Here I am – can you see me?
April 7, 2022 - July 11, 2022
Giving remembrance, recognition, honour and validation to the thousands of innocent children that nobody is able to recognize as they stand amongst their fellow residential school students in the photographs… these children are finally acknowledged, and work begins to recognise and remember these lost souls.
“This work involves a series of twenty-two drawings of First Nations children who perished while attending residential school in Maskwacis AB. The title of work is called “Here I am – can you see me?” I want to give remembrance, recognition, honour and validation to the thousands of innocent children that nobody is able to recognize as they stand amongst their fellow residential school students in the photographs, all but forgotten in the museum archival collections. In this manner I seek to legitimize their lives and restore a modicum of dignity and importance to their short existence in the world.” – George Littlechild
Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta and curated by MJ Belcourt Moses. Produced with the assistance of Capital Power Corporation. Presented at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie with the support of The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre.
kwayaskascikêwak Art Gallery ohci Alberta êkwa pamihtâw MJ Belcourt Moses. ê-wâpahtahêwicik Capital Powered Art, Capital Power Corporation tipahikêwak ta-wâpahtamihk. ê-wâpahtihêwiihcik ita otâpasinahikêwikamikohk kâ-misi-paskwâwihtik sihtoskawêwak ôki kâ-misi-paskwâwihtik miyo-otôtemihtowikamik.
About the Artist:
Artist: George Littlechild
Photo: Courtesy of the artist
George Littlechild has had numerous solo and group exhibitions. His art has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, Tasmania and Europe. His books and art have won numerous awards and scholarships. To date he has created hundreds of artworks, which hang in public and private collections around the world.
Littlechild was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 16, 1958. The son of a Plains Cree mother and a Canadian Celtic father, Littlechild was taken from his home as part of the 60s scoop and was raised by foster parents in Edmonton. He received a diploma in art and design from Red Deer College in 1984, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax in 1988. He also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. His socially charged mixed-media paintings are often made in response to political movements, societal concerns such as reconciliation and reclamation, as well as personal history.
“In my work, I am committed to righting the wrongs that First Nations peoples have endured by creating art that focuses on cultural, social and political injustices. As an artist, educator and cultural worker, my goal is a better world. It is my job to show the pride, strength and beauty of First Nations people and cultures, and contribute to the betterment of mankind.”
About the Curator:
Curator: MJ Belcourt Moses
Photo: Courtesy of Trevor Boller
MJ is a traditional Métis artist, certified Native Cultural Art instructor and most recently served as Indigenous Art Consultant for Fort Edmonton Park and Indigenous Curator for the Edmonton Public Library. In 2019, MJ served as an Indigenous Artist in Residency with the City of Edmonton. She looks forward to sharing Indigenous stories at the AGA.
“I have a keen interest in the promotion and education of Indigenous Arts that relate to our cultural life locally, provincially and nationally,” MJ says. “Indigenous Peoples rich contribution to Canada’s history and heritage reflects perseverance, strength and resilience and ‘Art’ celebrates these achievements.”