Mary Thomas This eagle is one of the favoured ‘acquaintances’ Mary Thomas meets on her regular walks to town.

Art provides aboriginal perspective

Kanata/Qelmúculucw exhibition opens Friday at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery.

What it means to be Canadian in this time of reconciliation will be explored in Kanata/Qelmúculucw, an exhibition of aboriginal artists at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery.

“Kanata refers to the misinterpretation of the original word that we now know as Canada.

This is but one example of the misunderstandings of colonial Canada in its encroachment on the land,” says director/curator Tracey Kutschker.

“By appropriating the words used for the land and making them into the English language, we can use this colonial act as a metaphor for relations in Canada in 2017.”

Kanata will provide space for First Nations artists working in this area to showcase how they are exploring and making new understandings of Canada and its relations.

Curated by Splatsin artist Aaron Leon, the exhibition will feature works by Dion Kaszas, Tania Willard, David Wilson and Mary Thomas.

Daughter-in-law of late elder Mary Thomas, Thomas uses the lens of her camera and her Smart Phone to capture the world around her.

Hopeful the promise of a trail to Neskonlith Band land west of Salmon Arm will come to be, Thomas regularly walks to town alongside the railway tracks.

“It’s quieter down there,” she says noting the Trans-Canada Highway is her only other option for walking into town. “It would be so awesome to have the trail.”

Without the trail, Thomas follows the rail tracks, capturing scenes most other residents never see.

”I like to see the eagle every day; I just say it’s my eagle,” she laughs. “It’s a beautiful bird and it’s strong.”

Thomas also favours clouds, the moon and a bear who is often in fields near her home.

An employee of Service Canada for 30 years, Thomas retired in 2012 and took up photography for no other reason than she just likes to take pictures of the world around her.

A selection of her beautiful photos will be on display during the gallery’s October exhibition.

Kanata/Qelmúculucw opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, with live music and refreshments and continues to Nov. 10.

Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coffee Break and Artist Talk will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19.

Families are encouraged to make art together Saturdays from 11 to 3:30 p.m. This is not a babysitting service.

Admission to the gallery is by donation.


@SalmonArm
barbbrouwer@saobserver.net

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