October 30th, 2020

Artists address surroundings in SAAG exhibit


By Nick Kuhl on May 18, 2019.

Dave Mabell


Lethbridge Herald


dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com


Lethbridge-area images are featured in a new exhibition at the 
Southern Alberta Art Gallery. “Of Surroundings,” showcasing the 
work of five local artists, is on view alongside two exhibitions of 
artworks by young people.
Opened Friday in the upper gallery, “Of Surroundings” presents 
selections by artists working within the current landscapes and 
traditional Treaty 7 territories, home of the Blackfoot, Stoney Nakoda 
and Tsuut’ina. Open until June 23, the show includes works by artists 
Tyler Muzzin, Bryce Singer, Roy Caussy, seth cardinal dodginghorse and 
Hali Heavy Shield.
Their art focuses on the ways in which people relate to place, and the 
artists’ varying experiences within the region. It offers 
“observations of interiority, relationships to proximity, personal 
experiences, and awareness of surroundings.”
“For many of us, our sense of identity is associated with 
geographical locations,” says co-curator Kylie Fineday.
“Where we live, places we have been and where we are from become a 
part of who we are and how we see ourselves.”
The five artists, she says, “address the notions of surroundings, 
particularly focusing on this region and their experiences within it.”
They’ve expressed that through ceramics and sculpture, photography 
and performance, installation and poetry as well as drawings and mixed 
media.
The exhibition is complemented with a publication of poetry by Heavy 
Shield, and the opening reception included a contemporary chicken 
dance performance by dodginghorse.
The new show complements “Koko’sinnooniksi Omaniiyaawa: Our 
Children Speak the Truth,” an annual collaboration featuring literary 
and visual works created by the Blackfoot and Lethbridge Youth 
Committees of Gilbert Paterson Middle School, Ecole St. Mary 
Elementary School and St. Francis Junior High.
The initiative began in 2016 when art educator Andrea Fox began 
working with Blackfoot and non-Indigenous children to give them an 
opportunity to explore and experience Truth and Reconciliation through 
“creative pathways.”
Those works will remain on exhibition at SAAG until June 28, alongside 
the annual “Art’s Alive and Well in the Schools” event, which has 
shown nearly 17,000 pieces of art over its 42-year run. Those works 
will remain on view until June 17.
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