An exhibit of work by Métis artists in Niagara
Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery / Niagara Artists Centre
Featuring work by Brian Kon, Sterling Kon, Amanda Pont-Shanks, and Julia Simone
Opening Reception Saturday 9 September 6PM
On display until Friday 22 September
Honoring the tradition of Métis dot art and bead work, We Aspire features work by four Métis visual artists living in Niagara. The custom of bead patterning was traditionally used by the Métis to adorn their clothes, equipment and animals.
“The Metis were known as the ‘flower bead people’, my art is intended to honor the skills and artistry of my ancestors by using traditional and historic bead patterns as the inspiration for my work,” says Brian Kon, one of the artists featured in the exhibit.
The exhibit opens on Saturday 9 September at 6PM in conjunction with Where the Weather Happens: An Exhibit of Contemporary Métis Art curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Short in the Show Room Gallery.
We Aspire is presented by the Niagara Artists Centre with support from the Niagara Region Métis Council and in partnership with Celebration of Nations and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.
About the Artists
Brian is an indigenous artist with a passion for preserving the culture and history of Métis people. Brian creates modern versions of historic bead patterns traditionally used by Métis to adorn their clothes, equipment and animals. By replicating bead patterns using individual “dots” of paint he honors the tradition on canvas.
Sterling is a proud Métis artist and entrepreneur who grew up in the Niagara region after moving from Winnipeg at a young age with his family. In 2017 his work was displayed internationally at festivals in Canada and as far away as Ethiopia. Sterling finds inspiration from both the traditions of the Métis and modern works.
Amanda has an Art and Design diploma from Niagara College as well as a diploma in Early Childhood Education and currently works for the Métis Nation of Ontario as a Family Wellbeing Coordinator. Her art is inspired by Métis traditions and memories of her great grandfather’s garden in Beamsville. She works in several mediums including painting, beadwork, drawing, and paper art.
Julia is a 13 year-old emerging artist from École Notre Dame de la Jeunesse in Niagara Falls. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence for a not-for-profit organization called Seedling for Change. She collaborated on a logo design, featured in this show, for one of their current projects, Share Peace, Discover Niagara River.