Deafening by Frances Itani

On the recommendation of a friend back here in Calgary, one of the books I read while visiting my father in Belleville, Ontario was Deafening by Frances Itani.  With a regional setting of Deseronto, Belleville, the railway and the surrounding area, upon completing the book, of course, I had to go and visit the places.  Itani’s novel, placed during World War I, is exquisite.  A Winner of a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, I was captivated and motored through this one at warp speed.

Grania, the protagonist, emerges from a bout of scarlet fever as a child, deaf.  The novel evokes a real sense of what language means.  As stated in the Goodread’s summary,

“A magnificent tale of love and war, Deafening is finally an ode to language-how it can console, imprison, and liberate, and how it alone can bridge vast chasms of geography and experience.”

In published reviews, it appears that a lot of readers lost interest as Grania becomes involved with Jim. I think the author is successful in steering clear of sentimentality and introduces Jim as a device to talk to the reader about war, its impact on the small community and how the concepts of lost communication express a similarity with loss of hearing.

At the conclusion of this book, I thought this was my favourite book of all time…but, you know and I know, this is just until the next one!

My father humoured me and visited the grounds of Belleville’s Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf with me and I went, on another day, to Deseronto in order to document some of the places mentioned in the book. Why?  Just because I could.

The school for the deaf has a beautiful campus including several stately brick buildings and wonderfully groomed grounds.

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Deseronto…

The places of Canada…driving driving driving…remind me of the blessings of our common narratives.  Everywhere, windows are boarded up, mostly in small towns and names are written, as are profanities on the baked painted surfaces of what used to be animated corner stores and bakeries and churches…places where people gathered, all working to get through hard winters and humid summers.

Deseronto captures all of it.  The tea rooms and antiques, the post office, the docks…

I am grateful to have seemed to step into a book.

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Post Office Deseronto

Post Office Deseronto

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St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Deseronto

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Deseronto

I strongly recommend Deafening by Frances Itani.

 

Contemporary Calgary Serves Up Made in Calgary: The 1990s and Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate

Made in Calgary The 1990s and the Deadly Ladies Art Triumvirate

It’s the ‘morning after’ writing this post and as I read it, I think that it might be a particularly challenging post because Saturday night was so FULL to exploding with art and at this single venue, a lot was going on.  For those who are not familiar with the physical lay out of the building that was once called the Art Gallery of Calgary, there are four floors, each separated by a very open stairwell.  Presently, on three of those floors is an exhibit titled Made in Calgary: The 1990s and on the top floor, an aboriginal women artists’ exhibit titled the Deadly Lady Artist Triumvirate.  This post will explore both, although, barely touching on the 1990s portion.

The Art Gallery of Calgary and our MOCA, located by City Hall, along with the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Art have consolidated/E-merged as Contemporary Calgary.  So, to begin with, the language that I use to label the evening venue becomes a tad complicated.  Here are some of the highlights, as I saw them.

An upbeat evening was had at Contemporary Calgary on Saturday night…friendship (happy birthday, Jen), hugs, laughter, great catered food and fantastic art.  In the 1990s, I remember making the acquaintance of several local artists in their studios…places like the Burns Building.  I think that the exhibit nicely characterizes the sorts of things that were happening at the time and it was very reminiscent to be in connection with the ‘stuff’ again.

While I won’t be able to feature or write my connection with each piece, I want to showcase a few. For example, a nice little threesome of silver gelatin prints by Lawrence Chrismas were exhibited.  I met Lawrence when I attended a powerful exhibit of photographs at the Esker Foundations some time ago. The exhibit was titled Splendid Isolation…and captured the intimacy and narrative aspects of spaces. At one of the art talk events, Lawrence (Larry) had shared, during question period, an encounter with photographer,   Orest Semchishen.  It was a highlight for me as I was taking in Orest’s historical images of small town Alberta.

P1150108I’ve made a visit to the Paintedearth Coal Mine with my friend, Bill Webb and so when I saw the image of these welders, I was so impressed with the fact that faces were ‘put on’ the history of the area.  Art sustains our narratives so that we might always make reference.  I felt engaged with a small part of the archive that is Alberta mining.  Beautiful.

P1150104A Wayne Giles piece demanded the viewer’s attention by its monumental presence on the lower level.  The first image is the AGC’s documented image and the following one is my attempt to capture its presence at my first encounter.

