I came into the house, after visiting the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary, yesterday, and looked deeply at the painting by Joane Cardinal-Schubert that my then-partner and I bought on December 7, 1995 from the Master’s Art Gallery. It wasn’t as though we could ever afford to collect art, but, we were determined to collect art…we were always buying something and we did it in a disciplined way because each month we made an allocation of a specific amount of money toward our art budget. A lot of people at the time, and still today, don’t realize that they can invest in art over time. Ordinary people don’t have access to a budget that covers the entire value of many of the pieces that they grow to love. This is how I was able to be a collector.
After seeing the amazing retrospective, The Writing on the Wall, I couldn’t help but see Joane’s work differently. Appropriate that on December 1st of 2017, I should enjoy all of this and more.
I’ve written about Joane over the years…
I just went upstairs and snapped a couple of photographs…the first, the painting that greets me each day as I enter my home, Protectors of Dreams.
The exhibit was so powerful that it hit me in the gut. I sat down at every opportunity to process the messages of the work and to take it into my spirit. I read every wall plaque and words, as best as I could, on every painting. I’m just going to post the images and spare a great commentary.
Joane fought tirelessly against the building of the Old Man Dam and we reconnected once again in Maycroft, as well as at the Masters Art Gallery, for another exhibit. At that show, she took the time to chat and to sign my poster, collected back in the fundraising days of the Friends of the Old Man meetings.
Joane came to visit with my students in 1980, right before I took them down for their tour of the Glenbow Museum. During those years, I worked very hard developing curriculum for urban Metis and Indigenous students in my care. Our School District was aware that there were huge gaps in content for these students and that generally, many were struggling with attendance and performance on standardized tests. Visits from Elders and people like Joane created a sense of role modeling that my students could not get from me. She showed them slides on a slide projector of her sweat lodge images. All these years later, I will never forget her generous heart and her painful remembrances. Yesterday, I felt my hand in hers. I am forever-grateful for our connection.
Tomorrow, I attend a friend’s funeral service. One piece that really touched my heart was this one, Remembering My Dreambed…I stood before it and thought of my friend’s battle with cancer.
Remembering My Dreambed Joane Cardinal-Schubert 1985 recollections of invasive medical procedures related to cancer treatment.
Below…Homage to Small Boy: Where Were You In July, Hercules? 1985, Joane Cardinal-Schubert. The colour is not near true…the blue is the most amazing ultramarine blue, in this piece.
Letters to Emily Carr…birch bark letters. I loved reading the words…
The Lesson Joane Cardinal-Schubert
Where the Truth is Written – Usually first installed 1991 Joane Cardinal-Schubert
I have not yet included all of my references, but again, Max needs his walk. I need to pull the decorations from out of the basement. The roast needs to get into the slow cooker. I want to end with a bit of music. Last night, a friend and I attended A Tribe Called Red. I want to insert the images here.
It was such a powerful experience. The visuals, the dance and the music combined to speak deeply to the heart. I feel changed.
Often during the evening, I thought about Thomas King’s book, An Inconvenient Indian. I think that the stereotypes and misunderstandings about our Indigenous peoples were captured in the form of these artistic creations performed by A Tribe Called Red.
Powerfully executed…authentically created…thank you.