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Kim Soo Goodtrack discussed her art and her studio and gallery in Rockglen – Assiniboia Times



The Lakota Art Studio and Gallery at 1020 Centre Street in Rockglen showcased the paintings, prints, cards, books and jewellery of Lakota artist, Kim Soo Goodtrack, along with several Indigenous and Saskatchewan-based artists.

“I feel grateful that the local artists in Assiniboia, Rockglen and Saskatchewan have embraced me.” Goodtrack said. “The art galleries in the city [Vancouver] didn’t embrace me, but the artists did, as well as the artist-run galleries.”

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Goodtrack’s art is joyful, filled with layered colours and retains playful and speculative elements.

“I’m an abstract artist,” Goodtrack explained. “I don’t fit the cookie cutter idea of a Native artist.” 

Yet, Goodtrack took care to incorporate several vital symbols in her art specific to Lakota culture, such as tipis, triangles and stars.

The mythology of the Star Nation, who exist in a parallel universe and are an essential component to Lakota culture, also influenced Goodtrack’s art.

“The Star People brought us things – the sacred pipe, the Sundance and the sweat lodge,” Goodtrack illuminated.

The Vault Gallery section of Goodtrack’s studio utilized a vault for a mini gallery within the studio once used as a bank.

Inside the vault, a variety of artistic styles were on display.

Kim’s private collection included a list of Canadian artists such as Lawrence Paul, Paul Wong, Henry Robertson, Norval Morrisseau and Allen Sapp.

Sapp was a distinguished Cree painter from North Battleford. Sapp’s art is renowned all over Canada for his paintings with strong narratives.

Sapp also incorporated several images of his grandmother in various paintings. Sapp’s art and personal history had been the focus of many books and documentaries.

Goodtrack’s studio and gallery also featured the brilliant and mesmerizing Lakota bead work of Lita Ferguson and Katherine Robichaud.

Saskatchewan artists on exhibit in Goodtrack’s gallery included the realistic paintings of Sandra Lamontagne (all mediums), photography by Wanda Knoss, alcohol and ink work by Joyce Anderson, wood turning by Michael Hosaluk, earrings weaved from wheat by Joy Silzer and Sandra Knoss – an acrylic on canvas prairie landscape artist.

Goodtrack closed her gallery temporarily in the spring in accordance with public health regulations with plans to reopen in early July.

Normally, Goodtrack’s studio is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5 p.m.  

Although Goodtrack’s lived in Vancouver, she has compelling associations with First Nations history in Southwest Saskatchewan, specifically from the Wood Mountain area.

Goodtrack’s a member of the Lakota Wood Mountain reserve about 63 kilometres southwest of Assiniboia.

Her great grandmother walked to Wood Mountain with Sitting Bull, when he led his tribe across the U.S. border into Canada in November 1876.

Goodtrack’s also a children’s author and a former children’s television presenter on the APTN programs, Wakenheja and Art Zone.

Wakenheja was the first puppet show to air on APTN.

She also taught art in Vancouver to children and adults.

Goodtrack’s book, The ABC’s of our Spiritual Connection, won the Children’s Choice Award and appeared on Sesame Street.

Goodtrack described this book as collection of the spiritual ways practised by the First Nations in Canada. “Throughout North America, First Nation’s people have many common spiritual bonds. In this book, I have shared our traditional beliefs,” Goodtrack wrote in the book’s introduction. “Our spiritual connection was shamed and denied, even outlawed, yet our sacred has survived.”

For more about Kim Soo Goodtrack’s art, books, music, storytelling events and further details about her Rockglen studio, see

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Ottawa Art Gallery, Diefenbunker Museum reopen to visitors –



The Ottawa Art Gallery and the Diefenbunker Museum reopened to visitors Wednesday for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown began.

“[We’re] very, very happy that after 117 days we’re welcoming everyone back,” Alexandra Badzak, director and CEO for the Ottawa Art Gallery, told CBC’s Ottawa Morning on Wednesday.

The downtown gallery is reopening to front-line workers on Wednesday and to the general public on Thursday.

Gallery hours have changed in order to give staff time to clean and disinfect the building, Badzak said. The OAG is now open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Older adults and people who are immunocompromised will have priority access to the gallery for the first hour each day, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“We’ve put in a whole bunch of measures that are going to keep our public really safe,” Badzak said.

The gallery has installed “fun and creative” signals throughout to remind visitors to stay two metres apart, but otherwise they’ll have freedom to roam.

“We didn’t want to do a whole bunch of arrows everywhere,” Badzak said. “We wanted people to be able to explore.”

They’ve dusted off the A.Y. Jacksons. And disinfected every hand rail and elevator button. Now the Ottawa Art Gallery is reopening its doors to visitors — after more than 100 days closed for the pandemic. 6:10

Both the OAG and the Diefenbunker Museum in Carp are asking visitors to register or buy tickets before they arrive.

At the OAG, people can book a time slot online or by phone. At the Diefenbunker, visitors are asked to purchase tickets online before they arrive, but they won’t be required to use them at any particular time.

If the Diefenbunker gets too busy, the museum’s website says visitors may have to wait outside.

Visitors to both venues are required to wear cloth masks, which are now mandatory in all public, indoor settings throughout Ottawa and the surrounding area.

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Three local artists selected for County's Art in the Park project – EverythingGP



Daelyn Biendarra piece “Dream View” was selected as one of the three winners for Site 1 (Photo supplied by Daelyn Biendarra)

By Liam Verster

Local artwork on display

Jul 08, 2020

The County of Grande Prairie has selected three local artists to be featured at the Clairmont Adventure Park.

