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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • Art exhibit at local funeral home is proof art isn’t dead!

    Location: Alexandria, ON

    • Friday, 21 Feb 6--9: Wine & cheese, entertainment by recording artist Katie..
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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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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call for Art - 11th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • Dianne Davis and the WAP Collective

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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  • Overzealous Fine Art Exhibition 2020 Call for Entry

    Location: Toronto (GTA), ON

    Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 1st, 2020 -- Exhibition Dates: March 30 – April 18,..
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  • VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism 2020 is an annual international art exhibition, dedicated..
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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