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The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is presenting a solo exhibition by Nelson White.
Tukien (Awaken): Nelson White, is on display until Jan. 13. The exhibition features 18 painted portraits of an extended network of Indigenous artists, creatives and activists, who represent for White represent contemporary cultural leaders, what he calls his kin.
A St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw artist, White has become something of a local celebrity recently, following news of his artwork being placed on permanent display at the Museum of the American Indian in The Smithsonian.
Yet, even as his work is now being seen internationally, White remains an artist devoted to the familiar, the accessible and to his extended circle of friends, a group of creative Indigenous artists and workers who are together helping to bring about a cultural renaissance that White calls “a collective raising of consciousness”.
The title of his new show, Tukien, is a Mi’kmaq word meaning awaken, a reference to this collective enterprise of creating a new sense of contemporary Indigenous life. Organized by the CCAG and the Grenfell Art Gallery in Corner Brook, N.L., the show will tour coast to coast and will include a publication in three languages (English, French and Mi’kmaq).
Born on the west coast of Newfoundland (Taqamkuk), in the community of Flat Bay, Nelson is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. He attended the visual arts program at the former Bay St. George Community College, before graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). His paintings are included in public and private collections across North America.
The new exhibition is one of three new exhibitions opening this fall at the CCAG, including Give Me Shelter. That exhibition introduces the work of 13 emerging artists, also based in St. John’s.
All new fall exhibitions will be celebrated with an official opening weekend of activities, Oct. 23-24. Check out confederationcentre.com for more announcements.