Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery recognizes Truth and Reconciliation Day, hosts Indigenous exhibition

by | Sep 29, 2023

“Napoigagenn” to run from Sept. 23 to Oct. 14

Napoigagenn, translated from Mi’kmaq to English, means a copy or an image etched from the imagination. The exhibition brings together the art of Starlit Simon, Tara Francis and Brian Francis, three Mi’kmaq artists from Elsipogtog First Nation. In their art, the powerful connections between art and life are embodied through a strong sense of materiality, discrete scale, patient labour and always evident are the relationships the artists have to community, the land, tradition, symbolic expression and storytelling. Each artwork in the gallery embodies a story, collective and unique stories that amplify, affirm and embody the artists’ unique, Indigenous creative voices.

Tara Francis and Starlit Simon make land art, creating art from the earth’s bounty. Turning creative work, tradition and materials from the land into handmade objects, transforming them through a process that embodies the power of imagination, history, experience and personal story. Their preferred medium is porcupine quills, and they are visionary as they adapt traditional materials to contemporary ideas.

Brian Francis is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and painter. Visions appear to him, and, compelled to paint them, he is not sure where they come from. “Something in me caused me to paint those paintings. And when you look at my paintings, and you’re moved by them, there’s something in your DNA that relates to that. I hope it causes someone to pause and to, like I said, to dig deep and try to access that spirituality within themselves.”

Truth and Reconciliation Day

The gallery will be hosting an observance of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday, Sept. 30, to which everyone is invited.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with opening prayers led by Carole Polchies, Woodstock First Nation, followed by a sharing circle. Artists Brian Francis and Tara Francis will be present, and a light lunch will be served afterwards for all who attend. Everyone is welcome.

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