Portage College Museum highlights Alberta artists in January

Buffalo Rebirth, left, and her mixed media piece, The Spirit Lives, right, are examples of Jane Ash Poitras’ art. She is one of the artists Portage College Museum of Aboriginal Peoples Art and Artifacts is featuring this month to celebrate the province’s month of the artist. 

The Portage College Museum of Aboriginal Peoples Art and Artifacts are highlighting some of their Alberta artists to celebrate the province’s month of the artist.

As one of the largest exhibits of Indigenous art in Canada, museum director Donna Feledichuk, said it was an opportunity to showcase some of the more local talent in their collection, and draw attention to the volume of Indigenous art they have on exhibit.

“In our collection we have a lot of very prominent Indigeneous artists that are from the province that people aren’t neccesarily aware of the accollades from their communities and outside of their communities,” said Feledichuk.

“I think it’s important we showcase the talent we have in this province and for people to recognize we have very talented artists and artisans in this province.”

They are highlighting 15 Alberta artists: including Jason Carter, Alex Janvier, and Jane Ash Poitras.

The museum’s Facebook page is sharing works from these artists throughout the month. The feedback so far has been positive.

“We have a social media campaign right now and we’re getting lots of people sharing the images of the artists of the month, commenting saying how much they like this person as an artist, or that person as an artist.”

 

Featured artist, Jason Carter, working on a public art exhibition.

 

Feledichuk said it made sense to feature the artists whose arts are already on display.

“We looked at works at exhibits we have currently from Alberta artists or that will be shortly this year. There are two artists that are going next year. We looked at ones that if you came into the exhibit and this time, which of those Alberta artists could you actually see during a tour of the museum,” she said.

The Portage College Museum of Aboriginal Peoples Art and Artifacts goes more of the permanent exhibition route where other national galleries lean towards the temporary ones.

“We really want to show in our collection the significant impact and the foundational works of the various Indigenous works in Canada and in the province in terms of how they made the way and set the standard and made opportunities for other Indigenous artists to have careers and be shown in galleries.

An example of the work featured is the professional Native Indian Artist Inc., which includes featured artist Alex Janvier. In the 1970’s, paved the wave for Indigenous art to be viewed differently than anthropological work.

“So when you come,” says Feledichuk, “those are really important to Indegenous art in Canada, so those permanent collections are always there feautring those works.

On Nov. 15, 2018 the province made January the month of the artist.

The full list of artist featured are:

Stewart Steinhauer
Elsie Quintal
Ruby Sweetman
Amy Malbeuf
Jason Carter
Alex Janvier
Jane Ash Poitras
Glen Nipshank
Leo Arcand
Joane Cardinal Schubert
Terry McCue

Jaime Morse

David Garneau

Frederick McDonald

George Littlechild