Wayne Giles Mondrian's Cat 1992

Wayne Giles Mondrian’s Cat 1992

P1150106Then I headed for the Top Floor gallery space…and THIS!

From artrubicon. Visual Arts Magazine, this...

Contemporary Calgary, (formerly The Art Gallery of Calgary) is pleased to announce its first Artist-in-Residence (AIR) project, supporting local and ntional artists in the research, creation, and presentation of new artwork while building mentorship opportunities between emerging and established artists.  Throughout the month of January, the AIR project features three Aboriginal artists; Tanya Harnett, Amy Malbeuf, and Brittney Bear Hat.

P1150102It is my hope that my readers will find opportunity to enjoy this exhibit that runs until May 4, 2014.  Opening night, the voices of female singers and the sounds of their drums filled the Top Gallery and left me, in a few different moments, silently weeping.  The exhibit of works was brilliant and create a composite of deeply felt moments…stories of family, identity and healing.

Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate February 8 2014

Miriam Meir, Tanya Harnett, Chantal Stormsong Chagnon and Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes

Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate February 8 2014 2 Next, musician, Olivia Tailfeathers performed with a young lady and gentleman…exquisite!  Powerful!

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Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

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Sculpture in Mixed Media by Artist, Tanya Harnett

I had previously written some ponderings about Tanya Harnett while being blown away by an Edward Burtynsky exhibit at the Glenbow.  It was wonderful to finally see her very potent and beautiful works exhibited in this way.

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Artist: Tanya Harnett

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Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

I had done some reading about Chief Running Rabbit, just recently, and chose to depict him in one of my paintings at the Gorilla House.  It was a quick two hour engagement with the subject and a bit more in research, but to have this encounter with his story during the night’s events, was a highlight for me.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t meet Brittney.

Meeting David Bouchard

It was a magical thing to be a guest teacher where David Bouchard was doing an author’s presentation for the students at Cardinal Newman School here in Calgary. As a classroom teacher for 35 years, I had a love for books that contain life lessons and that hold the narratives of ordinary people. I wasn’t very satisfied with the movies I captured on my small camera, given that his presentation took place in a gymnasium. However, here at home, I’ve discovered some clear and representative videos.

David Bouchard’s short biography is available on his extensive website and most of David’s titles are listed here.  We received two stories yesterday morning, Rainbow Raven and Papa Lost His Lucky.  Amazing stuff.

I treasure listening to stories…always have.  A polished presentation, David’s stories captivated the very young audience seated before him and they contained rich histories for the adults in the room as well.

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David Bouchard: Author and Speaker

David Bouchard: Author and Inspiration

Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 9, 2013

I know. I know.  You didn’t see me there!  But, I was!  I ran over to Home Depot to get my board at 6:15…I got it on half price because I convinced the lady at the check out that it was the only one in the bin like it and, “Look!  It has this flaw on the back!”  No problem…$4.30.  Awesome!

My wonderful cousin was in town…I pulled my paints out and started my work at 7:00 sharp.  I thought about all my Gorilla House peeps and the huge energy that one feels as the artists get started and the audience has stepped in for the first time.  We turned on some Gretchen Peters music and Margy set up her panel on the feast table across from me.  It was just a terrifically magical time.  In the middle of my painting frenzy, my cousin dearest poured me a bubbly ice water, something we both enjoy on our relax times together.

I have no idea the concepts of ‘The House’…I was continuing on with my series of Studio Chiefs, this one Chief Eagle Calf of the Blackfoot Confederacy.  I liked how the wood panel informed the piece.  I worked until 9:30 and then stopped, knowing that down town, the auction had begun.  It was a glorious night of painting.  This one will be up for auction next week at GH.  This evening proved that you can take the artist out of the Gorilla House, but you can’t take the Gorilla out of the artist!

I found this descriptor on the back of a photograph of Chief Eagle Calf, also known as John Ground, on the back of an old photograph that was sold on E Bay.  I feel sad about the sort of spectacle that is intended by this description.  I honour this great man with my prayer blessings.

Chief Eagle Calf 3Chief Eagle Calf was also present with three other chiefs at the home of Robert E. Lee.  Here, the four chiefs signed their names with pictographs.  The following information has been collected from here.

