WAG Links Indigenous Art and Treaty No. 1 Territory in New Exhibit
Winnipeg, Manitoba, November 10, 2015: The Winnipeg Art Gallery is proud to announce the opening of We Are On Treaty Land, highlighting work by Indigenous artists from the WAG collection. Running November 13 to May 22, 2016, We Are On Treaty Land is the first exhibition curated by Jaimie Isaac, the Gallery’s new Curatorial Resident of Indigenous and Contemporary Art, and a member of Sagkeeng First Nation. Her selections provide reflections influenced and informed by Treaty No.1 Territory, on which Winnipeg is located.
“We Are On Treaty Land adds to the conversation on the complexities of Canadian identity, Indigenous culture, and issues that motivate art production today,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “The exhibition supports the WAG’s mission to enhance the recognition of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists, which is critical as we work towards the creation of the Inuit Art Centre.”
Spanning the past 40 years, We Are On Treaty Land gathers paintings, prints, and photographs that explore what it means to recognize the enduring treaties and relationships between the First Nations and the Crown. The exhibition will provide viewers with the opportunity to learn about the territory’s history as a context to understanding important issues affecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike.
“We Are On Treaty Land acknowledges Treaty No.1 Territory by honouring our history, relationships, and the treaty’s relevance as a means to understand and relate to our present,” says Isaac. “Interpretations of the treaties through Indigenous visual arts works to both exercise and illustrate our sovereignty.”
Works by artists Robert Houle, Rosalie Favell, KC Adams, Lita Fontaine, Murray McKenzie, Caje Shand, Daphne Odjig, Jeffrey Thomas, and Jackson Beardy are included in the exhibition. The art is complemented by historical objects on loan from The Manitoba Museum.
Isaac’s curatorial residency is a two-year position funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. The WAG is grateful to the Canada Council, The Manitoba Museum, and The Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba for supporting this exhibition.
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The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery and inspiration.
The WAG holds in trust the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Using the art as a vehicle, the creation of the Inuit Art Centre allows the WAG to further celebrate and engage with Inuit and Indigenous cultures through exhibition, research, education, and art making. It will also house the WAG’s nationally recognized Studio art and learning program.
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