Here. Annual Aboriginal Student Exhibition

February 24 – March 4, 2020

Opening Reception – February 24 – 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Performance by Christie Lee Charles

Emily Carr University – Michael O’Brian Exhibition Commons
Respectfully , Emily Carr is located on unceded, traditional and 
ancestral territories of the Musquem, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh 

Curators: Diane Blunt, Megan Jensen, Sydney Pickering and Kelsey 


Living here. Standing here. Creating here.

This land we stand on holds many nations from many places, some of us are guests and some of us are from here. This exhibition presents a variety of work that shows our growing and continued presence in this place.

Here, is a gathering of pieces that are created from our own visions.

We are still here. 

Brenda Crabtree Featured in Dana Claxton’s New Book Series

Edited by Dana Claxton, the Northwest Coast series aims to “contribute to critical consciousness and justice for Indigenous people.”
Brenda Crabtree, Director of the Aboriginal Gathering Place and Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Initiatives at ECU, is one of five women artists featured in a new limited-edition book series, edited by Dana Claxton.
The series of five books, published by Or Gallery, is called Northwest Coast.
Each book features a text by a Northwest Coast First Nations artist in which they “reflect on the sociopolitical context for their contemporary art practices and engagement with traditional Indigenous Northwest Coast visual culture,” according to the gallery. Images of each artist’s work accompany their texts.
In her foreword, editor Dana Claxton writes that she hopes “the words and art in these precious volumes contribute to critical consciousness and justice for Indigenous people.”
Brenda, in her edition (subtitled What Becomes of the Broken Hearted), writes with clarity and authority on the ways she sees her own material practice reaching toward some of those same goals.
“My material practice is my vehicle for political activism, bridging art, politics and history,” she writes in the book.
“I am concerned that future generations will suffer from historical amnesia and forget the atrocities endured by Aboriginal children and their families in Canada. Political art examines the complications of our history, cultural existence, and spiritual survival, and there are times when discomfort for the viewer is cathartic.”
Full article by Perrin Grauer:

Chrystos Poetry Reading

Please join us for a poetry reading by Chrystos with guests Fred Wah and Rita Wong.

Thursday, February 13 at 4pm at the Aboriginal Gathering Place
Open to the public. Limited Seating.
Bannock and tea will be served.

Chrystos  is a Menominee self-educated writer and two-spirit activist who has published various books and poems that explore indigenous Americans’s civil rights, social justice, and feminism. Chrystos is also a lecturer, writing teacher and fine-artist.
Chrystos’ awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Human Rights Freedom of Expression Award, the Sappho Award of Distinction from the Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a Barbara Deming Grant, and the Audre Lorde International Poetry Competition.

What We Bring With Us

Opening Celebration: January 28, 6-8 pm
On view:
 January 29–April 12, 2020
Artist Panel: February 1, 2 pm

Performance Workshop with Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ
on March 14, 2-4 pm

The works of seven emerging Indigenous artists will be exploring the questions:

What does it mean to be a guest in this territory in relation to Indigeneity?

How do we as Indigenous artists relate to the land we occupy while also acknowledging our presence as visitors?

Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ  (Nehiyaw)
Jake Kimble (Deninu K’ue)
Lacie Burning (Kanien’kehá:ka, Mohawk)
Maria-Margaretta (Métis)
M.V. Williams (Skwxú7mesh, Wet’suwet’en)
Taran Kootenhayoo (Denesułįné, Nakoda Sioux)
Whess Harman (Carrier Wit’at)

These seven Indigenous artists will be creating works on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people that are originally from outside this territory. In What We Bring With Us, the artists’ work speaks to their relationship to this land and kinship founded through displacement in works ranging from photography to performance. 

Guest curated by Maria-Margaretta

Artwork by Lacie Burning, My Dad’s Boots

Canadian Art Magazine Features Cover Artwork by Mimi Gellman

Artwork by artist and ECU Associate Professor Mimi Gellman was selected to appear on the cover of the current issue of Canadian Art magazine.

The gleaming, otherworldly image graces the magazine’s issue on antimatter — a subject which “presents a mirror world of abstract phenomena: time reversals, mutual annihilation, cosmic rays, cloud chambers, an infinite sea of sub-atomic particles that parallels our ‘real’ world of matter,” according to the issue’s editors.

Mimi describes her work as approaching some of the affinities between the biological, the perceptual, the cultural and the astronomical. “My drawings do not explore the exterior world we perceive but rather what I call the ‘architecture of consciousness’ which permits us to perceive it,” she says. 
”Recalling astronomical diagrams and reflecting the mixture of hybrid cultural worldviews in my background, they reveal deep similarities between the dimension explored by sub-atomic physics and the implicit interiority of contemporary art.”

Full article by Perrin Grauer:

Thirza Cuthand NFB Film

ECU alum Thirza Cuthand shares a family oral story about a Two Spirit person travelling the Plains in pre-contact times.

Fifty years after the passing of Canada’s Bill C-150, which partially decriminalized homosexuality, celebrated Canadian artists including filmmaker and ECU alum Thirza Cuthand (BFA, 2005) are sharing work that reflects on LGBTQ2+ lives and identities in a new short-film collection from the National Film Board, called Five@50.