 

A contingent of Blackfeet leaders from Glacier National Park, likely in Washington on tribal business visited the Confederate veterans home in Richmond on May 19, 1914. All have signed the book with their pictograph as follows:

 

CHIEF EAGLE CALF Also known as John Ground. (CHIEF)
MEDICINE OWL (JOSEPH MEDICINE OWL was born in 1888)
TWO GUNS WHITE CALF (CHIEF)

 

Two Guns White Calf (1872-1934), a Blackfoot chief, is best remembered as a model for the “Buffalo Nickel.” The face which appears on the nickel was actually a composite image made from the likenesses of three Native Americans, including Two Guns. Designed by James Earle Fraser, the coin was first issued in 1913. Two Guns always maintained that he was indeed the sole model for the image on the coin and gained celebrity for this association. He was, for many years, the public face of Northern Pacific Railroad, whose advertisements billed him as the model for the coin, and a major attraction for the tourists who visited Glacier National Park. 

Chief Eagle Calf 2Chief Eagle Calf 5If you are interested in this piece, please come down to the Gorilla House next Wednesday when I will be painting LIVE.

P1130334 P1130335 P1130336 I am grateful for the support and love of my family.

A contingent of Blackfeet leaders from Glacier National Park, likely in Washington on tribal business visited the Confederate veterans home in Richmond on May 19, 1914. All have signed the book with their pictograph as follows:
CHIEF EAGLE CALF Also known as John Ground. (CHIEF)
MEDICINE OWL (JOSEPH MEDICINE OWL was born in 1888)
TWO GUNS WHITE CALF (CHIEF)
Two Guns White Calf (1872-1934), a Blackfoot chief, is best remembered as a model for the “Buffalo Nickel.” The face which appears on the nickel was actually a composite image made from the likenessesof three Native Americans, including Two Guns. Designed by James EarleFraser, the coin was first issued in 1913. Two Guns always maintained that he was indeed the sole model for the image on the coin and gained celebrity for this association. He was, for many years, the public face of Northern Pacific Railroad, whose advertisements billed him asthe model for the coin, and a major attraction for the tourists who visited Glacier National Park.

– See more at: http://www.civilwarfamily.us/2013/01/four-blackfeet-chiefs-vists-the-robert-e-lee-soldiers-home.html#sthash.xBjpwdE9.dpuf

A contingent of Blackfeet leaders from Glacier National Park, likely in Washington on tribal business visited the Confederate veterans home in Richmond on May 19, 1914. All have signed the book with their pictograph as follows:
CHIEF EAGLE CALF Also known as John Ground. (CHIEF)
MEDICINE OWL (JOSEPH MEDICINE OWL was born in 1888)
TWO GUNS WHITE CALF (CHIEF)
Two Guns White Calf (1872-1934), a Blackfoot chief, is best remembered as a model for the “Buffalo Nickel.” The face which appears on the nickel was actually a composite image made from the likenessesof three Native Americans, including Two Guns. Designed by James EarleFraser, the coin was first issued in 1913. Two Guns always maintained that he was indeed the sole model for the image on the coin and gained celebrity for this association. He was, for many years, the public face of Northern Pacific Railroad, whose advertisements billed him asthe model for the coin, and a major attraction for the tourists who visited Glacier National Park.

– See more at: http://www.civilwarfamily.us/2013/01/four-blackfeet-chiefs-vists-the-robert-e-lee-soldiers-home.html#sthash.xBjpwdE9.dpuf

Spending Time With Jeffrey Gibson at Esker Foundation

I didn’t even bring my camera…so, no images except  the scratches I made into my journal.  I attended an artist talk by Jeffrey Gibson at the Esker Foundation yesterday afternoon and learned so much about the context of his work/beliefs.  I am so grateful for having the time in such a magical environment, to hear Jeffrey speak.  Thank you.

The exhibit Fiction/ Non-fiction is shouting out for your attendance.  My readers will be floored!  I am consistently amazed by the arts events happening in Calgary, but this particular collection breaths a different sort of air into our city.

P1130207 P1130209 P1130211Of identifying with a cultural identity, Jeffrey summarizes, as he did yesterday, in this New York Time’s article written by Carol Kino…

“If you’d told me five years ago that this was where my work was going to lead,” said Mr. Gibson, gesturing to other pieces, including two beaded punching bags and a cluster of painted drums, “I never would have believed it.” Now 41, he is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and half-Cherokee. But for years, he said, he resisted the impulse to quote traditional Indian art, just as he had rejected the pressure he’d felt in art school to make work that reflected his so-called identity.

