Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Exhibit takes global look at aboriginal art

  • Print

IT'S a show fit for the world to see -- and on the day that an historic art exhibit opened, a slice of the world came and saw it.

On Sunday, around 150 guests from Winnipeg and across the world piled into chartered buses for a five-hour tour of the new art exhibit Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, which opened in five Winnipeg spaces this weekend, including the main exhibit site at 109 Pacific Ave., the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Manitoba Hydro tower.

Developed by by four leading Canadian curators and funded by the Winnipeg Cultural Capital of 2010 program, Close Encounters asked indigenous artists from North and South America, the Australian continent and Europe to deliver pieces that reflected on the history of the aboriginal experience -- and the future of the human one.

The exhibit, which runs until May 8, is being hailed as the largest exhibition of contemporary aboriginal art anywhere in the world, ever.

For artists from warmer climes, all that buzz lured them to a close encounter of the cold kind, but many agreed on Sunday that the 33-artist extravaganza was well worth shivering in a Winnipeg winter.

"All this is really special," nodded New Zealand sculptor Brett Graham, before stepping under the Planetarium dome to watch a video by Winnipeg-born Métis artist Rosalie Favell.

Graham, whose work embraces Maori and European traditions, was one of three artists from New Zealand to make the trek for Close Encounters.

Some bonds have already been built: A shared history of sculpture keeps Maori artists and sculptors from Vancouver's First Nations in touch, Graham said. "But east of that is new territory," he mused. "Indigenous people can learn from each other, because it's the same issues everywhere."

Besides the artistic dialogues, Close Encounters also paved the way for key in-person ones: discussions, some said, that could breathe fresh energy into the world of contemporary aboriginal art. "There's so many people you get to meet," beamed Jessie Short, an art-curating intern from Toronto who has studied contemporary aboriginal art.

Short and fellow intern Vanessa Dion Fletcher, who even started a blog at Our-Encounter.blogspot.com to document the trip, posted a picture showing all the folks with whom they'd networked.

"It's a fairly small community, and often spread out, so having so many people in one location (is important)," she said.

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2011 B3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Reimagining Winnipeg as the big city of the future

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think Judy Wasylycia-Leis will greatly benefit from the endorsement by Winnipeg's firefighters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google