Kim Gullion Stewart
My name is Kim (Gullion) Stewart and I am a Métis artist born in Athabasca, Alberta, with family connections to the Red River area in Manitoba. I am formally educated with diplomas in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, and a Master’s Degree in Art Education and traditionally educated through mentorships with indigenous Elders in beading, caribou hair tufting, drum making and hide tanning.
My artmaking connects Métis art forms, like hide tanning, beading, quillwork to contemporary art forms, like digital drawing, and painting. In my art practice, I work to investigate and define Métis identity. I believe Métis knowledge systems have been hidden, lost, or adapted as a survival mechanism and deserve to be recovered and elevated through artistic expression. Métis leader, Louis Riel (1844-1885) said, “My people will sleep for 100 years, but when they awake it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.” This moves me deeply as a Métis artist and motivates my work. In 2016, I investigated the influence of ‘Cowboy and Indian’ pop culture from my childhood on my Métis identity by creating comic book cover paintings of my family as heroes. Part of that body of work included felted sport-style banners with beadwork applied, and pages from old western novels where I worked to correct the stereotype of indigenous characters as being sneaky, conniving and mean. This work led to a solo show, INJUN-uity: or Growing up Pop at the Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George. Currently I am working on ‘land-back’ conceptual work with counter-mapping, a form of map-making or charting of stories, and culture which consists of making marks of resistance on top of a western representation of land, such as maps. You can see and purchase these beaded maps on my website along with my other artwork.
I sell my art patterns and images on home décor like blankets, pillows, tea towels, and I am expanding to include clothing accessories like scarves, kimonos, and shirts.
Follow my Instagram account @kim.art4life