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Indigenous art exhibit makes stop at Blue Quills

The public is invited to view First Nations artwork from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program, currently being displayed at Blue Quills First Nations College’s library.
An artpiece by kora Cattleman, part of a travelling exhibit called Maskwacis (Bear Hills) currently on display at Blue Quills First Nations College’s library.
An artpiece by kora Cattleman, part of a travelling exhibit called Maskwacis (Bear Hills) currently on display at Blue Quills First Nations College’s library.

The public is invited to view First Nations artwork from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program, currently being displayed at Blue Quills First Nations College’s library.

The traveling exhibit, called Maskwacis (Bear Hills), contains 14 individual artists’ artwork, ranging from beadwork, acrylic paintings to photography.

Sherri Chisan, coordinator of Blue Quill’s leadership and management program, explained the artwork is put together by the people of Maskwacis from Hobbema, Alta.

“The exhibit features the work of some of the (Maskwacis) community members and students, with support from the Art Gallery of Alberta and Syncrude,” commented Chisan.

“We don’t generally have access to that kind of art since we can’t manage it in our collections … the travelling exhibition allows the art to get out to the community instead of just being shown in Edmonton or Calgary,” said Chisan, adding, “It’s an opportunity for people in rural communities to have a relationship with the artists.”

Different art events are held at Blue Quills First Nations College throughout the year to allow anyone interested in the medium to pursue their artistic interest, as well as encouraging the growth of the medium amongst the community. One such event was the New Sun Conference, held last May at the college, which celebrated the Indian Group of Seven, a group of professional aboriginal artists from Canada.

Chisan further explained that the art is a communication tool. “(Art) allows people to communicate with each other visually besides having to use words … we encourage the community of St. Paul and surrounding areas to visit Blue Quills to learn about the art, and also about who we are, and part of our effort to build a relationship with the communities around us,.”

For more information on the travelling exhibit, which will be open to the public until the last week of October, people can contact Chisan at 780-645-4455.