Mohkinstsis & Gathering Places Today Visual Arts Residency

Mon June 24 - Fri August 30, 2019
Mohkinstsis & Gathering Places Today Visual Arts Residency

Mohkinstsis & Gathering Places Today Visual Arts Residency
Presented by Making Treaty 7 and Arts Commons

The Ledge gallery (+15 level of Centre Court)
+15 Window Galleries
Dates: June 24, 2019 – Aug 30, 2019
Artist Reception: Friday Aug 30, 2019, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Price: FREE

Making Treaty 7 and Arts commons are pleased to announce the launch of a new visual arts residency for Indigenous Artists that addresses our common goal of creating space to celebrate and centre Indigenous artistic identity and knowledge through: mentorship and discussion, artistic creation, exhibition, and knowledge sharing with the broader community.

The residency begins with the exhibition of existing artworks from artists Autumn Whiteway and Brenn Royal in the Arts Commons +15 Galleries as a way for the public, Making Treaty 7, and Arts Commons to centre their practice and story. Also on display is the Indigenous creation process of the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society to demonstrate alternate and industry leading practices in performance creation.

Elders and Knowledge Keepers from Treaty 7 Nations are then invited to share their traditional knowledge of the meeting place that is Mohkinstsis (Calgary) and its importance to the geographical migration of the Treaty 7 people. This mentorship and the question, “how do we honour our paths that connect us today?” will inspire Autumn Whiteway and Brenn Royal to create new works in the Ledge Gallery, which will be on display as an exhibition in the Ledge Gallery in August 2019.

In addition to exhibiting existing and new works from the two selected artists, this project will culminate in a legacy piece created by Making Treaty 7 and Arts Commons on Indigenizing colonial spaces. This legacy piece will consult the traditional knowledge shared during the project by Elders and Knowledge Keepers, as well as the feedback and artistic process of the Artists themselves.

Making Treaty 7 and Arts Commons both recognize that this consultative and arts-centred approach to the Indigenization process of a traditionally colonial institution like Arts Commons is particularly appropriate and timely. By approaching the Indigenization process with a leader in Indigenous Arts like Making Treaty 7, the traditional knowledge of Treaty 7 Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and the ability and sensibilities of Indigenous Artists, we believe a model for de-colonisation that is centred and specific to the Indigenous Nations of our home can be created for arts and cultural institutions around the Treaty 7 area, and perhaps create a blueprint for others to follow.

Autumn Whiteway, Artist Biography:
Autumn Whiteway is a Métis (Saulteaux) visual artist and traditional craftworker. As an archaeologist, she has always been curious about the material culture produced by her ancestors, in addition to traditional knowledge passed down through the generations. This curiosity led her on a path of discovery, to learn traditional indigenous crafts such as drum and rattle making, moose and caribou hair tufting, fish scale art, porcupine quillwork, beadwork, dreamcatchers and jewelry. Inspired by artists such as Norval Morrisseau and Kent Monkman, she additionally explores indigenous themes from a contemporary perspective through painting and photography

Autumn Whiteway, Artist Statement:
Inspired by the Woodland Style of Norval Morrisseau and subject matters portrayed by Kent Monkman/Miss Chief Eagle Testikle, with this residency I  hope to produce a series of paintings, photographs and traditional crafts to confront topics of relevance to Indigenous people. The themes covered will include traditional knowledge loss and reclamation, cultural appropriation, intergenerational trauma, environmental degradation and stewardship, missing and murdered Indigenous people, and the Indian Act. While many of these themes are associated with negative histories, this series will be approached through a lens of Indigenous resiliency. I will highlight the fact that Indigenous people, although having faced many colonial pressures, have adapted to their new reality and remain strong and proud. I recognize the benefit of discussions with Elders and Knowledge Keepers about their personal experiences in a colonial environment, particularly as they may be able to guide me towards portraying the collective experiences of Indigenous peoples in a respectful manner that empowers the Indigenous audience.

Brenn Royal, Artist Biography:
Brenn Royal aka Status Savage​​ is a Hip Hop artist, who uses music and workshops to heal, speak up against oppression, racism, genocide, and Intergenerational Trauma. She is the creator for Iyikakimaat (always try hard), a workshop that covers addictions, social impacts, and violence. Sharing testimonies of First Nation youth, women and men overcoming experiences that impact the Indigenous population. Brenn obtained her Post Secondary Diploma in Addictions Counselling but uses her own experiences as a recovering addict to work best with youth. She is currently seeking and mentoring young emerging artists and is also the Alberta Youth Engagement Activator for Rising Youth. She is an Old-Style Jingle Dress dancer who is working on preserving her Blackfoot language by speaking, learning, and teaching. Brenn is a Blackfoot member from the Siksika Tribe, she takes great pride in her culture and believes in empowering every child to reclaim their identity.

Brenn Royal, Artist Statement:
As an artist, I believe in implementing some of the stories I was taught through music and visual art, I am a hip hop artist and use rhythm and poetry to project stories through music, and I am also a dancer (hip hop and Old-Style Jingle Dress Dance) telling stories and creating visuals through dance and artistic expressions (paintings). Learning from our elders and knowledge keepers is high because along with many languages and traditions being lost, soon we will lose these very important people.  I believe we honour our paths and the paths before us by practising our traditional ways of life that have been passed down. It is important for us to teach our peers, our family, and the coming generations what we have been taught. These teachings do not belong to us, they were here before us and it is our job to teach them for them to continue after us.

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