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Media Release
For immediate release
Feb. 20, 2019
Visual Art Exhibit: Because of her, I am. 

The 2019 SkirtsAfire Festival (March 7-17, 2019) is proud to present Because of her, I am., a visual art exhibit curated by Lana Whiskeyjack, featuring the work of five diverse Edmonton artists. The exhibit will be featured at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, March 5 -17. Entry is by donation. 

Gender is a social construction. For some societies, there are only two genders, male and female, compared to a Cree worldview of eight genders. Each gender has specific roles and responsibilities that contribute to the health and well-being of the community. Imagine a world where gender is fluid, complex, multidimensional and a living entity, expanding from our cosmic relations to our water relations. 

Curator Lana Whiskeyjack is a multidisciplinary treaty iskwew artist from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Treaty Six Territory, Alberta. Among her early influencers and teachers were her mother’s and grandmother’s gifts in the traditional arts (beadwork, moose hair tufting, fish scale, moccasin making, quilting and sewing). Lana’s research, writing and art explores the paradoxes of what it means to be nehiyaw (Cree) and iskwew (woman) in a Western culture and society and how her and other indigenous women are reclaiming, regathering and remembering their ancestral medicine (sacredness and power).


Featured Artists

Rebecca Pickard is a self-taught mixed media artist from treaty six territory. She is a mother, educator, and a Métis woman with family roots in Baptiste Lake, Calling Lake, and Crane Valley, Saskatchewan. Her current body of work is a catalog of reflections about the land and animal relations she grew up observing. In spite of the bright colours and whimsical nature in her paintings, she often feels troubled by the state of our Mother Earth and the future of life on the planet. Painting is a medicine that grounds her. It connects her to her identity as a child of the Earth, and reminds her that beauty, balance and healing is always present in the natural world. Rebecca will also be speaking about her work in A Place For Prose on March 16 at 2 pm.

 

Rebecca Lippiatt has been a professional and passionate photographer for the past 11 years. She seeks authenticity through her lens. All of her work, from art to commercial photography is executed from a desire to serve her subjects and her audience with an open heart. Rebecca is actively involved in her community participating in the many arts festivals and is the photo editor for the Rat Creek News.


 

Yong Fei Guan is a Chinese-Canadian artist and illustrator with a degree in Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Guan explores multicultural identity, politics and their relationship to environmental issues in her work. She has been involved in public and community art projects, which include YEGmidautumn2017YEGCANVAS 2015and The Postcard Project 2013. Her exhibition, 塑胶狮 Su Jiao Shi, was a pair of contemporary Chinese guardian lion sculptures that Guan created from household plastic waste.
 

Olivene Aba Gyimah Garbrah (known at the Nina as Aba) is a versatile and highly skilled artist. In ceramics she created a series of small busts of famous African-American people. Her figures convey her fascination with black history in North America and, in particular, iconic celebrities as well as people that she has met. She worked in the Nina’s glass studio to create intricate portraits. Aba has written and published short stories and participated in the Nina’s digital storytelling project. Currently Aba is exploring abstract painting using geometric shapes and vibrant colours. In addition to being an artist, Aba bowls competitively, and enjoys participation as a Toast Master. Aba has been a volunteer at the Strathcona Place Seniors’ Centre for twenty years.

Allison Tunis has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta, and a graduate diploma from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute. She is currently the artist-in-residence at Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre, creating a body of work exploring the language our society uses towards and about people of size. Allison also runs a Queer Youth Art Club for LGBTQIA2S+ youth to create art in a safe space and connect with peers. 
 

 

Artist Images
Because of her, I am. is on display at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts (9225 118 Ave), March 5-17. Admission is by donation, gallery hours are as follows:

March 5 – 6 | 10 am – 2 pm
March 7 | 10 am – 2 pm & 5 – 7 pm during our 
Opening Ceremonies
March 8 | 10 am – 2 pm
March 9 | 1 – 3 pm & 3 – 5 pm during 
Peep Show!
March 11 – 13 | 10 am – 2 pm
March 14 |10 am – 2 pm & 7 – 8:30 pm during 
Words Unzipped
March 15 | 10 am – 2 pm
March 16 | 9:45 am – 12:30 pm, 2 – 4pm & 4:30 – 5:45pm during 
 Festival Events
March 17 | 3 – 4pm during That’s a Thing?! Live: The Internet is my GSA

Now in its 7th year, SkirtsAfire FestivalMarch 7 - 17, 2019, celebrates diversity and empowers, develops, supports and showcases women-identifying artists. This year's highlights include three MainStage productions and Coeur de pirate Live at the Winspear, March 8. 

For more information, visit
SkirtsAfire.com.
Copyright © 2019 Bottom Line Productions, All rights reserved.


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