New TV series introduces viewers to Indigenous artists in their studios
1st episode Saturday profiles Denesuline artist Alex Janvier
Starting this Saturday a new TV series explores Indigenous art makers across the country.
Petroglyphs to Pixels was produced by Urban Rez Productions and features 13 stories about Indigenous artists.
Producer Jeff Bear said inspiration for the series came from his family's artistic history.
"I was born to a family of artists on both sides," he said.
"Their artistry dates back to time beyond memory when our people were making baskets and canoes and beading garments. I think the greatest stories that have to be told in the Canadian narrative should include art and culture."
Each episode runs 22-minutes and is set in the artists' studios, uncovering some of their creative processes.
Denesuline artist Alex Janvier from the Cold Lake First Nations in Treaty 6 territory starts off the series.
- ArtspotsAlex Janvier: 'Maybe that's why I was placed on this earth, to shout to the world — This is bullshit!'
Bear said he was particularly drawn to Janvier's story because of his historical importance.
"He basically defied all the odds," said Bear.
In the 1960s, Janvier applied to art schools in Ontario but the Indian agent at the time wouldn't permit him to travel across the country.
"He had to go to school and it was a technical school but there he discovered his true calling," said Bear.
"It was important to have him as the seeds that will help flower all the other conversations we have with artists across the country."
Other artists featured include Métis photographer-turned-painter Rosalie Favel, Haida carver James Hart and Wolastoqew artist Arlene "Dozay" Christmas.
"These are all people who are user friendly," said Bear about the selection of artists.
"It's really to give people an appreciation and it's for kids, for youth to look at these people and think of them as heroes for the future and that they could do it, too."
Petroglyphs to Pixels begins airing on APTN Saturday.