By Nick Kuhl on May 18, 2019.
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
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
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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