The County’s Art for the Park project panel of judges have selected three submissions which will be installed at Site 1, which is along the wooden residential fences of the park’s east boundary. The winners are Daelyn Biendarra and her piece Dream View, Cassidy Guenther for her work Skateboarder.png, and Quinn Goldberg and her submission Fox Mountain.

Goldberg was also the winner of the Site 2 submission, which required concepts or ideas for an art installation along the fences of the Clairmont Adventure Park. Her idea of a Honeybee Conservation Education Project was selected, and she will work along with County Staff and young artists to place cutouts of bees and other important pollinators along the chain-link fence. Residents will also have an opportunity to contribute to the project, by painting individual components of the piece.

“We’re delighted that so many young artists participated in this project,” says Christine Rawlins, Parks and Recreation Manager in a release. “The Adventure Park is a community gathering place and these pieces of art will add an inviting touch, made more meaningful by local resident contributions.”

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Jae Sterling explores race, violence, sexuality and Calgary with debut art exhibit –



It would be tempting to assume the title of Jae Sterling’s first art exhibit, Riding Horses with White Men, is a not-so-subtle reference to a young Jamaican man’s response to Calgary and its most prominent cultural event.

Sterling says the paintings are definitely inspired by a sense of isolation and fish-out-of-water feeling he has had since arriving from Jamaica in 2009 as a 19-year-old. But while the title and timing of the exhibit, which opens Thursday during what would have traditionally been the height of Stampede fever, may suggest a direct correlation to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, Sterling says the scope is much broader.

“It’s about Calgary and about my experience here in Calgary, so I guess the Stampede ties into it,” says Sterling. “But it’s about my entire experience here. And, funny enough, (the Stampede) was not that foreign to me. That’s the catch. I’m from Jamaica, I come from an island, and I came to Calgary. But I did grow up on farmland in Jamaica. My parents, my grandparents, we all grew up on farmland. It’s really not that foreign to me, that whole Stampede thing. But what is foreign to me is to see it in this setting.”

Riding Horses with White Men runs from July 9 to 14 at nvrlnd., a non-profit art collective in Ramsay. It will focus on Sterling’s colourful paintings backed by a short film, audio composition and the essays in which he first developed some of the ideas explored in the exhibit.

While the stories told may be deeply personal and specific to Sterling’s experiences as a member of the Jamaican diaspora in Alberta, his artist’s statement also suggests a certain universality in its themes, specifically by asking questions “artists that are caught between worlds will eventually be forced to ask.”  “Can a history of violence be dissected through art? Why do we create art at all, especially in an ecosystem hostile to black culture?” Sterling asks in his statement.

“I didn’t start out consciously with a theme,” Sterling says. “But when I started painting, I discovered that my head was in the same place. So I started painting along that theme and it all came together. The title I had for a very long time and I was only going to use it for a series of essays and then the paintings kind of found themselves in it.”

The work, which mixes portraits with colourful abstract figures, explores issues of race, sexuality and violence. There are depictions of celebrities, although Sterling did not want to reveal which ones prior to people seeing the exhibit, and people he knows. He sees the more abstract work as self-portraits. Like the essays that inspired them, Sterling says the paintings often explore isolation, immigration and “what that does to you as an artist.”

“I am very obsessed with human beings and what we do,” he says. “It’s not unique to me. But there’s different types of artists. There are some people that are about the environment and some people that are about everything else, like politics. I’m about emotion because that’s what I am. I’m about people and what they are outside of all the lines and all the bulls–t. I can’t paint anyone I haven’t lived with. Even when I paint celebrities, it’s after watching a ton of interviews. I’m not just painting random celebrities. There is a story behind every one that I paint. I paint people that I know if I’m going to paint anyone. I’m not doing any commissions of random people who want me to paint them. I’ve got to sit with you for a bit. I’m not going to paint you live but I will need to know what you’re like to put that in the painting.”

Sterling is known primarily in Calgary as a musician and producer. He is a founding member of Thot Police, a collective of artists that also includes Yung Kamaji and Cartel Madras and was formed in 2018 to help develop the Alberta hip-hop scene.

Exploring issues of race and historic violence makes the exhibit particularly timely as people take to the streets around the world to protest systematic racism and police brutality. The political climate, combined with the downtime the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed, had an impact on the art, he says.

“All of what is happening right now feels like my mind and my voice are amplified,” Sterling says. “I’m really trying to soak it all in and make art at this time because it’s what I’ve been feeling. It certainly helps. It makes me feel less alone.”

Although he has sold pieces privately, this is Sterling’s first art exhibit and his first serious foray into acrylic and oil paintings. The work was created specifically for the exhibit in a burst of inspiration over the past few months, which Sterling largely spent in self-isolation. The plan is for the exhibit to travel to other Alberta galleries over the summer. Riding Horses with White Men is the first phase in a year-long, multi-media project that he calls BULLY.

“I was sketching a lot once the quarantine hit because I didn’t want to make music,” he says. “I just didn’t feel like it was the right time to make music with everything else going on. I’m not the type of guy who will be making a “We Are the World” record anytime soon. That’s not a knock against anyone

who is doing that to get them through the process. But I wasn’t about to do that. But I did want to make a statement because I am an artist and I am an artist in my time. I always knew I would have a reason to paint.”

Riding Horses with White Men opens July 9 at nvrlnd., 1048 21 Ave. S.E., with a ticketed opening reception at 7 p.m. The gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 10 to 14.  Admission is $10 at the door. Social distancing rules and protocols will be applied at live viewings.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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