“The way we describe identity here is so reductive,” Mr. Gibson said. “It never bleeds into seeing you as a more multifaceted person.” But now “I’m finally at the point where I can feel comfortable being your introduction” to American Indian culture, he added. “It’s just a huge acceptance of self.”

On exhibit at the Esker Foundation, a fascinating and challenging exhibit of installation work and paintings, a show co-produced with the Illingworth Kerr Gallery of ACAD.  The curators are Wayne Baerwaldt, Steven Loft and Naomi Potter.

In brief, the Esker website describes this collection...

“The thirteen artists in Fiction/Non-fiction challenge mainstream cultural and political narratives by offering transcultural critique through works that propose counterpoints, rhetorical questions, and revisionist statements (often as increasingly abstract forms of representation) to official historical records or archives.”

Several different programs, both hands-on and curatorial talks/tours, will be given up until the end of December.  These programs, based on my experience, are consistently engaging and a source for new questions and knowledge.

Not to confuse my readers, but this painting by Brenda Draney caught my gaze and held it…so I wanted to post it here.

Brenda Draney. Tent, 2013, oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′. Photo credit Sarah Fuller.

Brenda Draney. Tent, 2013, oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′. Photo credit Sarah Fuller.

“Her paintings are drawn from stories, memories, and family photos, and consider how narratives are constructed and how they, in turn, construct our identities.”

 

Gorilla House LIVE ART: September 4, 2013

There’s just something about making the anonymous – known.  There’s a lot to be said, also, for seeing the ‘special’ in the minute, seemingly-insignificant flotsam of  life.  Minutia is interesting to me…and I like the process of returning minutia to families who have long forgotten the connection they have with those particular objects.  All of a sudden, the object has tremendous meaning and represents something more.

I’ve sought out the family of Ruby J. Campbell.  I hold onto her bible for them.

I’ve looked for photographer, P. Mason and have not yet found him/her.

I have located the family of artist, John D. “Sam” Crawford and will return drawings to them.

I hold on to three grade seven letters written years ago; students of mine…Kearston Constable, Chad Gilmet and Adam Hunt.

Well…you get the picture.

Recently, I’ve located Jordan Bearshirt.  I began looking for Jordan in January of 2012, when I decided to put a new professional frame on his graphite drawing.  I commissioned Jordan when he was my grade nine student at Holy Cross School.  This was some thirty years ago.  I had read a stack of books about the great chiefs of the plains…and couldn’t stop thinking about the life of Chief Crowfoot.  My gaggle of Junior High art students were typical…but Jordan sat to the side at his art table…silent and absorbed…but, forever-drawing.  He told me that to draw Crowfoot, he would have to work at home, so one day after school, he left my classroom with a large piece of white bond paper.

A few days later, he came into the art room with the meticulous drawing completed, but it was rolled and its edges, tattered.  When he unrolled the piece, Crowfoot was impaled with a hole.  I looked at Jordan and back down at the detailed drawing.  “What happened, Jordan?”

“My young sister/brother (I forget this detail) poked it with a pencil.”

“Where were you working, Jordan?”

“On the carpet.”

So, there followed a chat with Jordan about quality and care.  I talked to him about mark making/surface/edges/ and paper.  When I think about the Gorilla House-experience, this actually brings a smile to my face…but, I’ll continue…and yes, I WILL eventually get back to the titled post, the subject being LIVE ART at the Gorilla House.

A few days later, I bought a piece of arches heavy weight paper…something I purchased at an art supply store and I drove over to Jordan’s house.  As I passed the paper to Jordan, I asked him to work at a desk or table as this piece would be really really important to me.  The piece that was completed was exceptional.

Chief Crowfoot by Jordan Bearshirt

Chief Crowfoot by Jordan Bearshirt

Upon my return to Calgary end of July, I learned that Jordan passed away just two days before my beautiful mother, on May 29.  It was three days after his 45th birthday.  From the moment I learned of this news, I knew that I must return the treasured drawing to his family.  This would be an object of great affection for them, as it has been for me all of these years.  On September 4, I was contacted after what seemed an epic search, by Jordan’s father, J. Bernard Bearshirt. I need to express gratitude to Morley Redwood for assisting in my search. On September 5, I would have opportunity to meet Bernard and give Jordan’s gift to his father.  I will write about that meeting another time…for now, the motivation for the painting I produced in two hours on Wednesday evening.

