An exhibit in Saskatoon is exploring the beauty of Métis artwork — both traditional and contemporary.
Storied Objects: Métis Art In Relation is at the Remai Modern in Saskatoon until July 2 and features the work of more than two dozen Métis artists.
Jason Baerg, who is from Ontario and was raised in Prince Albert, Sask., is one of the artists with work in the exhibit.
“I think that art has the opportunity for change,” he said.
“I’m really invested in using my practice to advance our people.”
He said artwork in the exhibit varies, from ancestral objects, heirlooms borrowed from museums and art from current contemporary visual artists. These are in the forms of paintings, installations and media.
“I think it’s important to highlight Indigenous artists,” he said.
“The stories and histories, the journey we have, it’s together and we should all celebrate each other. We should amplify each other’s voices because we’re all moving towards the same goals.”
Curator Tarah Hogue, a Métis artist from Alberta registered with the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, said Storied Objects is meant to explore the continuity of Indigenous art through time.
“It starts by looking at the work of the grandmothers of the Métis Nation and the idea of storied objects,” she said.
Hogue said it’s important that the historical and contemporary work share the same space as a way of transforming traditional practices into new media and new forms.
“This exhibition is really a great opportunity to bring together a number of artists, many who are connected to Métis communities here in Saskatchewan, to show the richness and diversity of Métis artists working today and across generations.”
Sherry Racette from Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec, whose work inspired the exhibit, is an advisor for the show. Her work heavily involves beading, which she said was a great way for her to start sharing her traditional knowledge.
She said she started a beading circle as a teacher.
“I just incorporated it into my teachings, whether it was kids in care or grad students,” she said.
“I learned so much by doing beadwork. Culture is such a small word because really you learn about life and things like patience, and you learn to look and pay careful attention and those are really good lessons.”