The Goyce & Joshim Kakegamic exhibition opened at Gallery One One One on Thursday, 13 March at 3 PM and continued until 4 April 2003.
Gallery One One One's location in Winnipeg, Canada makes exhibitions of contemporary Native art particularly appropriate, not only because of the large urban First Nations population here, but also because of the number of aboriginal students who study at the University of Manitoba and the School of Art, where Gallery One One One is located.
This exhibition of work by First Nations artists Goyce and (his deceased brother) Joshim Kakegamic, curated by Cliff Eyland, includes an essay each by writer and curator Catherine Mattes and writer Leah Fontaine.
The Kakegamic show follows several related Gallery One One One events: a visiting lecture by the Native activist/artist Edgar Heap of Birds a couple of years ago; a recent group exhibition of contemporary aboriginal art called Wintercount, curated by Amy Karlinsky and Colleen Cutschall; and, most importantly, the recent acquisition of a substantial body of work by the Kakegamic brothers through a generous donation by Dr. Litman of Thunder Bay.
Contemporary aboriginal art in Canada ranges from the work of artist/intellectuals like Ed Poitras, who use cosmopolitan styles and methodologies to make art; to artists like Alex Janvier and Robert Houle, who use abstract vocabularies in their work; to polemicists like Lori Blondeau, Theresa Marshall and Roger Crait, who do performances and make agit-prop about contemporary and historical Native life; to artists like the Kakegamic brothers, whose art is tied to the discourse of "vernacular" art associated with the "Woodlands" school of Native artists associated with Norval Morrisseau.
Born of Cree ancestry in Sandy Lake, Ontario (Joshim in 1952 and Goyce in 1948) the Kakegamic brothers began painting as teenagers under the guidance of their Ojibwa brother-in-law Norval Morrisseau and fellow Cree artist Carl Ray. Other influences on the Kakegamic brothers include Jackson Beardy, Alex Janvier and Daphne Odjig. Josh Kakegamic joined Morrisseau and Ray in the 1960s in demonstrating art in Ontario schools. An early showing of his work occurred in 1969 in North Bay, Ontario (geographically close, relatively speaking, to Winnipeg, where this exhibition happened).
In the fall of 1973, after learning printmaking techniques at Open Studio in Toronto, Josh, Goyce and their brother Henry opened the Triple K Co-operative, a silk screening operation in Red Lake, Ontario which operated for ten years. Josh continued to paint in North Bay for two years and then returned to Sandy Lake. In the 1970s and 1980s, he took part in a number of exhibitions throughout Ontario, other sites in Canada, as well as on a group show "Woodland Indian Art Exhibition" at Canada House in London, England and Lahr, Germany. A major exhibition took place at Toronto's Aggregation Gallery in 1977. In 1993, while on a rescue mission, Josh was drowned in a lake in Northwestern Ontario. His work is in private and public collections in Canada and abroad including Simon Fraser University Art Center, the McMichael Canadian Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum and others.
Goyce Kakegamic was employed as a school counselor in Red Lake during the 1970s and 80s. His first exhibition was a two-person show with his brother Josh at Toronto's Aggregation Gallery in 1974. Several exhibitions followed, including at the McMichael and the Woodland Cultural/Educational Center in Brantford, Ontario. Goyce Kakegamic is currently the Deputy Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The Goyce and Joshim Kakegamic CD-ROM includes an essay and images: $20.00 plus shipping = $25.00 payable to Gallery One One One, School of Art, Main Floor, FitzGerald Building, University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, Winnipeg, MB, CANADA R3T 2N2
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