Somehow my work would be a testament to Jordan’s life. I decided to paint an unknown/little-known Blackfoot man.  I found an archive of museum-grade studio photographs and chose a man with strong features and dark beautiful eyes, Kat-O-Capee of 1900.   I printed off a quick reference at home, packed up my gear and off I headed for the Gorilla House.

Kat-O-Capee Vancouver Archives, Blackfoot Circa 1900I began by creating a fairly dramatic and monochrome background for the piece, using black and silver acrylic and allowing the paint to drip freely into the white gessoed surface of the bottom third.  I spent the last hour watching the portrait emerge.  I thank Rebecca and Dylan for bidding on the piece and thank Rebecca for purchasing the piece at auction.

P1120536 P1120539 P1120543Art/writing/music/dance/theater provide the human spirit a way of exploring the notion of and illusion of permanence.  We learn, however, that the creation, itself, is ephemeral.  The dance ends.

“It’s no great secret we’re built to attach to things. But at least part of the strength with which we form attachments is mediated by the mistaken belief that we’ll always have the things to which we’re attached just as they are, supported by the additional mistaken belief that our ability to keep them as they are is also within our control.”

The painting of Kat-O-Capee represents everything I am trying to say…about Jordan…about my mother…about the family bible and the letters left behind by students.  Here was a man posing in a studio for a photographer in the day…a man pulled out from his familial environment, cultural practice, family, life’s work…to sit for a formal photograph.  And here…over one hundred years later,  an artist has explored that face again and caused a whole number of people to feel ‘something’ about that face.  The painting can not last.  But what is ‘forever’ about everything is the ‘fire’ of creation…that moment of awakening…the spirit of interaction and of crossed paths…the circle that connects us.  God…Divine Creator…

Where are you Craig First Rider?

We had just stepped out of the M. C. Escher exhibit and Buzz Elroy was entertaining the crowd down at the Olympic Plaza. It was the weekend for the 6th Annual Spaghetti Western Festival. Sitting under the awning, the three of us were just taking in the goings-on when I was certain I recognized a man, dressed in First Nations dance regalia.  I spoke out loud to my friends, “I think that’s a former student of Holy Cross, Craig First Rider.”

Sure enough, once introduced by the MC, I heard his name.

I met Craig back in the days when I taught at Holy Cross School in Calgary.  I saw him as a young boy, dancing the Fancy Dance for our school population and community.  I was big on coordinating huge festivals in the day, given our huge multicultural population.

When I met him down at Calgary’s sixth annual Spaghetti Western Festival, I was in awe of the man he has become and impressed that he has now danced for over 35 years.  This was a fantastic addition to Calgary’s Spaghetti Western Festival and we enjoyed three demonstrations after Maddison Krebs (excellent and very entertaining for a sixteen year old) and Buzz Elroy (dawning a great hat) and before Angela Harris.

I’m very proud of you, Craig and hope that we can speak again and I can be updated on your accomplishments over the years.

 

 

Craig First Rider and Keegan Buffalo

Craig First Rider and Keegan Buffalo

Craig First Rider

Craig First Rider

Craig First Rider and Keegan and Kasha Buffalo

Craig First Rider and Keegan and Kasha Buffalo

 

 

Gorilla House LIVE ART: May 22, 2013

An evening spent in conversation with Vincent Varga…wowsah!  This was a surprise.  I guess this was some sort of an artist’s profile experience at the Gorilla House.  I arrived as per usual sometime around six thirty.  The gorillas were sitting on the front step.  It was a grey evening, but the air was beautiful.  I was anticipating PAINTING because I had missed last week, pushed down into covers with a chest cold, and while I had good intentions around the studio this week, I ended up spending more time in the garden in the sunshine than anything else.

The guys told me that I was on film…”Go back to the bushes, they said.” Take TWO!  So funny.  I don’t know what I talked about while I painted, but I really truly didn’t shut up.  The thing was…I was super focused on what I wanted to paint about and so to have a conversation was likely going to distract a little from that.  Vincent, though, was a natural and his interview questions were endearing and brought up a lot of stuff for me.  As I left at the end of the evening I was thinking about a lot of things.

First: My intentions for the evening.

Earlier in the month, I wrote about an exceptional book written by Joseph Marshall III.  I know it’s had a huge impact on me and unless I can get some of it worked out of my system, I’m afraid I’m going to somehow ‘contain’ the content and I feel that I need to express it, not hold on to it.  The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History is a book for everyone.

