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  • Writer's pictureShay

Indigenous Art Throughout the Interior

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

A list of upcoming or on-going Indigenous Exhibitions in the Interior.


Looking for some local activities and spots to visit this summer? There are several incredible exhibitions across the region that are showcasing and celebrating Indigenous artists! Check out this article to see some of the listings and plan your summer gallery road trip!

Redefining the Perspective Exhibit, Kamloops Old Courthouse | Photo: Shay Paul

 

THE 215 LE ESTCWICWÉY̓ (“THE MISSING”)

April 15th - June 24th

Kamloops, BC

Exhibition showcasing art from Johnny Bandura, and curated by Craig Williams


Upon hearing the news in May of 2021 of the 215 children discovered in graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Johnny Bandura began painting 215 portraits as a therapeutic process. He felt compelled to respond to the findings as his grandmother was a Residential School survivor from Kamloops and Bandura remains connected to family in the region.


Through the portraits, Bandura imagines what the children may have become had they survived to adulthood. The faces are rendered in black and white and reference the absence of the children’s lives, while splashes of colour emphasize ornamentation and dress that imagine the children’s futures. Some are depicted in traditional Indigenous regalia while others are painted in the clothing and uniforms of everyday occupations, including teachers, delivery drivers, office workers, and chefs. Others are celebrated as artists, musicians, mimes, and clowns.

Johnny Bandura is a member of the Qayqayt First Nation (New Westminster) and grew up in Kamloops and Hay River, Northwest Territories.

The exhibition has shown at The Anvil Centre, New Westminster, BC and the paintings have been displayed at events for Orange Shirt Day at Thompson Rivers University, National Indigenous Day at Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc, and in Edmonton, Alberta.



Located in the Cube Gallery at the Kamloops Art Gallery

101 - 465 Victoria Street, Kamloops


Admission to the Cube gallery is always free

Hours Tues - Sat from 10:00AM - 5:00PM

 

Redefining the Perspective: the many forms of Indigenous Art

June 2nd - July 27th, Kamloops Arts Council

Kamloops, BC


This is a group exhibition showcasing both emerging and professional artists, organized by the Indigenous Resurgence Project, and curated by Shay Paul.


The Indigenous Resurgence Project is a grassroots art collective, and initiative based in Kamloops that supports and showcases local Indigenous artists. This collective exhibition is a way to show the unique and intricate diversity of artists in the area. Indigenous artists and the pieces they create come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs – some following familiar patterns of traditional practices, and others recontextualizing art in new and modern styles.

The Indigenous Resurgence project works with artists of any medium and practice, putting emphasis on the diversity of each craft. Being an Indigenous artist isn’t about adhering to a certain style or form – it’s about reclaiming our voice through creativity and storytelling and about sharing our perspective. We need to redefine what Indigenous art means, and our perception of it. This exhibition is one small piece in that process.



Located in the Hallway and Alcove Galleries at the Kamloops Old Courthouse

7th Seymour St. West, Kamloops


Hours Tues - Sat from 10:00AM to 4:00PM

 

YOU ARE ON SYILX TERRITORY

June 7th - August 24th

Kelowna, BC

This exhibition is presented as part of the Indigenous Art Intensive, organized by the UBC Okanagan Gallery, and curated by Dr. Stacey Koosel.


Land acknowledgements were just one of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report published in 2015. UBC Okanagan’s Public Art Collection was founded in 1963 by Okanagan College, and contains over 800 works of art from outdoor public art to paintings, prints, etchings, sculptures, installations, photography, video, carvings and more. Unfortunately of the over 800 works in the collection, only 8 are by Syilx artists, less than 1% of the Public Art Collection.


The 6 paintings displayed, 3 of which are recent acquisitions funded by the BC Arts Council and Okanagan School of Education, are joined by two outdoor installations by Interior Salish artists on campus, Syilx artist Les Louis’s sn̓ilíʔtn (Story Poles) commissioned for the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit in 2016 and For Future Matriarchs (2022) by Krista Belle Stewart (Syilx) and Tania Willard (Secpwépemc) commissioned by UBC Okanagan School of Engineering for the 14 Not Forgotten Ceremony to commemorate the École Polytechnique massacre.

Leading arts institutions around the world are prioritizing decolonizing their art collections, and embracing more inclusive art histories. UBC Okanagan’s acquisition policy was updated in 2020, to prioritize commissions and purchases from local Indigenous artists, to balance out the deficit of Syilx contemporary art in the collection.



