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Elders of the Future exhibits First Nations oral child rearing traditions

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Knowledge can be passed down through the generations in more way than just books.

 The Blackfoot First Nations have a long tradition of  teaching through storytelling, so a massive exhibit at Casa called “Elders of the Future: Created and Curated by a multi-generational and multi-cultural team” features works by numerous artists inspired by the oral tradition of storytelling.Edna Bad Eagle, Kristine Alexander Jan Newberry and TanyaPace-Crosschild present Elders of the Future at casa. Photo by Richard Amery

 It is just a few of the works  of  the exhibit which can be accessed through a new app presented by the Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society which is available as a QR code at the exhibit at Casa.
 The exhibit and app is the culmination of a 10 year collaboration of  the “Raising Spirit” project between the Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, University of Lethbridge and University of Lethbridge’s Institute for Child and Youth Services.

“There weren’t any books on child rearing like “What To Do When your Child Turns 6,” so there had to be a different way to convey information,” observed U of L anthropology associate professor Jan Newberry.

“It was interrupted by residential schools and the ’Sixties scoop’ (the practice of taking the children of First Nations people and placing them in Foster homes or up for adoption,” added Tanya Pase-Crosschild Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society president, adding  First Nations families often have a bad reputation in the media
 So the exhibit included innocuous  photos of happy children living and playing with their families.
“ We need to start showcasing these stories,” Pase-Crosschild added.


Anderson inspired by supernatural for Every Good Boy Does Fine exhibit at Casa

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Saskatoon based artist Joseph Anderson found inspiration in the illustrations in children’s books as well as Biblical stories for his new exhibit, “Every Good Boy Does Fine” which opens at Casa main gallery tonight, Sept. 9.Joseph Anderson presents Every Good Boy Does Fine at Casa . Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s about the idea of judging good versus bad behaviour. Children’s stories have a lot of moralization built into them like  Hansel and Gretel is about don’t talk to strangers and don’t wander off alone,” Anderson observed, adding his exhibit of watercolour paintings  was inspired by the illustrative style of children’s books.

“So even if you can’t understand the text, you know what is happening,” he said.
“I was also inspired by Biblical parables or cautionary tales,”  continued Anderson who earned his MFA at the University of Saskatchewan and his undergraduate BFA degree at the U of L in 2000.

 His works have a supernatural tone to them. And there are a few musical references reflecting the Every Good Boy Does Fine title.
“ They come the piano lessons I took,” he said indicating a piano keyboard on one of his works.

“I was reading a lot of Grimm Fairy Tales. I also did six new  works which are specifically about gothic ghost stories I was reading,” he said, adding one was inspired by the Barnwell school where I went to school. There was a legend that there was a ghost  named Tom who lived there. And when they closed the school, I wondered where he would go,” Anderson continued, noting he never saw the ghost when he was  attending elementary school.

The longest work in the exhibit was inspired by Henry James’ 1898 novella “Turn of the Screw.”


Arianna Richardson’s exhibit Decolonization Station to spark Canada 150 discussion

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Canada, like pretty much all countries, has it’s darker moments of history, so Lethbridge born, Halifax based artist Arianna Richardson hopes to spark a discussion about it with her new exhibit  “Decolonization Station” outside Arianna Richardson's exhibit Decolonization Station is outside of SAAG, July 1. Photo by Richard Amerythe SAAG, July 1.

“Canada has a history that is often actively ignored. So I want to start a discussion about it,” said Richardson, back home in Lethbridge for a month from Halifax, where she is studying for her MFA.

“I’ll be destroying objects and souvenirs I’ve collected over the past three years from my travels across Canada as my alter ego the Hobbyist,” she continued, adding she invites the public to bring their own tchotchkes and souvenirs to talk about and then destroy.

“I want it to inspire a public discussion about colonization and decolonization,” she said.


Casa exhibits celebrate LGBQT, viral videos and fifty years of fine arts at the U of L

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Three big new exhibits open at Casa tonight, June 24.

 Perfectly timed for Pride week, anDarcy Logan adjusts one of Andrea Kowalchuk’s works from her Derp exhibit, which opens tonight. Photo by Richard Amery expanded version of the Cabinet of Queeriosities dominates the main gallery.

“We do cabinet of Queeriosities every two years. This year we have 32 artists from Ontario, Alberta and even Austria,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan, noting Casa brought in guest curators Megan  Morman and Leila Armstrong, who started Cabinet of Queeriosities, when the event began in the cabinets at the Bowman Art Gallery.

“It’s the fourth year we’ve done this. We do this every two years to celebrate LGBQT inclusion. We have a lot of friends in the community,” he said , adding the contributing artists responded to an open call on social media.

 The submissions for Cabinet of Qeeriosities IV include a variety of mediums including paintings, drawings, sculpture and even fabric art.

“ We have a lot of wonderful works,” Logan said.
 The other big exhibit , called Derp, features new work from U of L graduate Andrea Kowalchuk.

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