First Nations Artist, George Littlechild, has recently put me in touch with a huge archive of old photographs posted here.  When I saw an album posted of the Sicangu Lakota, I knew that I wished to portray one of the many people captured in the collection. When I heard the themes for the evening, I was especially happy because the third concept selected was pulled out of a BC comic strip, “struggle to defend himself and justify his place in the universe.”  GO!

I chose, out of a number of references, to use a photograph of Tacha Sinte Sapa (aka Black Tail Deer) the husband of Nite Win (aka Hip Woman) of the Oglala Lakota.  No date was available on the photograph and certainly, in the end, I did not capture much of a likeness.  I DO know however, that I am going to paint Black Tail Deer again.  I began, as I typically do when painting a portrait, by turning the image upside down.  In this way, I do not focus on capturing THAT likeness, but rather, focus on the forms of dark and light, this after writing out the last paragraph from Marshall’s book.

“True,” the grandfather replied, “but like all stories, it has a lesson.  You can be like the young man in my story who forgot where he came from.  Or you can choose never to forget who you are, and where you are from.”

While I painted, I talked to Vincent about my father…about endangered species…about rose hip tea and cactus berries…the gorilla house…about painting and recollections of small pots of oil paint, the smell of linseed oil.  It seems that I’ve had quite a history and Marshall’s words were coming to life in me as I painted.  I can not forget who I am.  I can not forget where I have been.  Notions of place, identity and memory permeate my work consistently.  It took talking about it to figure that out.

There were some wonderful conversations that circled my easel.  Thanks to all of the people who seem to care hugely about these same issues that concern me.

Thanks to Ryan for your generous purchase of this piece at auction.  It was a wonderful thing to learn afterwards that you are working with folk who are marginalized by their addictions and struggling to rise above them.  I mean it.  Phone me and I will deliver some volunteer art programs and do some portrait work with your gaggle!

Thanks to Jenn Arguin for archives.

Thanks to Vincent Varga, for expanding my heart.

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Tacha Sinte Sapa (aka Black Tail Deer) the husband of Nite Win (aka Hip Woman) of the Oglala Lakota

Ryan and Gabriel

Ryan and Gabriel

Ryan and Kath

Ryan and Kath

May 22 GHouse

Ryan lowers the veil.

Ryan lowers the veil.

Joane Cardinal -Schubert

I’m competing in team kata at a karate tournament this weekend, but I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to see Joane Cardinal-Schubert again tonight. She is celebrating 30 years as an artist and there is a beautiful exhibit at the Master’s Art Gallery downtown, featuring some amazing pieces.  So, I organized my time so that I could enjoy the work and nibble on beautiful appetizers before scooting to the south again for my practice.
 
I first met Joane when my first-born was only a small child in 1982.  I was a teacher at a school in the southeast and I was responsible for developing a program that would meet the needs of a whole number of children from various backgrounds…we had Cree, Blackfoot, Metis and Blood…kids who had integrated into a school system that sometimes didn’t work for them fully…and kids who generally had difficulties with english language arts/reading, writing and articulating.
 
I invited Joane to come out to our school as I noticed very quickly that my students had a general sense of the visual world and while very quiet, they seemed to relish time spent working with their hands no matter what the project.  Writing experiences seemed to follow as a natural progression to real-life experiences OR visits to the Glenbow or walks at the bird sanctuary.  I still have a beautiful drawing of Chief Crowfoot that Jordan Bearshirt drew for me in pencil.  It is one of my treasures from that time.
 
Joane shared slides with us in a darkened classroom and I remember how excited the students were during her presentation, but also after.  It was an amazing thing to see her large charcoal sketches of sweat lodges and strong dynamic lines of lodge poles.  It was a true landmark in my experience as an arts educator to have her come that day.
 
Years later, I became an activist in opposition of the building of the Oldman River Dam, having received my degree from the University of Lethbridge.  As a “Friend of the Oldman”, I worked volunteer hours raising funds for the legal battle that ensued.  Somewhere in there, I learned that Joane had done the design for the adopted poster for the huge gathering of people at the Maycroft Crossing.  Many years later, I brought my poster to one of her art openings and she gladly chatted and signed my poster.  She has woven her life in and out of mine and I have followed her art, life and achievements with great regard and happiness.
 
I truly enjoyed visiting with her again tonight and seeing another woman who has influenced me and my figure drawing, Bev Tosh who is busy working on her work…The War Brides for an exhibit at our National War Museum.  I love that my life has been so touched by strong and talented women!