students and alumni have contributed to the biennial. Co-curator Faye Mullen works at the Aboriginal Student Resource Centre, and Rudi Aker, also a co-curator, is pursuing a BFA at the university.

In reflecting on the theme of kinship, they emphasize the “spiderweb-like” structures and relations through which persons and entities are formed and from which they grow.

The term “Aboriginal” — in some ways intended to refer to all non-colonial peoples — should not be thought to stand for a homogeneous identity, they suggest. The term signifies an alliance and mutual engagement between multiple nations.

Working together, diverse and disparate peoples can stand in solidarity against colonialism and the colonial values that continue to prevail in dominant Western culture.

Concordia contributions

Some of the many artist contributions from Concordia include those of Nadia Myre (MFA 02), assistant professor of studio arts and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Practice, and Jason Edward Lewis, professor of design and computation arts, and Concordia University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary.

Also contributing are graduates Skawennati (BFA 92, GrDip 96), Scott Benesiinaabandan and Hannah Claus (MFA 04), as well as Concordia Humanities PhD candidate Diane Roberts.

Myre discusses the Kìnawind Lab she has been building within Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts. Complementing the theme of the biennial, the lab explores identities and relations. “Identities are fed through meetings and connections,” she says.

The exploration of interconnections was both a theme of the biennial and an important practical element of its organization and development. In order to bring others into the discussion, curators invited participating artists to reach out to people in their own networks who would also want to contribute.

“When David came to Montreal, I invited students and anyone involved with Kìnawind Lab to show him their work,” Myre says.

“We didn’t focus so much on the relative and hierarchical status of artists. We didn’t privilege faculty over students, for example. In general, we try to give everyone the opportunity to pursue what’s important to them, which they can then relate back to the work of others at the lab.”

This meeting helped further the network of artists who eventually contributed to the biennial. “We try especially to think about how we can be together — as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” Myre says.

“The lab’s name is derived from a hybridized spelling of the Anishinaabemowin personal pronoun Giinawind. A first-person inclusive plural, KÌɅA8IɅ (in Algonquin), refers to the notion of an inclusive ‘us’; a grouping of oneself with one’s own group or community as well as with those outside of it, and so the work we do questions what our connection is to each other in this moment,” she explains.

“In my own work, I try to bring complicated histories to light to see how they resonate in the present.”


The galleries hosting the 2020
Contemporary Indigenous Art Biennial will open for in-person visits in the coming weeks if and when physical-distancing measures are adjusted.

Find out more about Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts.
 

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Senior art now being showcased by Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove – Goderich Signal Star

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Their online show began Monday and is set to conclude June 12.

Elementum l by Suzan Berwald.

The Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove knows seniors can create and intends to showcase that in their current exhibition.

To coincide with the province’s Seniors Week, which runs from June 1-7, the organization which oversees the art gallery within the public library in the city is running a 2020 Open Online Seniors Competition and Show. It began Monday, is set to conclude June 12, and, similar to other shows they have done during the COVID-19 pandemic, will see the variety of work ranging from paintings to drawings to 3D pieces and photographs posted on their websites and individually on social media feeds across Facebook and even through Instagram as well.

“We do have quite a few local people,” gallery manager Rebecca New said. “The show has always been Alberta-wide and we will have a judge who will score the pieces before we announce results Saturday in a Zoom call. People will see with this how talented local artists are and how accessible local art is. We hope that people will choose local art for their homes and it is an excellent level of work that we are seeing.”

New and the Allied Arts Council’s peers at the Multicultural Heritage Centre in Stony Plain have been running a version of digital shows during this time as well. They are debating whether to continue on with online offerings as seriously as they have now once they reopen and, for New, in the wake of this show and others they are doing, that is something the Spruce Grove Art Gallery will end up debating, too.

“I think having a digital presence is something that this will eventually shift to,” she said. “Whether or not we still have digital entries to contests, we are not sure how we will proceed with that. We are talking through a lot of options for the future that lies ahead of us.”

More information about the current show and future events can be found on the council’s website.

epretzer@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EvanJPretzer

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Kids can make art to brighten Red Deer seniors’ lodges – Red Deer Advocate

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The Red Deer Public Library is calling on young artists to help brighten seniors’ lodges.

The library is calling for “mini-artists” to drop off their paper creations — whether it’s flowers, drawings, letters or cards — into bins outside two participating Red Deer seniors’ lodges this week.

They are Timberstone Mews (42 Timberstone Way) and Harmony Care (200 Inglewood Dr.).

Staff from the lodges will “proudly display the creations,” bringing joy to residents and staff.

They are also planning to make some social media posts featuring art that is on display at the lodges.

Red Deer Public Library

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A virtual Art in the Garden festival is happening on the North Shore this weekend – North Shore News

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The North Shore’s annual Art in the Garden event is gearing up to go digital this weekend.

The event has been re-imagined as a livestreamed art and music demonstration this Saturday and Sunday evening, while encouraging community members to share pictures of their own green spaces online.

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Last month, North Van Arts made the decision to suspend the 21st annual Art in the Garden festival due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of practising physical distancing during an event which melds visual arts with some of the North Shore’s most extraordinary gardens.

The decision was made to offer an online version of Art in the Garden in order to keep the spirt of the long-running festival intact, according to Nancy Cottingham Powell, executive director of North Van Arts.

“Art in the Garden is the longest running North Shore garden tour and we didn’t want to just cancel this event that inspires gardeners, artists and nature lovers,” stated Powell, in a press release.

As part of its new online event, for the month of May the arts and culture organization reached out to visual artists and musicians who had participated in past festivals and asked them to create short videos outlining their work, inspiration and methodology.

The six artist videos were released weekly on North Van Arts’ social media channels and website.

This weekend, local painters Nicola Morgan and Pierre Leichner are set to take over the organization’s Instagram account as they livestream the creation of original artwork over live music performed by North Shore musicians Ava Maria Safai and Paul Silveria.

Viewers can tune in on May 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. each night.

North Van Arts is also encouraging people on the North Shore to comment and share pictures of their gardens and green spaces this weekend, as well as their own nature-inspired art, by using the hashtag #ArtintheGarden.

“These extraordinary times have forced us to look at how we connect with our community. Art in the Garden Online is an opportunity for us to support our members and local artists in a unique way,” stated Powell.

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