Among All These Tundras

January 16 – March 18

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory
Carola Grahn
Marja Helander
Sonya Kelliher-Combs
Joar Nango
Taqralik Partridge
Barry Pottle
Inuuteq Storch
Couzyn van Heuvelen
Allison Akootchook Warden

Curated by Heather Igloliorte, Amy Prouty and Charissa von Harringa

Among All These Tundras, a title taken from the poem ‘My Home Is in My Heart’ by famed Sámi writer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, features contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world. Together, their works politically and poetically express current Arctic concerns towards land, language, sovereignty and resurgence. Artists from throughout the circumpolar north share kinship with each other and their ancestors, love for their homelands, and respect for the land and its inhabitants. Yet they also share histories of colonialism and experience its ongoing legacies and are united in their desire to protect northern ecologies, languages, peoples and knowledge from the nefarious effects of climate change, encroaching industry and competition. These resistance efforts do not merely express, they give shape to a collective ecology of care, a “decolonial love” (in the words of Leanne Simpson and others) that is both generous and generative. These works invite viewers to contemplate relationships between textual and embodied Indigenous knowledges, innovation and sustainability, humour and resilience, and our collective responsibility to northern life and land.

Produced and circulated by the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University

Supported by: Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage), Initiative for Indigenous Futures, Concordia University

38th Annual Members’ Show

June 4 to July 4

The 38th Annual Members’ Show is a celebration of the talent of local and regional artists. Together the CRAG and the Arts Council show our appreciation and support for local artistic talent through exhibition, supportive development, and recognition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition has been rescheduled to open on June 4.

Each year we are amazed by the skill and variety of the artists local to this area. We are treated to a glimpse of what drives the artists in this locale to create, with wonders of natural scenery and evocations of the beauty we are surrounded with, as well as experimentation and abstract, conceptual, and political approaches to the world in which we live.  The exhibition draws together a diverse range of artistic practices including film, video, photography, sculpture, installation, performance, and mixed media. As described by the co-curators, The artworks presented in the “Members’ Show” invite viewers to contemplate relationships among North Island residents, the natural environment, culture, and the regions beyond. How we translate our experiences through art’s varied media is a powerful representation of the time and place we live in. How our public institutions, local governments, and population support the pursuit of culture is a reflection of our priorities and the value we place upon artistic expression.


July 9 to September 2

Artists: Jamelie Hassan & Soheila Esfahani

Curated by: Jenelle Pasiechnik

The exhibition Translations is about understanding the movement of people and ideas of Arabic and Iranian cultures into the Canadian context. How does one share and bring people into a worldview and experiences of life outside their realm of understanding? Art is a powerful vehicle. In this exhibition you will encounter a diverse array of mediums and approaches including: video, painting, mixed media sculpture, and installation. Artworks created through cultural communication, the performance of lived experience, and the interrogation of power structures that command history and language. When the viewer meets the artwork and engages, it is an integral point of cultural translation and meaning making. Experiencing artwork that communicates an alternative worldview, culture, or language system causes one to enact two forms of translation, the translation of experience and the translation of culture. The artworks presented, and the way they “speak” to one another, will help us to better understand the perspectives and positions of people who have lived in both the East and the West and exist in the space between. 

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support we receive from our funding partners: the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Campbell River. We would like to thank Rungh Magazine for their generous support and partnership. 

How We Lead:

July 20 – November 20

Lucie Chan and Justin Langlois

Lucie Chan, Untitled, Watercolour on ink, 2019. Photo credit: Lucie Chan

Justin Langlois, DECISIONS, DECISIONS, posters, 2016-ongoing.

Artist Facilitator: Jill Banting

Curator: Vicky Chainey-Gagnon

This participatory exhibition involves two artists interpreting the statement “How We Lead” to ask larger questions about: civic engagement and the arts; social well-being; leadership and community building. Members of the public will be invited to free community workshops with local partners to ponder ideas of leadership for themselves.

All the impactful gestures we attempt

Lucie Chan

July 20 – November 20

Within the overarching theme of how one leads, Chan has chosen the everyday wisdom gathered from protesters’ signs found while conducting online research. The text based artwork currently on exhibit is a joint portrait, representative of personal and individual forms of communication that become public.

Full Text From All the impactful gestures we attempt, To Be Free: Everything You Most Hate and Fear

So with this in mind: don’t use free speech for hate and DON’T SHOOT.
our bodies, our minds, our power.
You all know I want to grow up in my community.
this means our minds, our power…
but to be clear:
Same shit, different century.
We all know that Canada 150 is a celebration of White Supremacy.
there is no honor in killing. Hate does not make us great.
So let’s hope, not hate.

I’d call him a cunt but he lacks both in depth and warmth.
No to war. No to Islamophobia,
Don’t use free speech for hate. Again, there is no honor in killing so stop arming mass murderers.
Strong women will change the world because women who fight together rise together. I am a woman, feel me love. Hate does not make us great. Love is not a crime. HOPE NOT HATE and then there’s this: Where are our stolen sisters?
They are our bodies, our minds, our power.

Meet the Artist: Lucie Chan

Questions Worth Asking

Justin Langlois

September 25 – November 25

Through his Changeable Question Board and workshops Justin Langlois will focus on the question as an object. Youth will have the ability to ask questions about where they live. All questions will be elevated to the same status through the process of exhibiting them in the Changeable Question Board. 

Meet the Artist: Justin Langlois

Justin Langlois is an artist, educator, and organizer. He is curious about what art can do in everyday and civic life. Questions Worth Asking will host questions gathered from youth in the community about the past, present, and future. Community members will have the chance to see an evolving text-based installation drawn from the inquiries of project participants based on  their reflections about leadership and civic engagement. 

I consider leadership to be about the imaginations we set for the future, what we will do, who we will become, and how we will get there. Those imaginations are built on questions, asking how else the world could be, and how else we could be in the world together. 

                                        — Justin Langlois

Sugarbush Shrapnel

Olivia Whetung

September 24 – November 18, 2020

Curated by Kimberly Phillips, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Assisted by Julia Lamare

Olivia Whetung’s artistic practice extends across a range of media to examine how translation and the transfer of knowledge can be understood, in her words, as “acts of/active native presence.” A significant strand of the Mississauga-Nishinaabe artist’s research has explored ways that knowledge is carried by language, land and bodies of water.

 Whetung’s most recent beaded works involve embroidery, a method where beads are sewn with needle and thread onto a surface material that provides the support and background for the imagery. For Whetung, beadwork is a mnemonic device. Knowledge is indexed not only in the beaded image itself, but through the artist’s technique—the embodied act of beading—and encoded in the materials with which she works.

Whetung also considers questions of climate change and its impact on the animals and plants of her home territories, as well as the transfer of cultural knowledge. Ultra-thin panels of maple, birch and cherry wood veneer stretch vertically from the gallery floor to ceiling like a stand of trees. In the sparest of bead-embroidered and wood-burned lines, sewn through and drawn upon the near-translucent surface of the wood, Whetung traces the fragile—and often undetectable—relationships between species in the forested region in which she lives.

“Stand” by Olivia Whetung

Whetung expands these material and conceptual investigations to consider her own connections to the complex ecosystem of her home on Chemong Lake, Ontario, particularly the importance of food sovereignty and the fragility of symbiotic relationships in an era of accelerating climate change and environmental destruction.