Legacy Blanket (December 21, 2017 – January 17, 2018 )
The Legacy Blanket encourages respectful exchange between youth, artists and community. Join us as we gather to celebrate and recognize the sharing of Indigenous stories and knowledge. This exhibition and gathering acknowledges all participants including: local youth, artists, community, as well as the cultural and educational organizations involved.
This project, initiated locally, brings together unique creative forms – art, design, music and stories. Indigenous stories are contextualized within these textile works, with a focus on historic events, resilience, wellness, and healing. The Legacy Blanket encourages exploration, dialogue, enjoyment, sharing and caring. These Indigenous works were created through collaborations between community youth and elders.
Curator & Project Facilitator
The Legacy Blanket project shares family stories with the community, incorporating shared Indigenous stories,art and knowledge through blanket designs created by community.
It is a celebration of the youth artists, and their creations serve as a gift to their families and community.
This project has created opportunities for individuals, families, service providers and other community members to collaborate with the intent of caring. To practice Indigenous ways of knowing and our responsibilities to others, and all aspects of the natural world.
Indigenous people have called North American home.
Our Creation Story informs us that early beings began new life on the back of a turtle: hence we refer to our land base as Turtle Island.
Onkwehon:we Matters will feature relevant cultural material unearthed by archaeologists from within Ontario with a particular emphasis focused on the Grand River as home to the largest Haudenosaunee population in Canada.
First Nations Art 2017 (May 27 – July 28, 2017)
Established in 1975, First Nations Art (FNA) is one of the longest running annual exhibits that provides a space for established and emerging Indigenous artists to exhibit and sell their work in a gallery setting. On until July 28, this exhibition brings together artists from across Turtle Island. Over 120 works were submitted to this year’s exhibit, making the jury process one of the largest yet. The Woodland Cultural Centre would like to thank all the artists who submitted their works to FNA 2017. Without the support of local artists and communities, we could not continue the tradition of First Nations Art at the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Artists featured in First Nations Art 2017 include: Montana Adams, Thomas H. Anderson, Jocelyn Antone, Aura (Monique Bedard), Michael Barber, Alex Jacobs-Blum, Dakota Brant, Janice Brant, Jennifer E. Brant, Catherine Dallaire, Tim Doctor, John Dodsworth, Deron Ahsén:nase Douglas, Elizabeth Doxtater, Amanda Marie Flynn, Lorrie Gallant, Yvonne Garbutt, Shel General, Kelly Green, Jay Havens, Char Hemlock, Doug Henhawk, Anthony (TJ) Henhawk, Barbara-Helen Hill, Ronnie Hill, Summer Hill, Ted Hoffie, Mary Jacobs, Samantha Jacobs, Clayton King, Chief Lady Bird (Nancy King), Paul Kohoko, Lindsay Lickers, Martin A. Loft, Patrick Martin, Mark Neal, Holly Pichette, Karalyn Reuben, Judi Henhawk Sault, Semiah Smith, Keitha Keeshig-Tobias, Nelson White, Clayton Windatt and Elliott Doxtater-Wynn.
View Artist Statements here.
View Artist Bios here.
Rivers Of Thought by Quinn Smallboy (May 27 – July 28, 2017)
Woodland Cultural Centre is excited to announce Quinn Smallboy as the featured artist of First Nations Art 2017. Smallboy’s current practice investigates Indigenous art and its relation within Western ideologies, specifically, where does it fit within the contemporary field of art? Rivers Of Thought explores common symbols of Indigenous cultures and traditions from the traditional hand drum of the powwow, to intricate string work. Rivers Of Thought includes large scale webbings of string, to small hand drum size. On an abstract level, the exhibit explores a balance between lines and space. In shaping a space, Smallboy employs the use of the line, represented by rope and string. The characteristics in which Smallboy uses the material, help him build a base or platform, which he then assembles in multiple lines of conversion to animate a void.
Walking Together (February 4 – May 2, 2017)
“Walking Together” is a project that brought eleven First Nations students grades 10-12 from Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School in Brantford, together with former students of the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School. Students participated in workshops on the history of residential schools in Canada, information gathering, interview skills, the art of digital photography to tell a story, and the creative expression of encaustic art.
