A new art exhibit entitled Turtle Island is opening at the Cochrane Public Library, 405 Railway St. W., on Thursday, Dec. 15.
The travelling exhibition features the works of three contemporary Alberta-based Indigenous artists from Central Alberta, who, to varying degrees, bear witness to the importance of the Woodland style in their work.
Jessie Pepin, library assistant director, says there are about 14 pieces in the collection you can view in various locations in the library. There's also an information package on the artists available at the library's circulation desk.
"It's an absolutely stunning collection, three very different artists, but all of their work just goes together so beautifully," says Pepin.
The exhibition includes works of Angela Hall, Brandon Atkinson, and Jessica Desmoulin.
Whether through drawing or paint on canvas, these artists demonstrate the bonds between all creatures and celebrate life on Turtle Island, the place we all call home. This exhibition was curated by Shane Golby through the Art Gallery of Alberta.
First Nations peoples have been creating visual imagery for millennia but it was not until the 1960s that Indigenous imagery was recognized by the Canadian Art establishment as anything other than cultural artifacts or records.
The first Indigenous artist to achieve any recognition in Canada was Norval Morrisseau, who developed what became known as the Woodland School of Art. Through this style, Morrisseau sought to communicate the spiritual essence and stories of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) world. The Woodland style has influenced many Indigenous artists throughout Canada over the past 60 years.
While all are unique talents, many artists who have followed Morriseau have made use of the rudiments of the Woodland style. These include the expressive and symbolic use of lines; images of transformation; x-ray decoration; and the manipulation of bright, contrasting colours.
It will be available for viewing at the library until Jan. 18 and was made available through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program.