Aboriginal children’s art exhibit opens at AGNS

Dale Sheppard and Gordon Pictou explain why they like one of their favourite works from the exhibit. (Rachel Bloom photography)

By Rachel Bloom

An art exhibit featuring the work of children from aboriginal reserves around the province opened at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Feb. 9.

The exhibit, entitled Kekina’masuti Nemitekemk Nktuey Mijua’jijk: Through Children’s Eyes, was the collaborative work of Dale Sheppard, curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Gordon Pictou, program coordinator at the Glooscap Heritage Centre.

External links
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Glooscap Heritage Centre

The project offered workshops to children from the Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve (AHSOR) program in Nova Scotia, in which teachers encouraged expression through art. These workshops were hosted by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The Art Gallery allowed the children to borrow any required art supplies.

“This day is about celebrating their work,” says Sheppard. The goal of the project was to inspire children to be more creative and use art as a vehicle for understanding their place in the community.

Throughout the project, Sheppard made sure to emphasize there is no correct way of making art.

The exhibit runs until the end of April. It includes paintings, drawings, and experimental works using watercolours and Sharpie markers.

“We had to interpret what we thought some of the art was about,” says Pictou, referencing the descriptions of the artwork posted throughout the exhibit. Nature is a prevalent theme in the featured artwork.

The art exhibit also features the work of First Nations artists, such as Dozay Christmas and Alan Syliboy. Additionally, the exhibit’s walls show quotes from artists Dozay Christmas and Charles Doucette.

On March 16, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., Pictou will be coordinating a family-oriented storytelling of Glooscap tales.

Related audio
Brief Excerpt from an interview with Dale Sheppard

Dale Sheppard talks about the opening of the exhibit and the importance of creativity for children.