September 14, 2017 to February 11, 2018
Opening reception: September 14, 2017 at 7 pm
Building on 40 years of creative collaborations with Indigenous artists, communities, and organizations, the Art Gallery of Guelph presents 150 Acts: Art, Activism, Impact, an exhibition that provides a platform for diverse Indigenous narratives that imagine new social futures. 150 Acts coincides with Canada’s sesquicentennial, an essential moment of national reflection and an opportunity to query the relationship of nationhood itself to Canada’s Indigeneity.
Throughout, the exhibition recognizes art practices as simultaneously personal, conceptual, cultural, political, and social acts – and as meaningful responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. From installation, film, new media, and performance to practices framed by traditional beadwork, textile, sculpture, drawing, and painting, the artworks explore both socio-cultural and physical terrain while mapping wholly new geographies through language, storytelling, and the land itself.
Foundational pieces from the AGG’s Indigenous collections are complemented by new art practices from across Canada, including site-specific work commissioned by Partners in Art for LandMarks2017/Repères2017, underscoring evolving Indigenous methodologies that have transformed the public sphere with a consistent and profound sense of social justice. Featured artists include Shuvinai Ashoona, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Carl Beam, Christi Belcourt, Maureen Gruben, Myra Kukiiyaut, Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Camille Turner, Victoria Mamnguqsualuk, Kavavaow Mannomee, Michael Massie, Norval Morrisseau, Shelley Niro, Jessie Oonark, Annie Pootoogook, Kananginak Pootoogook, Susan Point, Victor Reece, Arthur Renwick, Michael Robinson, Don Russell, Naomi Smith, Greg Staats, Oviloo Tunnillie, Marion Tuu’luq, Art Wilson ‘Wii Muk’wilixw’, Bill Wilson, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, among others.
Compelled by the powerful historical and geographical dynamics embodied in our relationship to the lands upon which we live, work, and create, 150 Acts: Art, Activism, Impact provides a vital opportunity to re-narrate landscape through art practices that actively engage our collective histories and possible futures.
150 Acts: Art, Activism, Impact is made possible through the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council. The Art Gallery of Guelph is also grateful for the partnership and support of Partners in Art.
image (detail): Art Wilson (Wii Muk’wilixw), It’s Time to Wear Our Blankets, 1996, silkscreen on paper, 58.4 x 44.5 cm. Gift of Helen Hoy and Thomas King, 2007, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Collection at the Art Gallery of Guelph