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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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George Littlechild Interview

By Robert Amos December 22, 2003

A { text-decoration:none;} George Littlechild An Interview By Robert Amos After 10 years in Vancouver, George Littlechild found the only time he could paint was at night, when he could reclaim some psychic space for himself. In addition to the pace of his successful career, he found the energy of the surrounding mountains oppressive. Two years ago, Victoria won his heart. "I love the architecture, the ocean, the way that spring arrives early. I love being able to go to East Sooke Park. I love the way the wind sweeps over and clears the energy here," Littlechild chimes. In Victoria, Littlechild has been teaching Native Art History at Camosun College, and doing workshops with kids in schools. "I get to be with people," he bubbles. "Now it¹s time for me, to do my art and teach. It¹s a calmer time." One of the immediate results of this 'calmer time' was his wonderful show at the House of First Voices, the showcase of the First People¹s Cultural Foundation (31 Bastion Square, 361-3456). Afro-Native Love, acrylic / crayon on paper, 30 x 44", by George Littlechild Littlechild is best known for his book illustrations. With vivid colours and a thrilling design sense, the paintings of Red Horse/Red Indian (published 1990) established his reputation. In 1993 the award-winning picture book This Land Is My Land repeated the success. What¹s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses was an award winner in 1998. His pictures delight and inspire all ages, and additionally he has created and published collaborations with school children, working together to help them alleviate prejudice and develop pride. Littlechild has had major shows in Germany and Japan and all over the United States. He is represented in Canadian collections everywhere, from the Ermineskin Junior High School in Hobbema, Alberta to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull. For Victoria, he has brought out a sort of retrosective: paintings and prints from his personal collection, and some of his newest creations. A mixed-race child of Plains Cree heritage, Littlechild grew up in a foster home in Edmonton area. In his art this background is ever present. "It¹s all about my life, my ancestors¹ life, how we got from there to here," he notes. By revealing the past, the artist creates windows into Cree philosophy. He carries this forward in his art, offering it as a gift to young people, to help them make their way into the future. Littlechild, who was born in 1958, referred to himself as part of the 'Sixties Scoop'. I asked him to explain. After the arrival of the Europeans, he told me, his ancestors were gathered onto reservations to make way for the settlers. They survived three generations of this, and then came the residential schools. There, for two full generations, the native people suffered an enforced assimilation. When that didn¹t work, the federal government came up with a new plan - to remove native children from their families on any pretext and put them in foster care with non-native families. Littlechild was one of 100,000 such children - the Sixties Scoop. All the images in the show centre on people. Littlechild¹s etching of native poet E. Pauline Johnson is inscribed with her words: "My aim, my joy, my pride is to sing the glories of my own people." This is also true for Littlechild. His interpretation of his culture extends from the distant past to the future. His art training includes a degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and further training at Banff Centre. In a carefully crafted screen print (Peggy Bull, 1993) he gives iconic status to his his grandmother, with reference to First Nations face painting and blankets. But the artistic references might also cite the Fauvist colours of Henri Matisse. Turquoise, orange, mauve and gold dominate Littlechild¹s palette. Isn¹t pink is an unusual choice for native art? "I¹m half red, half white," he counters, with a twinkle. "Colour doesn¹t scare me. I use it to imbue or evoke a spiritual state. It¹s sort of a dream state, a reality separate from the imagery, for the purpose of spiritual awareness." The young artist set aside the meticulous drawing and began to use archival photos - his mother in residential school, his uncle on horseback - printing them large. There¹s something in this style reminiscent of Andy Warhol, his images surging with emotional underpainting and emblematic overlays. Littlechild added cut-out stars and mirrors into the mix. Recently he¹s been painting with acrylic paint on large translucent sheets of mylar. "With canvas," he told me, "the paint stays on top. With paper, it sinks in. But with mylar it moves around. It¹s there on the surface, and you can take things out or add them in. Even turn it over and work on the back!" Giving structure to his agressive paint handling are strong, simple designs and powerful forms. "To the Plains people, everything is geometric," Littlechild explains. Square, circle, semi-circle, cross - the symbols are repeatedly seen in painting and beadwork , like Northwest Coast crest designs. "These are emblems of who we are," he says. Using the timeless geometry of tradition and news photos of days not long past, Littlechild makes visible the facts Native culture and of Canadian racism. His grandmother¹s painted cheeks are an icon of power. His mother¹s residential school photo is a quiet song of sorrow. "How many generations of dysfunction?," the artist muses. By digging into the past, and presenting it with vivacious clarity and an undying pride, he is offering us a gift of understanding. These are striking works of art. To honour his ancestors, to encourage the children, and to inform the rest of us, Littlechild is doing what he can. ______________________________________________ Copyright © 2002 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com Artists In Canada homepage