In Thirza’s contribution, a short documentary entitled Woman Dress which features dramatized re-enactments, the filmmaker’s Auntie Beth recounts a family oral story of the film’s eponymous Two Spirit protagonist. In pre-contact times, Woman Dress Woman Dress travels from village to village across the Plains, collecting and telling stories, and sharing news.

According the NFB’s synopsis of the film, the survival of Woman Dress within the oral tradition of the Cuthand family is “an act of resistance against colonialism and Christianity, which almost eradicated the position of Two Spirit people in Cree communities.
In creating a backdrop for Woman Dress’ story, the film draws on archival NFB footage of the Prairies, as well as images of contemporary urban settings. Thirza also uses a particular linguistic strategy to show reverence for the the story of the film’s protagonist:

“Cree has no gendered pronouns, and the film honours and respects Woman Dress’s gender identity by alternating she/he pronouns instead of imposing a colonial binary system on them,” the synopsis notes. “[The film] is a powerful act of reclaiming history and present-day space for Two Spirit people.”

Full article by Perrin Grauer:

Indigenous Brilliance

Whess Harman and Lacie Burning at Indigenous Brilliance
NOVEMBER 22 7-9:30 pm Massy Books 229 Georgia St, Vancouver
This event is FREE and wheelchair accesssible.

 Indigenous Brilliance is Room Magazine and Massy Books’ quarterly reading series dedicated to raising the voices of Indigenous women, Two-Spirit and queer writers, artists and storytellers. Featuring artists and poets from across Turtle Island, it is the result of different communities coming together with a shared vision of Indigenous resurgence.

Lacie Burning is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) multi-disciplinary artist and curator raised on Six Nations of the Grand River located in Southern Ontario. They work in photography, video, installation, and sculpture and will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a focus on Indigenous Art. Having come from a culturally and politically grounded upbringing, their work focuses on politics of Indigeneity and identity from a Haudenosaunee perspective.

Whess Harman (they/them pronouns) is a Carrier Wit’at/mixed race, trans (ftn) indigiqueer. They graduated from the emily carr university’s bachelor of fine arts program in 2014.
Their on-going work includes beading and DIY strategies around punk aesthetics creating the “Potlatch Punk” series; a collection of modified and embellished jackets that blend traditional materials with punk aesthetics to discuss urban Indigenous identity, resistance, visibility and understandings of wealth. Their poetry and text-based projects seek to explore the possibilities of reciprocal engagement in dialogue. They make zines about dating (badly), queer and trans identity, and are also sporadically writing and drawing a comic called cryboy about over-emoting spirits and queerness in a post-apocalyptic future.
They are currently a curatorial intern at grunt gallery and co-curated the Together Apart, Queer Indigeneities 2SQ/Indigiqueer Symposium with Kali Spitzer and are the de-facto editor of the Together Apart Zine.

image: Indigenous Brilliance instagram

Elisa Harkins

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series
We are very pleased to present artist and composer Elisa Harkins!

Please join us at the Aboriginal Gathering Place on
Thursday, November 21 at 11:30-12:30pm

Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist and composer originally hailing from Miami, Oklahoma. Harkins received her BA from Columbia College Chicago and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. She has since continued her education at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Muscogee and Cherokee languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. She has exhibited her work at The Broad Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, MCA Chicago, MOCA North Miami, and Vancouver Art Gallery. Harkins is currently a mentor at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow, and she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) tribe.

Motion and Movement: An Interview with Mark Igloliorte

Interdisciplinary artist Mark Igloliorte investigates and communicates his connection to his Inuit heritage primarily through painting and drawing. Since his teens, Igloliorte has also been an avid skateboarder, a practice which also informs how he plays with a shifting relationship to the landscape and ideas of place. IAQ Contributing Editor Emily Henderson spoke with Igloliorte about working with new artistic mediums, his influences, and motion and movement.

Motion and Movement: An Interview with Mark Igloliorte

Mark Igloliorte Pulâttik Angiggak (2019)

Pushing Boundaries 2019

CityScape Community ArtSpace | October 11 – November 16, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 10 from 7 – 9pm

Pushing Boundaries is a biennial group exhibition showcasing and celebrating contemporary Indigenous artists.

Indigenous cultures across North America use blankets in symbolic ways throughout their communities. These artists reference the narratives rooted in their own nations and relate them back to pattern, textile, shape, form or material. The blanket metaphor represents a way that we can use the deep connections of spirit while pushing a contemporary perspective on Indigenous ways of knowing.

James (Nexw’Kalus-Xwalacktun) Harry

Participating artists include: Cheximiya Allison Burns Joseph, Krystle Coughlin, Ocean Hyland, Atheana Picha, Michelle Sound, Manuel Axel Strain, Xwalacktun, Richard Heikkilä-Sawan, and Tiyaltelwet Melanie Rivers.

Curated by James (Nexw’Kalus-Xwalacktun) Harry.

Poster Image: HBC Trapline by Michelle Sound