New exhibit in North Battleford, Sask., highlights emerging Cree artists

November 22, 2021
New exhibit in North Battleford, Sask., highlights emerging Cree artists

The Chief Poundmaker Museum has partnered with the Allen Sapp Gallery in North Battleford, Sask., to highlight new artists from the community and surrounding areas.  

The exhibit is called Contemporary Art of the Sipi-iyiniwak: ‘The River People.’

“For our young emerging artists, their talent is very noticeable and their skill — they obviously put a lot of practice and time into their art,” said Floyd Favel, exhibit curator and curator of the Chief Poundmaker Museum at Poundmaker Cree Nation, 75 kilometres west of North Battleford.

“It’s a place for them to show their art to the public and to the world.”

Charity Allyson Boxell from Poundmaker Cree Nation, one of the featured artists, will be driving out from Edmonton to attend the exhibit reception next Wednesday. This is her first exhibit. 

“That was actually the first piece I’ve ever done, the headdress,” she said.

“It just gave me the feeling that we’re all connected. I wanted the soul of the person there to be connected to the sky colours.”

Charity Allyson Boxell’s submission to the exhibit, Contemporary Art of the Sipi-iyiniwak: ‘The River People’ at the Allen Sapp Gallery in North Battleford, Sask. (Submitted by Floyd Favel)

Boxell said she favours working with bright colours using acrylics, and sometimes Swarovski crystals to depict stars in the sky. 

“I’m all about the light,” she said.

“In dark times you need a lot of different light spectrums, just to kind of bring your spirit back. We can overcome things; it’s not always dark.”

Another of the nine artists in the show is Dana Standinghorn from Sweetgrass First Nation, who now lives in North Battleford. She said she hopes her abstract art creates new feelings in its viewers. 

“I know abstract work, when you look at it, everybody sees something different,” she said. 

“I hope it inspires them to see the world in a different way, or get a different feeling just from their everyday life.” 

Standinghorn has been an artist since she was a teen, and said her art is inspired by the natural surroundings of her home community. 

The exhibit runs until Jan. 15.

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