Winnipeg Art Gallery presents groundbreaking Aboriginal art
7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. features works by seven of Canada's most important artists
In the early 1970s, a group of seven aboriginal artists came together in artist Daphne Odjig's print shop in Winnipeg. They formed a group called Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., but soon adopted the name Indian Group of Seven.
We were determined to change the world of art- Alex Janvier
They had a specific goal, according to Winnipeg Art Gallery curator Andrew Kear.
The collective was made up of Alex Janvier, Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez.
Alex Janvier is one of the central figures of the group and one of the three artists still alive. He agrees with Kear's assessment of the group's vision.
"The art world wasn't interested in what we were doing," he said. We weren't good enough or we didn't measure up to so-and-so curator's ideal of art of that day.
Kear said the group garnered a great deal of attention as a group. "That made people aware of the fact that there is this thing called contemporary First Nations art. It can be very diverse, these artists are not all doing the same thing. It made people aware that it wasn't something that was relegated to the past or was unchanging."
Janvier, who was born at Cold Lake First Nations and is of Dene-Saulteaux heritage, feels the situation today shows a remarkable reversal. "Maybe Canada's going to start growing up.
"My hope? That we become powerful people with what we have. I would like to see my children and grandchildren get in there, as landlords, of course. I would like to see the next generation have something that's really what they can believe in as Canada."
7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. opens at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on May 9 at 7:00. Alex Janvier and Joseph Sanchez will be in attendance.
The exhibit features works by all seven members of the collective, Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness and Carl Ray, in addition to Janvier and Sanchez.
Popular now in news
- 1671 reading now
Canadian households lead the world in terms of debt: OECD
- 993 reading nowAnalysis
Hollywood stars on the defensive as scandals prompt tough questions
- 657 reading nowLive Blog
Jury could hear from final Crown witness at Laura Babcock murder trial
- 650 reading now
Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnut is OK, just don't say beaver
- 603 reading now
Competition Bureau wants answers from Sears liquidators on alleged price mark-ups, says report