Published On: January 19, 2021Categories: Art, News, Online Activities

The Vision: Ga:hǫh ne’ hni’ ga:howe:kso/Covered and Uncovered – An Online Auction of Face Masks


“Artists respond to the world around them in a way that only they can.  To showcase these masks truly represent the impacts a global pandemic has had on individuals and communities.  The impacts the pandemic had on artists and arts organizations like Woodland Cultural Centre has been detrimental.  However, I saw artists and arts organizations shift their activities in new ways to ensure that we continued to create and present art.  With this auction, I hope that it brings to light the importance art is to our world and more specifically to our communities.” Janis Monture, Executive Director


WCC’s National Call for Submission is requesting Indigenous artists to create new original works of art in the form of a face mask in response to the new realities created by the global coronavirus pandemic impacting so many Indigenous communities across the country. The artful masks created may include any mixed media inclusive of but not limited to glass bead, quill, leather, found objects etc. The mask can be either functional or sculptural. WCC will host our first online fundraising auction in mid-April with 50% of proceeds shared with artists and 50% to support WCC programs, specifically School Visits & Educational Programming and Exhibitions.

Photo Courtesy of Santee Smith.

The masks represent resilience and perseverance in this difficult and uncertain time.

Indigenous artists continue to find creative methods that share cultural knowledge and provide a guiding light and offer hope and resilience. Artists are asked to create a face mask that now has become universal, omnipresent and mandated. They are a blessing and a curse; they keep you safe yet obstruct our interactions and expressions. Masks have become personalized yet they are uncomfortable and make it difficult to breathe. What do masks represent to you and how do you view it?


WCC recognizes the contribution of artistic creativity and offers an online opportunity to support initiatives. WCC continues to develop its operating and programming initiatives to find creative and innovative new ways to serve our communities. 


Woodland Cultural Centre was established in October 1972 upon the closure of the Mohawk Institute Residential School. The purpose of the Centre is visionary and includes, the preservation and interpretation of the original Residential School site which historically functioned to strip children and communities of their language, history and culture with a view towards assimilation; and a counterpoint Museum and Art Gallery building which serves to showcase the rich Haudenosaunee civilizations of the Great Lakes area and the contemporary artistic practices. The WCC offers unique programming including school visits, special events, workshops, performances, historic and contemporary exhibitions, an active language program, a library and archive.


Submission Deadlines

  • Pre-registration/expressions of interest required by March 12, 2021
  • Masks must be received at the WCC by April 26, 2021
  • Submissions will be juried and accepted from invited artists only
  • Artists will be notified of confirmation of participation by March 29, 2021


Submission Guidelines

  • Marketing and media to be managed by the WCC and artists must agree to have images used for promotional purposes
  • Artists will be advised of exact online auction dates and items will have a minimum bid attached
  • 50% of sales amount will be remitted back to the artists and 50% retained by WCC
  • A short artist statement should accompany the submission (100 word limit) and short bio (100 word limit)
  • Masks will be mounted and photographed for the online auction and artists will receive a high-resolution copy for their own use, giving recognition to the photographer


Submission Conditions

  • Complete and sign entry form.
  • Upon delivery, works must have identification labels attached.
  • Delivery of their artworks is the responsibility of the artist and should be made in-person when possible. Any works that are shipped must be prepaid. WCC will not accept collect shipments. Please pack with care.
  • The artist, by submission of entry, retains copyright and grants the Woodland Cultural Centre the right to photograph art works for publicity, educational, and reference purposes.
  • All selected work will be insured by the Woodland Cultural Centre while on the premises.

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