Impressive showcase of old, new generations of art.
"Let the next generation be born with the knowledge of what has passed," said the late renowned Alberta artist Joane Cardinal-Schubert in a poem she wrote before her untimely death in 2009. And in keeping with that wish, an impressive selection of artworks by 22 Aboriginal artists, dedicated to her, has been receiving rave reviews at the Royal Alberta Museum since it opened in November.
Narrative Quest showcases a variety of traditional and contemporary styles in a various media, from 2-D to 3-D works, including paintings, soapstone carving, sculptures and more. The prevalent theme in the works, which are part of the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, are often based on storytelling shared by Elders over the years and telling of a search for understanding and meaning.
Gail Lint is the art exhibition consultant at the AFA, whose collection includes over 8,000 artworks showcasing the creative talents of more than 1,700 artists either from Alberta or who have a "deep connection to the province." The collection is the result of an initiative undertaken several years ago to address the work of senior artists as well as recognizing a new generation of artists which is now making an impact.
"Curatorial assessment and recommendations by Joane Cardinal-Schubert were an invaluable part of the process and several of her works are included," said Lint.
Other artists who are also on display include Jason Carter, Delia Cross Child, Faye HeavyShield, Terrance Houle and Alex Janvier.
"There are the very established, well-known, almost the Elders now, of the artistic community," said Lint, adding that Janvier was one of the principal artists in the original group of seven. "So much of this is about understanding where the roots are and where the ancestry is and the stories associated with it, but also about moving forward and looking at a new age and a new time. It's really important that so many artists are represented."
The exhibition is comprised mostly of paintings but there is a nice variety of photos and other media.
"Fay HeavyShield's piece entitled Red Dress, for example, in place of the beads or shells or buttons in the traditional sense, features artifact tags," said Lint. Such creative innovations are present throughout the exhibition, truly demonstrating the ingenuity which inhabits the artists' minds and the way they see everyday objects in a new and exciting light. "She has a fabulous mind and she makes art out of the simplest things."
The exhibition runs until April 29. A celebration will be held on April 15 from 1 to 5 p.m., which will be open to the public and will feature a reception, artists' talks and other interesting events.
"We invite everyone to attend so come on down and see everything we have to show you," said Lint.
BY HEATHER ANDREWS MILLER Sweetgrass Writer
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|Title Annotation:||ARTS; Narrative Quest|
|Author:||Miller, Heather Andrews|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2012|
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