Located at the University of British Columbia: Okanagan Campus

Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies

1148 Research Rd, Kelowna


Hours Tues - Sat from 10:30AM - 5:00PM

 

R. J. Haney Museum Exhibitions

Salmon Arm, BC


The R. J. Haney Museum and Heritage Village is set on a 40 acre property of beautiful farmland. The heritage site comprises 24 buildings that are either replicas or originals and over 30 exhibits, including the original 1910 Haney House. The museum currently has 2 different Indigenous-centered exhibitions being showcased at the main gallery.


Located in the Montebello Gallery, R. J. Haney Museum

751 Highway 97B NE, Salmon Arm


Adult Admission: $12.00 | Senior Admission: $10.00 | Children Admission: FREE

Any self-identifying Indigenous person can receive a free visitor's pass


Hours June: Wed - Sun from 10:00AM - 5:00PM

July and August: 7 days a week from 10:00AM - 5:00PM


Knucwentwécw: The Bridges Built by Dr. Mary Thomas

May 17th - September 16th


Imagine being born at the end of W.W.1, living in a house without electricity or plumbing, on a reserve near Chase, B.C. Baby Mary Allen was one generation away from experiencing traditional Secwepemc living. Her parents spoke Secwepemcstin. They had seen their world change and Mary Allen was going to witness more changes. At the age of six Mary was sent off to Kamloops Indian Residential School. Besides learning how to steal food at the school, Mary learned another skill - how to lie her way out of a situation if caught.

An arranged marriage, widowhood, remarriage, and widowhood for a second time followed Mary Thomas' education at Kamloops Residential School. A journey of healing began when Mary Thomas found soul mate Frank Krauchi and the couple moved to Kelowna. In Kelowna Mary met Kelowna Museum Curator Ursula Surtees and was offered a job doing research to create a school program.

"The more I learned about my culture, the values and philosophy…it started to change me. I began to change and that’s what I call my journey to healing," Dr. Mary Thomas said.

Dr. Mary Thomas recognized that all people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, had to work together to solve conservation and environmental problems. Meet a few of the people who Dr. Mary Thomas influenced and see how her work continues through them.


cnéwelc: “follow a trail”

June 9th - September 16th


An exhibition of intergenerational Indigenous art, and is curated by Csetkwe Fortier and Erin Stodola.


The Salmon Arm Museum at R.J. Haney Heritage Village co-curated with Secwépemc/Syilx artist, Csetkwe Fortier, present the exhibition cnéwelc: “follow a trail”. The exhibition showcases the late Daphne Odjig, who helped clear the path for today’s Indigenous artists such as co-exhibiting Secwépmec artists Tania Willard, Manuel Axel Strain, Sean Stiller, and Csetkwe Fortier. This collection of Odjig’s works have been generously entrusted for this special exhibition by members of the Shuswap community.


Viewers are invited to walk through the Montebello Gallery on a trail of aromatic cedar and take in moments of reflection with art created from and for Indigenous resistance, relationship to land, kinship and resilience. Follow the exhibition’s path and experience Odjig’s renowned originals and prints, Willard’s captivating multi-medium instillations, Strain’s visionary oils on canvas, Stiller’s immersive film, and Fortier’s sentimental acrylics on linen.


Photo: Sheldon Pierre Louis

 

Upcoming Exhibitions

Information in this section is limited because the exhibitions are not yet running


LEN: Len Marchand Sr. in Photographs

June 30th - December 16th

Kamloops Museum and Archives

Kamloops, BC


LEN, an exhibition on popular Kamloops-based political leader, Leonard Marchand Sr. (November 16, 1933 – June 3, 2016, Syilx Nation); Canada’s first person of First Nations status elected to Canadian parliament and Canada’s first Indigenous federal cabinet minister.


This exhibition will focus on family photographs and objects generously donated by the Marchand family. Along with historical information and family anecdotes, the show highlights Marchand's forthright and humble character, as well as the conditions that gave rise to his achievements and approach to creating social change.


Opening Reception: Friday, June 30, 5–7pm

RSVP is highly encouraged as they anticipate significant interest in this special opening.

Please RSVP to jcyr@kamloops.ca, or call 250-828-3577


Le7 Tmicw

July 8th - September 9th

Salmon Arm Arts Center

Salmon Arm, BC


Le7 Tmicw is a Secwepemc phrase meaning :good earth". This exhibition will focus on the solutions in a time of high climate anxiety, highlighting acts of recovery and healing. Artists using a variety of mediums to bring attention to these solutions are Sarah Hope, Gordon Wallace, Mary Thomas, Hop You Haskett, Linda Franklin, Jennifer Cherneckie, Frieda Martin, Barb Belway, Leilani Figueroa, and the Kamloops Printmakers Society.


Artist Talk scheduled for Thursday, July 20th at 2:00PM

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