7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.
May 10, 2014 to September 1, 2014
In 1971, Daphne Odjig and her husband Chester Beavon opened a small craft store, Odjig Indian Prints of Canada Ltd., located at 331 Donald Street in Winnipeg. As a gathering place, the store brought together artists who had previously worked in isolation from each other as well as the Native art scenes in Ottawa and Toronto.“Odjig’s,” as it was commonly referred to, offered a friendly place for artists to receive support and to discuss their challenges and aspirations. The store was a success and was expanded in 1974, establishing the New Warehouse Gallery.
By 1972, a group of artists had formed and began to call themselves the “Group of Seven.” They usually met in at the North Star Inn or at Odjig’s where they shared their frustrations with the Canadian art establishment, grappled with prejudice, discussed aesthetics, and critiqued one another’s art In November 1973, these seven artists developed a proposal to formalize their organization into the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporated (PNIAI). An application was submitted on March 13, 1974. The Group was legally incorporated on April 1, 1975 under the name Anisinabe Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., though they continued to exhibit under the moniker PNIAI.
This “Group of Seven” was a ground-breaking cultural and political entity that self-organized to demand recognition as professional, contemporary artists. They challenged old constructs, and stimulated a new way of thinking about contemporary First Nations people, their lives, and art. 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. draws on both private and public art collections to bring together 84 works including recently uncovered masterworks of the period that have not been accessible to the public for many years. The exhibition focuses exclusively on that crucial decade during which the seven artists were active as a group; exemplifying the range and diversity of work being produced by the PNIAI in the 1970s. The exhibition considers their collective artistic impact, as well as, the distinctive styles and experimentation of the individual artists.
7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. was curated by Michelle LaVallee, MacKenzie Art Gallery Associate Curator.
7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. is organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery. This project has been made possible through a contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage. The MacKenzie receives ongoing support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture, the City of Regina, and the University of Regina.
7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. est organisée par la MacKenzie Art Gallery. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce à une contribution du Programme d’aide aux musées du ministère du Patrimoine canadien. La MacKenzie Art Gallery reçoit l’appui continu du Conseil des arts du Canada, du Saskatchewan Arts Board, de SaskCulture, de la Ville de Regina et de l’Université de Regina.
Related Programs & Events
Past Programs & Events
Join artist Joseph Sanchez for a workshop on unlocking your artistic creativity.
Friday, May 9 from 10am to 4pm
Join us for the free public opening of three exhibitions, Lynne Cohen: Between Something and Nothing, Micah Lexier: This, That, Those, and 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.
Friday, May 9 from 7pm to 10pm
In conjunction with the exhibition 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. join artists Alex Janvier and Joseph Sanchez in conversation with the exhibition curator Michelle LaVallee.
Saturday May 10 at 2pm
Tour: 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. with Curator of Canadian Historical Art, Andrew Kear
Enjoy a tour of the inspiring exhibition featuring the work of Canada’s first Aboriginal artist collective, 7: Professional Native Artists Inc., with the curator of Canadian Historical Art, Andrew Kear.
Wednesday, May 21 from 12pm to 1pm
Prepare to be inspired by the bold and colourful artwork of one of Canada’s most important First Nations artist alliances.
Sunday, June 8 from 1:30pm to 4pm
The Gallery Shop presents an exhibition and sale of works from the Wahsa Gallery.
Thursday, June 19 to Sunday, July 27
- Tuesday 11am-5pm
- Wednesday 11am-5pm
- Thursday 11am-5pm
- Friday 11am-9pm
- Saturday 11am-5pm
- Sunday 11am-5pm
- Closed Monday
Open on the following days:
- Victoria Day
- Canada Day
- August Civic Holiday
- Labour Day
- Remembrance Day (open 1-5pm)
- Christmas Eve (close at 2pm)
- Boxing Day
- New Year's Day
- Louis Riel Day
- February 23 (open at 2pm)
Closed on the following holidays:
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Christmas Day