The goal of this intergenerational community arts project was to remind the youth of an important part of their First Nations history and to remind Canada that this is their history as well.
Walking side-by-side with survivors, these students spent a day discovering the heartbreaking legacy these survivors have carried their whole lives. The students were inspired by their courage and gained a new appreciation of their own freedom to speak their language, celebrate their culture, and enjoy life.
UnREZerved (February 25 – May 2, 2017)
Authoritative constructions of geographic documents such as maps, are often represented as bordered and contained. This makes it difficult for non-Indigenous people to conceptualize borders as transforming over time; not that they do not exist, but that they transform in relation to multiple fields of engagement and cultural contexts. Geographic borders also work to distance us from one another, especially in terms of national boundaries, which in turn create nationalities: peoples defined within those territorial borders. At the same time, these geographic boundaries can be important defining features of a community. “UnREZerved” includes subject matter of creation stories, legends, significant reference marks for cultural significance, traditional place names, negotiations with the government, commodification of natural resources. All of these features lead to a better understanding of the treaty process that is currently in effect, “as long as the sun shines, the rivers flow, and the grass grows”.
In this exhibition, the viewer is “UnREZerved” to explore visual storytelling that challenges our acquired and sometimes preconceived personal knowledge. Perusing subject matter of the artists’ and understanding the forces of assimilation from each of their collective treaty boundaries, the experience can education and better inform viewers. The complexity of this issue is juxtaposed in relation to subject matter of works chosen from the Woodland Cultural Centre’s permanent Collection. Common themes of natural and supernatural connections do not delineate far from one another. Noticeable difference is usually represented in the style or technique. Woodlands style often replicates “X-Ray” stylized paintings. In this exhibit, we should find new inspiration through historical and contemporary visual storytelling created by the original inhabitants of this land. Forward-thinking, allows a better understanding and a respectful opportunity for a cultural sharing of knowledge that would include reciprocal learning without prejudice as a basis of new understanding.
Opening the Doors To Dialogue (September 2 – January 31, 2017)
Opening the Doors to Dialogue is a reconciliation project led by Cayuga bead artist Samuel Thomas (Six Nations of the Grand River) in partnership with the Woodland Cultural Centre (former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School 1828-1970). This collaborative project involves artists, organizations, Elders and community members both Indigenous and non-Indigenous made up of residential school survivors, their descendants, and the general public. Through a series of beadwork sessions, the project beaded 7 doors salvaged from residential schools across Canada. This project will not only open the dialogue between several people during the creative development of the art work, but continue to create dialogue for thousands of viewers for years to come through the finished work and public exhibition.
Tyonatyerenhtòn:ne -They Were The First (August 19 – December 16, 2016)
This exhibition reflects on Onkwehon:we matrilineal society, while presenting the impact and contributions Onkwehon:we women have had from Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Six Nations of the Grand River and Wahta Mohawks. Sometimes greatness is recognized by worldly achievements, accolades and trail blazing efforts. Not to say that achieving greatness through these means aren’t commendable, but what about those women who not only were the first in their respected fields but were doing everyday things that many of us take for granted?
Onkwehon:we women have always held a high level of respect amongst their peers. In Onkwehon:we society the women are the life-givers for future generations. It is also through the women, that the children receive their nation and clan identity. Some women also hold high ranks in political society as their maternal rights to choose a chief and equally could dispose of his chieftainship. It has also been referenced that Onkwehon:we women were the true feminists.
In this exhibit, women are recognized for paving the way for the future. Highlighting achievements that some women made on the world stage, but more importantly contributions these women made during their lifetime to their community.
Salvage Anthroplogy (May 27 – July 29, 2016)
Salvage Anthropology was a term coined for the justification of Euro- Americans to take possession of First Nations artifacts and document the “vanishing race”. Many people believed First Nations people were becoming extinct through illness, war and assimilation. This exhibition questionins notions of the vanishing race theory while exploring the artists dentity and its relationship to historical and contemporary life. This exhibition is the first solo show featuring the works by artist Jennifer Lickers.
