By Jennifer Thorpe
‘First Nations’ was a series of firsts for the St. Marys Station Gallery. The first-ever indigenous art show presented by the Gallery was also the first to host both an opening and a closing event where members of the public were invited to meet three incredible artists Maxine Noel, Annette Sullivan, and Penny Christiaans. At the closing event on Saturday, February 22nd, which all three artists attended, curator Cameron Porteous announced that this show was the most popular, and the most colourful, in the Gallery’s history.
Visitors and fellow artists were delighted to meet Maxine Noel and talk to her about her art and upcoming projects. An internationally renowned artist and mentor, Maxine was recently awarded the Order of Canada. A print of her beautiful painting “Not Forgotten” was included in the show; the original has been gifted to the Native Women’s Association of Canada and is currently displayed in The Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.
Attending the closing event was Jeffrey George, an Ojibway artist from the Kettle And Stony Point First Nation. He presented his friend and mentor with an original painting, “Black Crow Calls.” Thanking him, Maxine Noel said, “That’s a beautiful piece.” These two artists will be exhibiting together at Gallery Indigena this summer.
Metis artist Annette Sullivan discussed her latest explorations in sculpture, inspired by her father’s own award-winning work, which she plans to incorporate as 3-D elements in her paintings. Her work will return to the Station Gallery next spring, April 16 – May 29, 2021, in the show “O3C” with Linser Wayne and Angela Found. These three compelling artists form the allied art team Our Three Cents; their work is intended to raise awareness on issues faced by Aboriginal People of Canada and all Canadians.
Penny Christiaans’ paintings in alcohol ink on recycled tile continue to be a success. Her art will be shown this April at a show hosted by Kintore Custom Hardwoods.
The show was closed with music from Jeffrey George and Annette Sullivan who played and sang the Water Song.
Prints from the exhibit are available as notecards and will be available for purchase at the St Marys Station Gallery this week.
By Jennifer Thorpe