Beedawbun art exhibit showcases indigenous artwork

Colourful painting of 100-year-old First nations chief next to his black and white photograph Charles Kegdonce Jones, a 2002 painting by Derek Kenny, is one of many indigenous works on display at the LRC. (Shannon MacDonald)

Shannon MacDonald
A&E Reporter

Artwork can do many things, and uniting people of different walks of life is one of them.

Beedawbun is an Anishinaabeg word that means “the point at which the light touches the Earth at the break of dawn” or simply, a new dawn.

That’s the title of Humber College’s Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC) at North campus gave to a multi-media gallery of indigenous artwork that blurs the lines between Aboriginal tradition and finding a place within modern society.

The Beedawbun Art Exhibition, which opened at the North campus LRC Nov. 24, comes as the federal government has promised to look into the missing First Nations women and help lift reservations and indigenous populations out of poverty.

Ashley Watson, the curator of the gallery, said the exhibition was a collaboration between Humber North students and the centre.

“So this is a bit of a mix exhibition, it’s put on by the ARC, it’s a mixture of pieces of their collection, but also work by students here at Humber, [and] artists in the greater Toronto area,” she said.

The gallery features pieces from artists like Simone McLeod and Humber’s own Phoenix Gull, with paintings, videos and photography.

Ivan Feng, a first year Design Foundations student responsible for the events, said his favourite piece combines old photography with vibrant paint.

“The painting of the Aboriginal chief by Derek Kenny, that’s my favorite piece,” he said. “It incorporates colours which represents values from the photograph he’s painting from, I find very interesting.”

The ARC collaborated with Humber Galleries to create the exhibition. Casey Norris, the collections and program assistant at Humber Galleries, explained the gallery always tries to have an even mix of different sources of artwork, but also wants to ensure the artwork relates to Humber students.

“[The gallery] tries to focus on more stuff that affects Humber and has ties to the school and certain programs, like this one with the Aboriginal Resource Centre,” he said.

His favourite work is a series of about 12 photographs.

“Some of them are done on iPhones some of them are done on actual cameras but it’s all the same person and you can kind of tell it’s all the same person no matter what they’re using,” he said.

Julian Lum-Smith, a second year architectural technology student at Humber in charge of the multi-media at the gallery, said there are approximately 40 pieces of art work.

“There’s acrylic on wood, acrylic on canvas and canvas shoes. Some sculptures, photograph sets, some graphic design work, and then we have a film running on the TVs here,” he said.

The gallery is available until Jan. 22, and is free to students and faculty. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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