First Nations Art 2016 (May 27 – July 29, 2016)
The Woodland Cultural Centre is a longstanding Cultural Centre of Excellence that promotes and supports the Visual Arts of Canada. Established in 1975, this exhibition is one of the longest running annual exhibits that provide established and emerging First Nations artists an excellent opportunity to exhibit and sell their work in a fine art gallery setting. This years First Nations Art features the works of over 35 artists and features: painting, photography, installation, beadworking, pottery, and other mixed media. Opening Reception featured a musical performance by Melody McKiver
Performagraphic (February 13 – May 6 2016)
The collection of works by the famed performance artist James Luna spans a period of photographic works and accompanying objects created between 2010-2014, referencing over 30 years of his artistic career. Luna a Pooyukitchchum/Ipai native Approaches his work head on, with biting humor and irony, his powerful works transform the gallery space into a battlefield, where the audience is confronted with the nature of cultural identity, the tensions generated by cultural isolation, and the dangers of cultural misinterpretations from an Indigenous perspective.
The Art of Peace (May 15 – July 11, 2015)
This solo exhibition by Six Nations – Mohawk artist Elizabeth Doxtater included an array of her well-known corn husk creations, and paintings. Themes/messages in her work are about rememberance and honouring the minutest parts of Haudenosuanee culture and family stories that might otherwise be forgotten. Through the production of her work she is able to broach a variety of subjects including traditional, political, and on-going issues that affect our people.
First Nations Art 2015 (May 15 – July 11, 2015)
The Woodland Cultural Centre is a longstanding Cultural Centre of Excellence that promotes and supports the Visual Arts of Canada. Established in 1975, this exhibition is one of the longest running annual exhibits that provide established and emerging First Nations artists an excellent opportunity to exhibit and sell their work in a fine art gallery setting. Opening Reception featured a musical performance by Marc Nadjiwan Merilinen.
No Word For Art (Jan 20 – May 8, 2015)
For the Onkwehon:we the concept of art is not defined. Creative endeavours were a part of life and those who create, shared their gifts for the pleasure for all. ‘No Word for Art’ is an exhibition highlighting the artistic achievements of Santee Smith. An accomplished dancer, performer and pottery maker this exhibition features one of Six Nations finest creative artists.
KENT MONKMAN (August 8 – December 20, 2014)
Kent Monkman is an artist of Cree ancestry who works in a variety of media including painting, film/video, performance and installation. Monkman has exhibited widely within Canada, and is well represented in numerous private and public collections.
Enjoy the works of one of the most proflic practicing artists today. Featured paintings and installation pieces challenge the national conceptualizations of Canadiana and the invented mythos surrounding the histories of First Nations people.
*Artist talk and catalogue launch October 29, 2014 at the Woodland Cultural Centre 7PM
First Nations Art (May 9 – July 14, 2014)
This open call and juried show is the longest running annual First Nations Art exhibition in Canada featuring the contemporary works of First Nations Artists. This exhibition features the creative efforst from First Nations artist practicing in all visual arts disciplinces, with submissions arriving from all across turtle island.
About eve – Tracey-Mae Chambers (May 9 – July 14, 2014)
For the first time in its inception First Nations Art will also highlight the work of a solo artist to run congruent with the exhibition. This year’s selection for 2014 is Tracey-Mae Chambers. Her solo exhibition entitled ‘about eve’ is a visual narrative, addressing female body image and the state of women everywhere.
FashioNative (January 13 – April 18, 2014)
FashioNative fashion show and exhibition features four of the finest contemporary First Nations fashion designers: Angela DeMontigny, Sage Paul, Chessa Syrette and Tracy Toulouse. Showcasing wearable art that celebrates traditional elements and contemporary practices of First Nations designers. The designs featured highlight the impact of Aboriginal fashion and attempts to de-mystify the idea of what First Nations fashion is.
Origins (October 28 – December 24, 2013)
This exhibition features artistic works centered around the Onkwehon:we creation story, bringing together five First Nations artists: Hannah Claus, Elizabeth Doxtater, Katsitsion:ni Fox, Kelly Greene and Shelley Niro. Each of the artists presented in this exhibition have chosen to depict a certain perspective or element of this well known story. Their unique creations regardless of intention, inspiration, or final execution are testaments to the enduring qualities of the Onkwehon:we creation story, and its continual influence on the virtues and values of Onkwehon:we arts and culture today.
