Reception for 2015 Winter Exhibitions

Join us as we celebrate our winter exhibitions!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Remarks at 7:15 pm
Tours at 7:30 pm

Reading the Talk
Michael Belmore, Hannah Claus, Patricia Deadman, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Keesic Douglas and Melissa General
December 3, 2015 to March 6, 2016
Gallery 3 and Janice Laking Gallery
Curators: Rachelle Dickenson and Lisa MyersCuratorial Talk: Friday, December 4, 10:30 am, Campus Gallery, Georgian College. Admission free
Organized and circulated by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

Reading the Talk brings together work by contemporary First Nations artists who critically examine relationships to land, region and territory. Through a variety of practices, including video, sculpture, installation and photography, artists Michael Belmore, Hannah Claus, Patricia Deadman, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Keesic Douglas and Melissa General consider distinct indigenous perspectives on the history of treaties in the land now referred to as Canada. Inspired by the historical Dish with One Spoon Treaty, guest curators Rachelle Dickenson and Lisa Myers invited each artist to consider the effects of this specific treaty as well as the function of wampum beads as mnemonic devices used by leaders to “read the talk” of agreements between nations. Drawing from this rich history, Reading the Talk raises questions of land use and value, and elucidates the continuing role of both treaties and the wampum for Indigenous peoples. Reading the Talk is accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by curators Dickenson and Myers.

Rachelle Dickenson (British/Irish/Cree Metis) is a curator, arts administrator and educator based in Ottawa. She currently works at the National Gallery of Canada as Curatorial Assistant in Indigenous Art and is a board member of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and SAW Gallery. Dickenson is a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University. Lisa Myers is of Anishnaabe ancestry from Beausoleil First Nation and the Georgian Bay region. She works as an independent curator and artist and has a MFA in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University. She has curated exhibitions for the Harbourfront Centre, Gallery 44 and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. She lives and works in Toronto and Port Severn, Ontario.

Robert Houle
Obscured Horizons
December 3, 2015 to March 6, 2016
Joan Lehman Gallery
Curator: Renée van der Avoird

Senior Canadian artist Robert Houle is known for his distinctive brand of abstraction that blends traditions of modernist painting with elements of his Saulteaux heritage. This presentation features a selection of mixed-media works recently acquired by the Gallery that combine gestural forms, vivid colour fields, non-narrative text and porcupine quills. Intuitively composed, Houle’s abstractions evoke questions of identity and biculturalism, and consider the complex interweaving of colonial and indigenous art histories.

Robert Houle is an Anishinaabe artist, curator, critic and educator active in the arts since the mid-1970s. A pivotal figure in contemporary Canadian art, he received a BA in Art History from the University of Manitoba and a BA in Education from McGill University. His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. Houle was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba and currently lives in Toronto. 

Norval Morrisseau
Copper Thunderbird
November 28, 2015 to February 28, 2016
The Carnegie Room
Curator: Renée van der Avoird

Norval Morrisseau is a renowned Indigenous Canadian artist who developed the distinctive pictographic painting style known as the Woodland School. His work represents spiritual forces and aspects of Anishinaabe culture including shamanism, animism, tensions between Aboriginal cultures and Christianity and the interconnection between all living things. Featuring Morrisseau’s characteristic thick, black contours and bold colours, this selection of serigraphs from the MacLaren’s collection highlights the mythology and symbolism of animals in Morrisseau’s oeuvre.

Also known as Copper Thunderbird, Norval Morrisseau was born in 1931 on the Sand Point First Nations Reserve near Thunder Bay, Ontario. A highly influential artist, his work has been collected by numerous major institutions including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Royal Ontario Museum, the MacLaren Art Centre and the National Gallery of Canada, where he had a major retrospective in 2005 and 2006. Morrisseau was named a Member of the Order of Canada and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He died in 2007 in Toronto. 

Carl Beam
Fragile Skies
November 28, 2015 to February 15, 2016
Molson Community Gallery
Curator: Megan Stevenato, Curatorial Intern

Carl Beam’s photo-based lithographs are rich with found images that illuminate First Nations experience. These works, drawn from the MacLaren’s collection, reveal various combinations of imagery from spiritual, natural and political realms. As Beam comments, "My works are like little puzzles, interesting little games. I play a game of dreaming ourselves as each other. In this we find out that we're all basically human... "

Carl Beam was born in 1943 in M'Chigeeng First Nation, in the Manitoulin District of Ontario. He worked in various photographic media, mixed media, oil, acrylic, text, works on paper, Plexiglas, stone, cement, wood, handmade ceramic pottery and found objects, as well as lithography, etching and screen printing. Beam was awarded the Governor General’s award in Visual and Media Arts shortly before his death in 2005. In 2010, the National Gallery of Canada organized a major retrospective of his work, recognizing Beam as one of Canada's most important artists.

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