Opening reception: Monday October 28, 2013 at 7:00PM – join us for light refreshments and a special performance by musical talent Lacey Hill
Weaving Together Stories (August 12 – October 13, 2013)
Basketry is one of the earliest forms of human craftsmanship. Organic in nature, this art form relies on the availability of materials indigenous to one’s area. For the Woodland people, basketry had a utilitarian function as a necessity for gathering, storing, and carrying food.
From an engineering perspective, basketry is seen as sequential through the use of numbering and patterning. From an artisan perspective, it is knowing what material work best, and the method for creating purposeful albeit aesthetically pleasing containers.
Post-contact, basketry became a revenue generator wherein there was a high demand for First Nations basketry and other traditional creations. Designing baskets became a highly attractive art form, where stories were woven, shaped, and immortalized for cultural perpetuity.
Finding an Ogwehonweh basket weaver today can be challenging. The artistry still exists, but there are very few who specialize in this field as an occupation. Basketry is a rather time consuming process, with multiple steps from beginning to end.
Not only are there human factors to consider within the future of basketry, there are commercial enterprises, as well as environmental considerations that threaten the viability of this industry.
Beyond The Bars (July 26 – October 13, 2013)
Woodland Cultural Centre has created a wonderful exhibition from
sixty-six pieces of art work and 123 prints, produced by former First Nations inmates. These pieces have been in storage for more than 10 years. Woodland Cultural Centre has put these amazing art pieces on exhibition and all are available for sale. All proceeds collected will be used to purchase cultural literature for First Nations inmates and arts programming at the Woodland Cultural Centre.
First Nations Art, 2013 (May 24 – July 26, 2013)
For thirty-eight years the Woodland Cultural Centre has been presenting First Nations Art, this pivotal exhibition has brought artists together from all across Turtle Island featuring new works in many varied mediums. This year a total of thirty-four artists have submitted for First Nations Art, with a total of sixty works on display until July 26, 2013.
Spirit Of Community (January 21 – March 31, 2013)
Exploring the heart of Six Nations, this exciting exhibit examines the community, people, places and landscape that make it so unique. Featured in this exhibit are some of the finest examples from Woodland’s historical photography archive, as well as contemporary works by artists Anthony Henhawk Jr, Patricia Hess, Brenda Mitten, and Shelley Niro. The contemporary and historical material work together to create an engaging look at the Six Nations community.
War Of 1812 (October 29 – Dec 24, 2012)
This exhibit will expose the Canadian public to the unknown contributions and the very role the Haudenosaunee warriors played in the War of 1812. The contribution by the Haudenosaunee warriors both in the United States and in Canada is an unheard and unacknowledged history that caused great strife within the Six Nations Confederacy. The exhibit will explore the correspondences between the various Haudenosaunee communities in the U.S. and in Canada who were involved in the War of 1812 by their respective allies. Open until December 24, 2012.
Teiotiokwaonháston/Deyodyogwaǫháhs:dǫh (Encircles Everything) (August 10 – December 24, 2012)
Elizabeth Doxtater’s Teiotiokwaonháston/Deyodyogwaǫháhs:dǫh (Encircles Everything) has been extended until December 24, 2012.
It is with great honour that the Woodland Cultural Centre has extended the display of Teiotiokwaonháston/Deyodyogwaǫháhs:dǫh (Encircles Everything). This remarkable work depicts the formation of the Haudenosuanee confederacy, including all the clan mothers, chiefs, Jigonsaseh and the Peacemaker, also depicted is a white pine and eagle completely rendered in corn husk. Garnering a great deal of community interest, many of our recent visitors have come to Woodland over the past few months with the sole intent to see Elizabeth’s piece.
Cornhusk is a pure catalyst to our ancestors. Working with corn husk is like reaching back creating something that looks, smells, and feels like something from very close to the times of our ancient ancestors. – Elizabeth Doxtater
A group exhibition bringing together three local Six Nations artists that encapsulate an element of Haudenosaunee worldviews, a nod to the past, and homage to the materials. Currently on permanent display in the sculptural garden at the Woodland Cultural Centre
Earthly Connections is generously funded by the Ontario Arts Council